Archive for July 2020

The Few-Weeks-Later Edition Friday, July 31, 2020

Apple Q3 2020 Breaks Records While The World Burns, Next iPhone To Be Fashionably Late, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

In short, there are a few reasons: economic stimulus plans putting more money in people’s pockets, people who are suddenly working and learning from home needing new devices, and a desire for entertainment products like Apple Music and Apple TV+.


Apple CFO Luca Maestri said that while the iPhone 11 arrived in late September in 2019, due to supply issues, you’ll have to wait “a few weeks later” for the upcoming model. Judging by similar delay announcements in the past from Apple, this could mean anything from early October to mid-December.

This Is Tim: Apple Q3 2020 Results Call Transcript, by Six Colors

We’re conscious of the fact that these results stand in stark relief during a time of real economic adversity for businesses large and small, and certainly for families. We do not have a zero-sum approach to prosperity, and especially in times like this, we’re focused on growing the pie, making sure our success isn’t just our success and that everything we make, build, or do is geared toward creating opportunities for others.


There are times when things seem to move slowly. When needed progress, economic or social, seems bogged down. When the instinct to turn away from the horizon and hold on to what you’ve got feels inescapable. And then there are times like this, when people of goodwill step forward, when progress unmoors itself, when the insistence of hope forces something new. This is an immensely challenging moment. COVID-19 is still devastating many places and we have work left to do to care for the health and wellbeing of the communities in which all of us live and work. But no community of people, whether a company or a country, can afford to miss this call when it comes. At Apple, we never have, and we don’t intend to start now.

Apple Was Conflicted Over Right-to-repair Stance, Emails Show, by Ashley Carman, The Verge

The 2019 discussion, provided to Congress for its antitrust investigation, highlights the Apple PR team’s struggle to keep public messaging cohesive amid stories covering internal repair developments that seemingly open up Apple’s repair ecosystem.


Apple Launches New Gift Card For 'Everything Apple', by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

The card can be used at the App Store and other online services, but you can also use it to buy products and accessories in the Apple Store.

Fiery Feeds Adds Full-Text Search, Saved Searches, iPad Pointer Support, And More, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Full-text search and saved searches can be extremely valuable tools, especially for users who subscribe to a lot of feeds. I’ve praised the app before for its three-column layout on iPad, so it’s great to see pointer support keep that iPad app current with modern technologies.

Bosch Smart Home Update Adds Support For Apple's HomeKit, by Christopher Close, iMore

The latest update will bring a total of nine accessories over to HomeKit. In addition to smart home staples such as smart plugs and door sensors, HomeKit-compatible accessories from Bosch include roller shutter controls, smoke detectors, and radiator thermostats.

The Los Angeles River As You’ve Never Seen It — In Augmented Reality, by Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times

Fifty-one miles of territory. Thousands of years of evolution. How to grasp the complexity of the Los Angeles River, its history and its geological diversity in a single sitting?

Well, there’s an app for that.


Apple Kicks U.S. Office Return Back To Early 2021, CEO Cook Says, by Mark Gurman and Emily Chang, Bloomberg

“We’ve kicked the time period that U.S. employees would come back until early next year,” Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “To go beyond that, it would depend on the success with a vaccine, success with therapeutics” and local conditions, he added.

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My family has contributed to Apple's record quarter.


Thanks for reading.

The Inconsistent-Approval Edition Thursday, July 30, 2020

Apple CEO Tim Cook Comments On 'Hey' App Controversy And Apple's App Store Policies, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

When asked about the inconsistency over the approval of the app and the subsequent controversy, Cook didn’t have much to say other than pointing out that the issue was resolved and that the ‌App Store‌ provides a lot of value for developers.

Cook went on to explain that Apple does sometimes make mistakes given the volume of apps that are examined each week. “I’m sure we made errors,” said Cook. “We get 100,000 apps submitted a week and there are 1.7 million apps in the ‌App Store‌.”

Apple’s App Store Commission Structure Called Into Question In Antitrust Hearing, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

But the documents shared by the House subcommittee as part of their investigation indicate that exceptions to Apple’s rules have been made — notably, with Amazon’s Prime Video app. In addition, Apple may have never raised commissions, but discussions weren’t off the table. It had once even considered raising commissions to 40% in particular situations.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Questioned Over App Store’s Removal Of Rival Screen Time Apps In Antitrust Hearing, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Cook responded much as Apple did last year, by saying the company was concerned about the “privacy and security of kids,” and that the technology the apps used was problematic.

“The technology that was being used at that time was called MDM, and it had the ability to sort of take over the kid’s screen, and a third party could could see it,” Cook said. “So we were worried about their safety.”

Emails Released As Part Of Congress' Antitrust Hearing Show How Ruthless Steve Jobs Could Be, by Troy Wolverton, Business Insider

"I think this is all pretty simple," Jobs wrote in an email dated February 6, 2011 focused on the bookstore issue. "[Apple's] iBooks is going to be the only bookstore on iOS devices. We need to hold our heads high. One can read books bought elsewhere, just not buy/rent/subscribe from iOS without paying us, which we acknowledge is prohibitive for many things."

Telegram Files EU Antitrust Complaint Against Apple’s App Store, by Javier Espinoza, Financial Times

Telegram said that in 2016 Apple restricted the messaging app from launching a gaming platform on the grounds that it went against App Store rules. Telegram risked being deleted from the App Store and dismantled the venture.

Telegram alleged that this is an example of Apple’s capacity to curb innovation thanks to its “monopolistic power” on the app market.


Apple Store App Now Offers iPhone Comparisons, New 'For You' Tab, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today updated its Apple Store app with a new “For You” tab that offers access to order status, devices, accessory recommendations, services, reservations, and product tips, all in one simple to access place.

Google Launches New 'Google One' App For iOS With Storage Manager And Backups, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Content can be backed up to Google One using the 15GB of free storage that comes with a Google Account. A Storage Manager in the app provides access to storage space used by Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos to make it simple to manage storage space.


Mac Catalyst 2.0: Doubling Down On The Alignment Of The Mac And iPad, by John Voorhees, MacStories

What WWDC 2020 confirmed was that the addition of Mac Catalyst apps to universal purchases a few months earlier was a sign of things to come. Apple was listening to developers about the pain points of developing Catalyst apps and making adjustments. The company was refining its message and providing a clearer path forward for developers.


Qualcomm Hints That The 5G iPhone Might Not Arrive In September, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

Qualcomm’s Q3 earnings report might indicate a delay for Apple’s upcoming 5G iPhones, with the company highlighting a “partial impact from the delay of a global 5G flagship phone launch” for its fourth quarter projections (which covers July, August, and September earnings).

Looking at the calendar of upcoming phone releases, it’s hard to imagine that Qualcomm is talking about any device other than the upcoming 5G iPhones, which are expected to arrive this fall.

Could You Have Covid-19? Soon Your Smartwatch Or Smart Ring Might Tell You, by Joanna Stern, Wall Street Journal

For the past three weeks I’ve worn an Oura ring, Fitbit, Garmin fitness band and Apple Watch, along with two high-tech skin patches, all packed with sensors. They’ve sent hundreds of temperature readings, blood oxygen levels, heart beats—even cough counts—to my phone. All to find out if I have Covid-19. (I don’t. Confirmed with a real fun nasal-swab test.)

Tech companies and medical researchers are hard at work figuring out if wearable devices can spot Covid-19, the flu and other illnesses—even seeing if they can function as a personal early-detection system to contain the virus. They take wearable sensor data from both healthy people and those afflicted by Covid, compare and look for patterns in the data, then create artificial intelligence that could alert others whose own data patterns point to trouble.

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For some reason, Apple today has decided that the Mac mini I've been using for the past few months is 'new', and alerts are popping up on all my devices warning me that a new Mac is using my Apple ID.

On a (perhaps) related note: I couldn't wake up my Mac mini this morning and has to hard reboot.


I wonder if I can reboot myself.


Thanks for reading.

The Unique-and-Creative Edition Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Apple Shares Resources For Parents And Teachers As Part Of Its Racial Equity And Justice Initiative, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The new project was announced by Apple’s VP of environment, policy, and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson, on Twitter. The new resources for educators come as part of Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, allowing parents and teachers to find unique and creative ways for students to learn about race, injustice, and inequality.

Display Zoom Reveals New iPhone Resolution, by Benjamin Mayo

As tested by 9to5Mac in the iOS Simulator, and as seen by taking a screenshot on the iPhone 11 Pro in Zoomed mode, the never-before-seen resolution is 960x2079 (or 320x693 at 3x scale). That’s the same width as the old 4-inch phones. Odds on, this is the resolution of the new 5.4-inch iPhone, which will be one of four iPhone 12 models coming this fall.

Never Raised Commissions, Never Added Fees

Apple’s Cook Says App Store Opened ‘Gate Wider’ For Developers, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

“In the more than a decade since the App Store debuted, we have never raised the commission or added a single fee. In fact, we have reduced them for subscriptions and exempted additional categories of apps,” Cook wrote. “The App Store evolves with the times, and every change we have made has been in the direction of providing a better experience for our users and a compelling business opportunity for developers.”

App Store Chief Says Apple Aimed To Level Playing Field For Developers, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

“One of the things we came up with is, we’re going to treat all apps in the App Store the same - one set of rules for everybody, no special deals, no special terms, no special code, everything applies to all developers the same. That was not the case in PC software. Nobody thought like that. It was a complete flip around of how the whole system was going to work,” Schiller said.

Emmy Nods

Apple, With A Big Bet On Streaming, Gets A Shock From The Emmys. Disney Gets A Boost., by Steven Zeitchik, Washington Post

At a time of darkness for Disney, its movies out of theaters and theme parks embattled, the conglomerate was granted a major gift: a place at the table at television’s most exclusive club and a chance to bill its heavily capitalized streaming service as more than just a destination for Disneyheads.

For Apple, on the other hand, the news was a harsh and potentially strategy-changing reminder that the money and brand ubiquity that has helped it come to dominate the tech sector isn’t having close to the same impact in Hollywood.

Apple TV+ Earns Over A Dozen Emmy Nominations For 'The Morning Show,' 'Defending Jacob,' And More, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

Apple TV+ has earned its first Emmy nominations this morning, with nominations for “The Morning Show,” “Central Park,” “Defending Jacob,” “The Elephant Queen,” and “The Beastie Boys Story.”


Apple Store Field Trips Will Be Replaced With A New Educational Experience, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

While Today at Apple has returned online with virtual sessions and will someday return to physical Apple Stores, the Apple Field Trip program will not. Apple today removed its Field Trip registration system and noted that customers can no longer book sessions. “Stay tuned,” Apple says, for “a new educational experience.”

Due For Mac Modernized With New Design And Features, by John Voorhees, MacStories

If you’re not familiar with Due, the app’s strength is the ability to create reminders and timers quickly. Reminders can be one-off or repeating events and can be entered using natural language syntax that auto-populates the due date and time field.

A Budgeting App For People Who Hate Budgeting, by Angelica Leicht, Komando

Nudget is a financial app available for iPhone coined the “the budgeting app for the rest of us.” It’s geared toward people who want to get their finances in order but dislike the process of tracking, entering and calculating purchases and other expenditures.


Apple Updates Apple Music Toolbox With New Tools And Banners For Marketers, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has announced several updates to its Apple Music Marketing Tools today. The changes are designed to make it easier for publishers and marketers to link to Apple Music, as well as specific songs and albums.


CES 2021 In Las Vegas Is Cancelled; Event Moves Online, by Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica

CES 2021 was scheduled to take place in early January, but with the terrible pandemic response in the US, the CTA doesn't think the country will be ready to host international events by next year. CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro sent out an email with the now all-too-familiar COVID cancellation language. "Amid the pandemic and growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19," Shapiro wrote, "it's just not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person.”

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The 30-percent cut that Apple enforced on the iOS platform has always been consistent, since the very first day. One can probably argue that developers went in with their eyes opened, and made the iPhone and iPad the success they are today.

The concern should be all the inconsistent rules surrounding the app stores -- what apps cannot do, what apps aren't allowed, and such. Yes, the rules should evolve with time, but they need to be applied fairly and consistently.

Is there a place for a closed platform? I'd say yes. Apple never promised us an open platform, and we shouldn't expect otherwise.


Thanks for reading.

The Decade-Old Edition Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Their Businesses Went Virtual. Then Apple Wanted A Cut., by Jack Nicas, New York Times

ClassPass built its business on helping people book exercise classes at local gyms. So when the pandemic forced gyms across the United States to close, the company shifted to virtual classes.

Then ClassPass received a concerning message from Apple. Because the classes it sold on its iPhone app were now virtual, Apple said it was entitled to 30 percent of the sales, up from no fee previously, according to a person close to ClassPass who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of upsetting Apple. The iPhone maker said it was merely enforcing a decade-old rule.

Apple, Google Both Say They Love The Web. But They've Got Very Different Plans For It, by Stephen Shankland, CNET

The two camps aren't simply protecting their businesses. Google and Apple have philosophical differences, too. Google, working to pack its dominant Chrome browser with web programming abilities, sees the web as an open place of shared standards. Apple, whose Safari browser lacks some of those abilities, believes its restraint will keep the web healthy. It wants a web that isn't plagued by security risks, privacy invasion and annoyances like unwanted notifications and permission pop-ups.

Amazon, Apple, Facebook And Google Prepare For Their ‘Big Tobacco Moment’, by Cecilia Kang, New York Times

The hearing, which caps a 13-month investigation by the House subcommittee, will be closely watched for clues that could advance other antitrust cases against the companies. The Federal Trade Commission, for one, is preparing to depose Mr. Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives in its 13-month probe of the social network. The Justice Department may soon unveil a case against Google. And an investigation into Apple by state attorneys general also appears to be advancing.

Tech Help

As ADA Turns 30, Tech Is Just Getting Started Helping People With Disabilities, by Devin Coldewey, TechCrunch

“The historical impact of iPhone as a mainstream consumer product is well documented. What is less understood though is how life changing iPhone and our other products have been for disability communities,” said Herrlinger. “Over time iPhone has become the most powerful and popular assistive device ever. It broke the mold of previous thinking because it showed accessibility could in fact be seamlessly built into a device that all people can use universally.”


VMware, VirtualBox Tools Impacted By macOS Catalina Memory Leaks, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

An issue with the App Sandbox is causing problems for some virtual machine software users, with the issue inducing a kernel panic in macOS Catalina 10.15.6 when used for a long period of time.

Adobe Updates Photoshop On iPad With Refine Edge And Rotate Canvas Tools, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Precise selections are essential to almost every Photoshop workflow, and the Refine Edge Brush will bring Photoshop on iPad one step closer to becoming a serious app for artists. Adobe says it devoted special attention to ensuring the tool works seamlessly with both the Apple Pencil and touch input.

Amazon Revamps Its Alexa App To Focus On First-party Features, More Personalization, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The new app aims to offer a more personalized experience, particularly on users’ home screens, and offers more instructions on how and when consumers can use the digital assistant, among other changes.

Surprise! Fujitsu Releases 64-bit ScanSnap Manager For Older Scanners, by Dave Kitabjian, TidBITS

A quick check of the specifications in Fujitsu’s announcement showed that ScanSnap Manager V7 works in macOS 10.12.4 Sierra and later, including Catalina, and the “earlier models” include the S1500, S1500M, and the S1300 that I’ve been using for many years.

App’s We’re Trying: Food Noms, by Mike Schmitz, The Sweet Setup

Once you have your goals set up, you simply record what you eat and drink. Your goal progress is tracked and updated in the dashboard, so the only thing you have to worry about is putting things in.

In my opinion, this is where Food Noms really shines.

Camo Review: Turn Your iPhone Into A Stunningly Capable Mac Webcam, by Jason Cross, Macworld

Camo is simply one of the most full-featured, easy-to-use, and delightful ways to rectify the absolutely terrible Mac cameras with the iPhone you’ve already got. It doesn’t yet work with everything, but the compatibility list is long and growing. Odds are, it works with what you need it to work with.


Apple TV+ First Streaming Service To Win Daytime Emmy Award, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

With wins for "Ghostwriter" and "Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10," Apple TV+ has become the first streaming video service to win a Daytime Emmy Award in the first year of availability.

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Either my AirPods case failed to charge this morning when I plugged in the charging cable, or it failed to update the battery level to my iPone accurately when plugged in.

After an hour or two of no change in battery level, I was worried that I have to actually go outside and buy me a pair of new AirPods.

(I use AirPods daily, not just for listening to audiobooks and podcasts, but also for Teams and Zooms.)

Everything seems to be fine now, after I unplugged and re-plugged the lightning cable.



Thanks for reading.

The Shooting-with-My-Palm Edition Monday, July 27, 2020

Dimpy Bhalotia Captures Her World Through ‘A Lightweight Butter Slice’ Called The iPhone, Which Has Also Fetched Her A Top Prize, by Mathures Paul, The Telegraph

I have been shooting with iPhone for over nine years now and I have shot with almost all the generations. It’s a lightweight butter slice always in my hand, which has the entire world in it. It feels like I’m shooting with my palm. And me being a heliophile street photographer — a passionate lover of the sun — what more beauty one can seek without having to produce scenes and light? This craft is a manifestation of one soul full of freedom to explore. Understanding the true semiotics of street photography with iPhone at my convenience is a euphoria.

The Biggest Question About The Next iPhone: What’s In The Box?, by Dan Moren, Macworld

Though we’re still a ways off from any formal announcement of this year’s iPhone, there is a bit of a different spin on the theorizing this year. The most intense speculation isn’t about the aesthetics or functionality of Apple’s upcoming device, but something arguably a little more mundane: what’s included with the phone?

Let’s take a moment to cogitate on what might actually be in that box this fall—aside from a brand new iPhone, naturally— and then delve a little bit into why this seems to be changing right now.

The Work-From-Home Shift Shocked Companies—Now They’re Learning Its Lessons, by Christopher Mims, Wall Street Journal

This shift has yielded an avalanche of data and insights into the habits and technology workers are using to stay productive. They paint a portrait of firms scrambling to use the equipment and software on hand—laptops, phones, internet connections and cloud services—while also rapidly discovering and adopting new technology. Zoom Video Communications had 10 million daily meeting participants in December; four months later, it had 300 million.

Companies are quickly learning lessons about the varied necessities of remote work, from appropriate tools to new styles of management. Fortunes may be won or lost as innovators and upstarts bet on what best suits a homebound workforce. Perhaps the biggest lesson is that we’re in the middle of a gigantic, unplanned experiment, and companies need to continue to try new things while rapidly discarding what doesn’t work.


Apple Now Sells A $129 Thunderbolt 3 Pro Cable, by Sam Byford, The Verge

The $129 Thunderbolt 3 Pro cable is 2 meters long, has a black braided design, and supports both DisplayPort output and USB 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps data transfer — though of course data speeds can be up to Thunderbolt 3’s standard 40Gbps between compatible devices.


What's At Stake For Apple, Disney, And HBO Max At The 2020 Emmys — Streaming Wars, by Ben Travers, Indiewire

Apple is banking on star power to win the day, and it just might work. With a smaller slate than Netflix and HBO, the streamer isn’t looking to have the most nominations or the most wins; it’s looking for recognition, period. Any high-profile nominations will help establish the service as a place where stars can win awards (while still cashing fat checks).

Apple's iOS 14 Holds Uncertain Future For Media Industry, by Ronan Shields, Adweek

Apple’s pending iOS 14 update will require publishers (app developers) to seek consent from device users in order for third parties (app monetization partners) to access data. This in effect makes IDFA an opt-in feature for users, and advertisers will no longer be able to target them by default. Apple will also require app developers, including media owners and brands, to disclose the data they collect and the third parties they share it with.

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Every time I purchase an Apple product that doesn't come with an Apple sticker or two, I feel just a little disappointed.


It rained all day here in Singapore, which is perfect weather to sit by the window, drink some coffee and drink some tea, and read a book or two.

Too bad all I did was reviewing my to-dos, answering emails, participating in some video conferences, and writing a line or two of PHP code.


Thanks for reading.

The Terms-of-the-Store Edition Sunday, July 26, 2020

Anti-trust Hearing With Amazon, Apple, Facebook And Google CEOs Set For Wednesday, by Dalvin Brown, USA Today

Lawmakers have shown interest in Apple's App Store terms and Google's Play Store practices. Facebook has faced scrutiny surrounding its social media dominance and how it handles user data. Officials have questioned whether Amazon is abusing its power in the e-commerce landscape.


An Instagram Bug Showed A ‘Camera On’ Indicator For iOS 14 Devices Even When Users Weren’t Taking Photos, by Kim Lyons, The Verge

An Instagram spokesperson said in an email to The Verge that the behavior was a bug and that it’s being fixed. The app’s Create Mode is accessible from the Instagram camera which could set off the camera indicator, and swiping into the app’s Camera from Feed may also trip it up.


CEOs Need To Learn Tim Cook's 'Empathy' Rule Of Management, by Don Reisinger, Inc

Employees are struggling with a pandemic and as Cook pointed out, the racial injustices some are experiencing. Business leaders need to keep that in mind and continue to have an open dialogue with employees to ensure they're being heard, their concerns are understood, and they're ultimately being treated in ways that make clear the company cares.

Apple Begins Assembling iPhone 11 In India, by Manish Singh, TechCrunch

Apple’s contract manufacturing partner Foxconn has started to assemble the current generation of iPhone units — the iPhone 11 lineup — in its plant near southern city of Chennai, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

A small batch of locally manufactured iPhone 11 units has already shipped to retail stores, but the production yield is currently limited, the person said, requesting anonymity as matters are private.

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There was a break in my routines this past week. My wife has to go for some checkouts at the hospital, and I was to accompany her back as she was to be sedated during the checkout.

Before these strange times, I would have hung around. Drink some coffee, read a book, and listen to some podcasts. Technically, I could still do that now, since Singapore has opened up a bit, and dine-in services at available. (Limitation is five-at-a-table.) But my anxious mind forced me to take a bus to go drink coffee at home, before returning to the hospital afterwards.

Yes, human memory is short. But, I suspect, when we are out on the other side, a lot of us will have our habits and routines changed.


Thanks for reading.

The Face-ID-on-a-Mac Edition Saturday, July 25, 2020

Want Face ID On The Mac? macOS Big Sur Suggests The TrueDepth Camera Is Coming, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

While Face ID is not yet available on any Mac, 9to5Mac found references to the TrueDepth camera on macOS Big Sur, which suggests Apple is working to bring facial recognition to its computers.


However, the implementation is still in the early stages, so it might take some time before Apple announces a new Mac model with the TrueDepth camera to support Face ID.


Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Cam Gains Support For Apple HomeKit, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

With Friday's HomeKit integration, the camera shows up in the Home app, and so do the motion sensor, two-way communication, and the light. The light is adjustable too, allowing users to change the brightness of the LED panel.

Best iPad Drawing Apps For Drawing, Doodling And Everything In Between, by Shelby Brown, CNET

Trying out digital art on my iPad let me experiment with different artistic forms and figures, no real-life mess involved.

How To Back Up Your Digital Life, by Scott Gilbertson, Wired

If the perfect backup existed then sure, three would be overkill, but there is no perfect backup. Things go wrong with backups too. You need to hedge your bets. At the very least you should have two backups, one locally and one remote. For most people this strikes the best balance between safety, cost, and effort.


20 Years Ago, Steve Jobs Built Apple's G4 Cube. It Bombed, by Steven Levy, Wired

But here is something else about Jobs and the Cube that speaks not of failure but why he was a successful leader. Once it was clear that his Cube was a brick, he was quick to cut his losses and move on.

In a 2017 talk at Oxford, Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about the G4 Cube, which he described as “a spectacular commercial failure, from the first day, almost.” But Jobs’ reaction to the bad sales figures showed how quickly, when it became necessary, he could abandon even a product dear to his heart. “Steve, of everyone I’ve known in life,” Cook said at Oxford, “could be the most avid proponent of some position, and within minutes or days, if new information came out, you would think that he never ever thought that before.”

How Taiwan’s Unlikely Digital Minister Hacked The Pandemic, by Andrew Leonard, Wired

It’s safe to say that most governments are not staffed by officials who share much in common with Tang, a trans woman, open-source software hacker, startup entrepreneur, and the youngest (at 35, in 2016) person ever to be appointed a cabinet member in Taiwan. But when the topic is the successful integration of civil society, technological progress, and democratic governance, it’s also safe to say that most countries don’t share all that much in common with Taiwan, either. At least not yet.

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Since my first Quadra 630, I knew I wanted a Mac rather than a PC. But my purchase decisions were mostly dedicated by budget, and I really had no desire to buy beyond what I can afford. The G4 Cube -- with the display and the speakers -- was the only Mac that I desired but couldn't afford.

The Mac mini, which eventually filled the position of the third desktop computer after the iMac and the PowerMac / Mac Pro, was much more practical and cost-effective. But it was never as cool.


I suspect Face ID on a Mac will be limited to iMacs and MacBooks. It will not be on Mac Pros nor Mac minis, just because you can't put the sensors on the same enclosure as the secure enclave.


Thanks for reading.

The Secret-Agreement Edition Friday, July 24, 2020

Amid Antitrust Scrutiny, Apple Makes Quiet Power Moves Over Developers, by Reed Albergotti, Washington Post

Apple announced at its conference that it was opening up Find My so that competing companies would be able to use it, enabling customers to locate products and gadgets that aren’t made by Apple.


But the details of the announcement — kept secret by a confidentiality agreement all developers were required to sign — tell a different story. A 50-page PDF obtained by The Post shows Apple has placed strict restrictions on how consumers will be able to use the app. Apple customers who use Find My to locate a device will be barred from using other competing services simultaneously, the document says.

Future Forward: The 40-year Mission Of An Apple Distinguished Educator, by Apple

Dr. Carl Owens has been teaching his students how to harness the power of technology for 40 years, including more than half as an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE). This year, the ADE program, which recognizes and nurtures educators who are using Apple technology to transform learning, celebrates its 25th anniversary. Owens is one of more than 3,000 educators from 45 countries who have been part of the program during that 25-year history.

Over the course of his career, Owens, 65, has taught thousands of undergraduate, master’s, and PhD students, many of whom were aspiring teachers who went on to teach tens of thousands of their own students. But as the College of Education professor at Tennessee Tech University prepares to retire at the end of the coming school year, don’t ask him to dwell on yesterday — he would much rather imagine tomorrow. For Owens, the future is bright, which has everything to do with the students he’s mentored and the mission they will continue in his stead.

Who Loses Big In The Great Streaming Wars? The User, by Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone

The part of the streaming shell game that I’ve never been able to fully understand — and that has somehow gotten worse with each passing year and each new service debut — is just how bad the user experience is on all of them. It’s been 13 years since Netflix began offering streaming content, with Hulu and others soon to follow, yet the user interfaces consistently seem designed to make finding what you want to see — whether continuing a binge or discovering something new — a Herculean effort. Spend enough time toggling between the services, and you’ll want to quote Hall of Fame baseball manager Casey Stengel trying to make sense of the historically inept 1962 Mets: Can’t anybody here play this game?


Apple Maps Reminding Travellers Of CDC Coronavirus Self-isolation Guidance, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The notification appears to be somewhat contextual. Rather than a blanket message sent out to all Apple Maps users, it seems to be targeting people who have travelled internationally recently, perhaps having visited an airport.

Hands-on With Eufy’s HomeKit Secure Video Camera That Costs Less Than An Apple Dongle, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

I’m glad to see that HomeKit Secure Video cameras are not only becoming more common but also becoming significantly more affordable. The more cameras that are using HomeKit Secure Video means the more pressure Apple faces to make sure the platform is reliable and as feature-rich as third-party apps.

Game Day: Good Sudoku, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Good Sudoku’s focus mode and its note-taking system make it easy to keep track of possible solutions.


Hype Builds As New Apple Store Imminent, by Bangkok Post

The planned unveiling of the new store highlights Apple's confidence in the Thai market despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which is keeping foreign tourists at bay.


"You will be led to experience new possibilities that can spark desire for gaining knowledge and top up imagination," the promotion says.

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And also, all these streaming apps have different user interfaces. Just because you finally figure out how to queue up and watch stuff in Netflix, that doesn't mean you know how to do the same thing in HBO or Amazon Prime.

If only someone come up with a standard user-interface, and everyone just follow... oh wait...


Thanks for reading.

The Accessibility-Awareness Edition Thursday, July 23, 2020

Apple Celebrates 30 Years Of The Americans With Disabilities Act, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Apple today shared a new feature celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law on July 26, 1990. The law prohibits discrimination due to disability, and has led to significant improvements and awareness of accessibility to help disabled individuals navigate their worlds.

Apple Launches Security Research Device Program To Help Researchers Find Security Vulnerabilities In Its Devices, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

There is now a way for security researchers to gain (legal) access to unlocked iPhone test devices which do not have the usual protections surrounding arbitrary code execution and other defences. Access to ‘rooted’ hardware enables security researchers to inspect core parts of the operating system more easily, which helps to track down exploits in the kernel and other low-level areas of the iOS operating system. Apple announced its plans to do this almost a year ago.


Feeling Paranoid? Micro Snitch Tells You If Your Mac Is Spying On You, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Micro Snitch lives in your Mac’s menu bar. Whenever an app accesses your webcam or microphone, a large, square icon of a hat and glasses appears in the center of your screen and then moves to the lower-right corner. You also receive a notification. The hat and glasses icon doesn’t go away until you close it or the activity stops.

Soor 2 Review: Magic Mixes And Release Alerts Elevate The Beautiful Apple Music Client, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Magic mixes enable building highly customizable and dynamic mixes using a variety of Source, Filter, Sort, and Limit options. Since these mixes are dynamic, as new music is released or Apple makes changes to its editorially-curated playlists, your mixes update to reflect an ever-changing roster of matched songs.

Eve For HomeKit App Updated With New Eve Aqua Smart Watering Features, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The Eve app for iPhone and iPad is one of the better solutions for controlling your HomeKit accessories through a third-party app. An update to Eve for HomeKit today brings new features for the Eve Aqua, more powerful context menus, and more.

Adding An External GPU To Your Mac Is Probably A Better Upgrade Option Than Getting A New One, by Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch

But for anybody looking to extend the life of their existing Mac for a few more years to wait and see how the Apple Silicon transition shakes out, updates from Apple and key software partners make an eGPU a great choice.

Here are a couple of Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosure options out there for those considering this upgrade path, and the relative merits of each.


Apple Digs In Over Its App Store Fees, by Leo Kelion, BBC

The iPhone-maker says a study it commissioned shows content makers give away a similar cut to dozens of other online markets, and an even bigger share if their goods are sold offline.

Apple is facing complaints about the matter on both sides of the Atlantic.

Italian Officials Raid Local Offices Of Amazon And Apple For Antitrust Probe Over Sale Of Beats Headphones, by Lauren Feiner, CNBC

Italian antitrust officials said they searched the local offices of Apple and Amazon Tuesday as part of an antitrust probe into whether the companies engaged in anti-competitive cooperation in the sale of Apple products and Beats headphones.

The Italian Competition and Market Authority announced the probe on Wednesday. It said the investigation was aimed at establishing whether Apple and Amazon had reached an anti-competitive agreement to prevent electronics retailers not included in Apple's official program to sell the products.

Apple, Nike Face Pressure Over China Uighur Ties, by BBC

Activists have launched a campaign accusing firms of "bolstering and benefiting" from exploitation of the Muslim minority group.


Apple also said it had investigated the claims. "We have found no evidence of any forced labour on Apple production lines and we plan to continue monitoring," the firm said.

SoftBank Approached Apple To Gauge Interest In Chip Designer Arm, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The two firms had preliminary discussions, but Apple isn’t planning to pursue a bid. Arm’s licensing operation would fit poorly with Apple’s hardware focused business model. There may also be regulatory concerns about Apple owning a key licensee that supplies so many rivals. Representatives from SoftBank and Apple declined to comment.

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I miss the kill file feature in the rn newsgroup reading software that I was using 30 years ago.

(Whether 1990s or 2020s, we always have too many things to read.)


Thanks for reading.

The Privacy-Conscious Edition Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Great Coronavirus-tracing Apps Mystery, by Rory Cellan-Jones & Leo Kelion, BBC

Germany and Ireland have both trumpeted their success in rolling out contact-tracing apps.

But is there any evidence that they are doing what they are designed to do - warning people they could be infected with the virus?

Not yet - and the privacy-conscious way in which they are designed could mean we will never know how effective they have been.

How Apple And Its Employees Gave Irish Healthcare A Boost, by Mark Kavanagh,

The benefits that the Triage app brought to patient care led to the hospital setting up a think tank. The aim is identify how technology can play a further role in improvement clinician-patient engagement.

The implementation of the project also prompted Apple to donate dozens of iPads to the hospital. This was to support communications between patients and their families during the COVID-19 crisis when hospital visits were not allowed.

How Flipping Bacon Lead To An ADA For Song Of Bloom Dev, by Lory Gil, iMore

Stollenmayer is one of those rare game developers whose design esthetic is so iconic that they have a loyal following. People know when they're playing a Kamibox game. "I think it's because, when you play my games, you really know when you're playing that I'm making them while not being bored or doing something that I don't want to do. It's those tiny details that make a difference."


Big Sur Is Both 10.16 And 11.0 – It’s Official, by Howard Oakley, The Eclectic Light Company

For apps built with Xcode, the version returned depends on which version of its SDK they were built with. SDK 10.15 and earlier will consistently respond that Big Sur is major version 10 and minor version 16. This ensures that all existing apps should see Big Sur as simply an incremented minor version, as we had expected before WWDC this year.

Build an app with a new release of Xcode which features the macOS 11 SDK, and the major version will be 11 and the minor version 0. For those porting their apps now to Xcode beta-releases, that is again a consistent target to work to.


The App Of The Summer Is Just A Random-Number Generator, by Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic

It took me a week to find a plastic water bottle full of what could only be pee.

That was after the abandoned house taped off with gas leak warnings, but before I spun around on an unfamiliar block deep in Brooklyn to see three dalmatians wiggling toward me. When I saw the bottle lying in the middle of the sidewalk, it felt like a rite of passage.

This is my summer activity: walking around, or “randonauting” in internet parlance. Water bottles full of pee are known as “piss bottles” in the randonaut community, an inside joke that has inspired T-shirts. It’s pretty simple, as jokes go: If you spend enough time exploring the world at random, you will stumble upon a bottle full of pee.

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Now that Apple has moved on from macOS 10 -- sorry, X -- will Microsoft also move on from Windows 10?


Thanks for reading.

The Carbon-Neutral Edition Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Apple Commits To Being 100% Carbon Neutral For Entire Supply-chain By 2030, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple’s own operations have been 100% carbon neutral for more than two years, but the company has today made a bold commitment for the same to be true of its entire supply-chain by 2030.

The company said that this includes boosting its use of recycled materials and recycling of discarded products so that carbon neutrality applies to the complete life-cycle of all Apple products.

Today At Apple Brings Virtual Art Sessions To Chicago Students This Summer, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

High school students in the Chicago area have an opportunity to get creative from home this summer thanks to a collaboration by Today at Apple. Starting next week, leading muralists, illustrators, and designers from Chicago will share their creativity in free virtual art sessions.


Dark Noise Ambient Sound App For iPhone And iPad Adds Custom Mixes, iCloud Syncing, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

One of the headlining new features of Dark Noise 2 is support for creating custom mixes. Essentially, you can mix multiple sounds together to create a personalized mix with multiples of the same sound or completely different sounds.

Button Remote Returns Physical Button Controls To Your Apple TV, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

Unlike many other remotes that often try to replicate the Siri remote, the Button Remote touts itself as a more traditional alternative.

The Best Bartending Apps For Beginners And Pros Alike, by Zoe Baillargeon, The Manual

Whether you’re a newbie looking to shake things up a bit by turning your kitchen into your own personal bar or a pro mixologist eager to find new craft cocktail recipes or up your mixing game with new techniques, these are the best bartending apps for the job.


Return And Enter Are Two Different Keys, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

A New York Times mini crossword clue over the weekend was based on the notion that “Enter” is just a synonym for the Return key. It’s not. They’re two different keys that usually perform the same action, but not always.

Apple's 'Close Your Rings' Employee Challenge Back On, by Juli Clover

According to an Apple employee that spoke to MacRumors, Apple is reinstating the challenge this week, with the event expected to end on August 16. Employees who finish the challenge will be rewarded with a t-shirt that says “2020” in a logo with ‌Apple Watch‌ Activity-style rings.

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Have we stopped and asked ourselves: should Return and Enter be different? :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Look-Around Edition Monday, July 20, 2020

I Went To A Restaurant And My iPhone Played A Stunning New Role, by Chris Matyszczyk, ZDNet

"Look around," she said. "No one's on their phone. People are actually looking at each other and talking."

That couldn't be the case, surely. I'm so used to sitting in restaurants where there's hardly any conversation unless it's between two or more people, each of whom are holding phones.

Yet my wife's observation was accurate. People really were talking to each other as if this was some strange pre-iPhone time. It didn't matter their age. It didn't matter whether they were with families, lovers, or friends.

iOS 14, iPadOS 14 And watchOS 7 Can Randomize MAC Addresses, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

Device privacy is obviously huge to Apple, but there are a lot of network registration systems that use a device’s MAC address to grant access or to tie a device to an account holder. While not necessarily the best practice, it remains a common enough practice that network and managed device admins will have to deal with this coming this fall.


Castro’s Inbox/Queue Feature Is Game-changing Functionality For Heavy Podcast Users, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

For the other shows (which is the bulk of my subscription list), I can browse the Inbox a few times a day, grab the episodes that look interesting to me, and then clear the rest. I know this sounds like a super simple approach, but it’s been a breath of fresh air for me as I was becoming overwhelmed with the number of shows I had subscribed to over the years. I love podcasts, the main problem I have is that I need more time in the day to listen to all of the great shows.


Apple Card Starts Credit File Reporting To Experian, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

The reporting may make an impact on the customer's credit score, as it will effectively be an extra creditor added to a list the customer may already have. The customer's history with Apple Card, such as payments and how much is used as well as the age of the account, is likely to force Experian to make changes to the user's score, though depending on the circumstances, it may be either a positive or a negative effect.

The Next Phase Of The Retail Apocalypse: Stores Reborn As E-Commerce Warehouses, by Christopher Mims, Wall Street Journal

Welcome to the next phase of the “retail apocalypse.” This conversion—which Sam’s Club has also completed for five other big-box stores throughout the country—is part of a burgeoning trend in which retail spaces of all sizes are being converted into e-commerce fulfillment centers. The global pandemic may have turbocharged the shift from bricks-and-mortar retail to online shopping, but the rate of conversion of retail into industrial spaces has been accelerating for years, says Matthew Walaszek, associate director of industrial and logistics research at CBRE Group Inc., the world’s largest commercial real-estate services firm by revenue.

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I did not notice people are using their phones less outdoors.

Granted, I don't often go outdoors nowadays.


Thanks for reading.

The Simple-Features Edition Sunday, July 19, 2020

Apple Shares New ‘Behind The Mac’ Videos With Musician James Blake, Photographer Tyler Mitchell, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has shared a pair of new videos on its YouTube channel today focusing on how creatives incorporate the Mac into their workflow. One video focuses on musician James Blake, while the other highlights photographer Tyler Mitchell.

These new videos are part of Apple’s “Behind the Mac” series, which highlights some of the artists who use the Mac as an integral part of their setups.

The 15 Best Mac Apps To Make Everyday Life Easier, by Matt Jancer, Wired

The operating system on Apple's computers and laptops, macOS, is stable, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing (the upcoming Big Sur update is especially pretty and clean). But Apple doesn't often listen to its customers, stubbornly refusing to add simple features that would make the platform even easier to use. Plus, stock Apple apps often lack a lot of the functionality we've come to expect in other programs.

Thankfully, there are downloadable programs that can rectify this problem. I've collected a handful of the best Mac apps that help me almost every day. Some are for niche uses, but others fix gaps in vanilla macOS. Most of these apps aren't free, but all have free trials you can check out. It's also common for them to sync with companion apps on your iPhone. Give these a try. Since we're all on our computers more often than ever, these macOS apps might just make your life a little easier.

The Fitting Room Of The Future Is In The Palm Of Your Hand, by Melissa Singer, The Sydney Morning Herald

After coronavirus forced the cancellation of this season's Paris couture shows, Australian-born designer Tamara Ralph, of Ralph & Russo, didn't panic. Instead, she accelerated a plan to digitise the business she started 10 years ago with her husband and fellow Aussie, Michael Russo.

For a company whose gowns can cost well into the tens of thousands – the dress Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wore in her engagement portrait with Prince Harry reportedly cost $97,000 – Russo and Ralph had to come up with a digital way to present their collection that was as premium as its price tags.

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I'm still staying at home. Not that I have anywhere to go.


Thanks for reading.

The Hardware-Based Edition Saturday, July 18, 2020

Apple Has Finally Embraced Key-based 2FA. So Should You, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

The larger point is that, as long as iPhone and iPad users were left out, prospects were dim for hardware-based security keys and other forms of MFA. For the first time, iOS and iPadOS have native support for a widely embraced standard that has the potential to make logins easier and much more secure.

Getting iPhones and iPads onboard could well serve as a tipping point—not just for APP but for hardware-based security keys and other newer forms of MFA. Whatever platform you're on, now is a good time to get acquainted with hardware keys. APP is as good a place as any to start.


Review: The Eve Cam Is A Solid, Privacy-first Option For HomeKit Fans, by Christopher Close, iMore

The Eve Cam, which I have been testing in my home for the past couple of weeks, provides an easy to use, consistent experience, and does so with an emphasis on privacy. This gives me peace of mind that very few indoor cameras can provide.

VOCOlinc PureFlow Adds HomeKit To A New Category, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

When you think of HomeKit enabled products, most people think of light switches, cameras, and door locks. Have you ever considered what an air purifier with HomeKit would look like in your home? I hadn’t until I tried the VOCOlinc PureFlow Air Purifier, but it’s confirmed my thinking that I want everything in my house to controlled with HomeKit.

Five Homeschooling Apps For Young Children, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Just remember to relax, try to have fun with homeschool, and don’t beat yourself up. You’re going to have good days and bad days, strong subjects and weak subjects. The key is to be flexible and keep trying different approaches until you find what works best for your children.


Fun With Charts, Apple Silicon Edition, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

It wouldn’t be surprising, then, for Apple to announce a new Mac processor that’s got a large number of processor cores, some of which would be able to sip power to extend MacBook Pro battery life, and some of which would crank up as fast as possible in moments of true power-user need.

At least, that’s how I read Apple’s chart. We’ll all see how reality matches up later this year.

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I sure hope, in the years to come, there will be a low-end Mac that is less expensive than a high-end iPad.


Thanks for reading.

The Vendor-Designs Edition Friday, July 17, 2020

First Look: New Emojis Coming To iOS In 2020, by Emojipedia

Approved by Unicode as part of Emoji 13.0, the emoji list for 2020 was announced in January 2020. Given that each platform vendor creates its own designs for every emoji, these usually take until the second half of the year to arrive in operating system updates for end users.

Today is the first time Apple has shown the following new 2020 emojis, coming later in the year to iOS, iPadOS and macOS.

The iOS Keyboard Now Suggests The Black Fist Emoji If You Type ‘Black Lives Matter’ Or ‘BLM’, by Jay Peters, The Verge

The emoji, technically known as the “Raised Fist” emoji, has increasingly become a symbol of solidarity with people protesting against racial inequality and police brutality since the death of George Floyd. For example, usage of the medium-dark and dark skin Raised Fist emoji went up dramatically on Twitter in late May and June, according to an Emojipedia analysis. And Raised Fist and all six of its available skin color choices were the most-used emoji by a wide margin in a study of 278,244 tweets sent on June 4th and 5th that included “Black Lives Matter” and “BLM” as hashtags or as text, Emojipedia reported.


Logitech Launches New 'Folio Touch' Keyboard Case With Trackpad For 11-Inch iPad Pro, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Similar in design to the Combo Touch, the Folio Touch features a case that wraps around the ‌iPad‌ along with a laptop-like keyboard with a built-in trackpad that works with the ‌iPad Pro‌’s trackpad support. There’s also an adjustable kickstand to allow for greater positioning flexibility.

Fig Brings iOS Push Notifications To Discourse Forums, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Fig provides native iPhone and iPad interfaces, helps you find new Discourse-based communities, and brings all your Discourse discussions into a single spot.

Camo Lets You Use Your iPhone Or iPad Camera As A Webcam On Mac, by Gayatri Tanksali, Beautiful Pixels

With Camo, you get stunning picture quality for your meetings and the grainy mess from the default FaceTime cameras on the Macs will be a thing of the past.


Apple Banishes 'Blacklist' And 'Master Branch' In Push For Inclusive Language, by Stephen Shankland, CNET

Apple has joined an industry trend toward more inclusive language in its technical domain, replacing terms with racial overtones like a "master" branch of a software project or a "blacklist" to describe resources a computer might be blocked from accessing.

Apple started making the changes in its own documentation and beta software released last month at its WWDC conference. But on Thursday, it started describing the changes more directly on its developer website to programmers who might be affected by the change. That's important since some terminology changes can actually affect how code works -- for example programming interfaces that use particular words.


Apple Helps Facilitate Coding And Creativity Opportunities At Historically Black Colleges And Universities, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple says this initiative will introduce more students and adult learners to coding and app design through its free “Everyone Can Code” and “Everyone Can Create” curricula, helping to facilitate coding clubs, for-credit coding courses, community coding events, and workforce development opportunities for learners of all ages.

Siri, Alexa Targeted As EU Probes ‘Internet Of Things’, by Aoife White, Bloomberg

Voice assistants such as Apple Inc.’s Siri and Inc.’s Alexa face scrutiny as the European Union opened a sweeping antitrust inquiry into how Silicon Valley uses data to gain a tight grip on growing markets.

Regulators already see signs that tech giants might be restricting access to data or making products that don’t work well with those made by other companies, the European Commission said in a statement on Thursday announcing the probe into the so-called internet of things.

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Happy Emoji day! Have a good day talking with nothing but emojis!

(Now, let's have a talk-what-you-mean and mean-what-you-talk day.)


Thanks for reading.

The Audio-News Edition Thursday, July 16, 2020

Apple Releases iOS 13.6 With Apple News Audio Features And Expanded Local News Coverage, Plus Digital Car Key Support, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Apple News is entering the world of audio through two main products: a daily news program called Apple News Today, which is available free to all users, as well as premium audio versions of News+ stories which are exclusive to paying News+ subscribers. iOS 13.6 also introduces curated local news experiences to Apple News in a handful of regions, and brings initial support for the digital car key feature first announced at WWDC.

How To Subscribe To Apple's Free Daily News Podcast, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple News Today is available as a free podcast. Although Apple is not actively advertising it, you can subscribe to the show in any podcast app that supports RSS. This method allows anyone to tune in, worldwide.

Apple Releases macOS 10.15.6 Update, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

In conjunction with the announcement of new Apple News features, Apple on Wednesday released macOS 10.15.6 Catalina, an update to the Mac operating system.


Apple Expanding AppleCare+ Monthly Payments To Canada, Australia And Japan, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple is expanding AppleCare+ monthly payment options to Canada, Australia, and Japan, allowing customers in these countries to pay for ‌AppleCare‌+ for iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches on a monthly basis.

Pixelmator Pro 1.7 For Mac Adds Type On A Curve, Improved ML Super Resolution, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

The latest update to image editing app Pixelmator Pro for the Mac introduces new features such as the ability add curved and circular text, plus improvements to its Machine Learning tools.

Eve Cam: An Excellent Addition To A HomeKit Secure Video Setup, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Announced at CES this year, what drew me to the camera was its slim profile and HomeKit Secure Video support. I’ve used other Eve home automation products in the past and had high hopes that the Eve Cam would be just as easy to install, and as reliable as the electrical outlets and door sensors I’ve tried. So far, I haven’t been disappointed.


You’re Doomscrolling Again. Here’s How To Snap Out Of It., by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

“It’s the path of least resistance to keep consuming passively through social media,” said Dr. Vivek Murthy, the former surgeon general who has written extensively about the impact of loneliness on personal health. “You have to pull yourself out of that. It’s not just disengaging but also dealing with the impact that has on your mind-set, which can often last for hours.”

Fret not: We aren’t doomed just yet, and there are approaches to modifying our behavior. We can create structure in our lives, for one, and practice meditation techniques, for another. Here’s what the health and wellness experts say.


Today At Apple Everywhere: Imagining The Future Of Online Creativity, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

The way we learn and create was transformed overnight when COVID-19 swept the world. As Apple Stores closed and in-store Today at Apple sessions were put on hold, an online outpouring of creativity proved that the arts remain essential to our lives even under extraordinary circumstances. When our crisis winds down, how can Apple continue to expand its in-store creative platform online to reach even more creatives looking for inspiration at any time?

Apple Didn’t Win The Irish Tax Case – The EU Lost It (For Now), by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

The EU can, if it chooses to appeal, ensure that it makes a better job of arguing both the facts and the law. If it does so, both logic and precedent say it should win. The Irish tax case isn’t over yet.

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I've picked up books to read based on what I've listened on a podcast. I've seldom picked up a newspaper or a magazine to read specific articles based on what I've listend on a podcast.


Thanks for reading.

The Legal-Standards Edition Wednesday, July 15, 2020

A Dozen Years Of App Store: Democritizing Software Under Apple's Rigid Rules, by David Lumb, TechRadar

The biggest obstacle might be one of the App Store’s own making, though developers aren’t shirking their own responsibility: after the software market opened, teams responded to steep competition by dropping prices in a widely-acknowledged ‘race to the bottom.’


But the effects of this choice – charge upfront or a regular subscription – will run into another problem that is, ironically, enabled by a minor software revolution: once Macs fully integrate Apple-built silicon over the next two years (as announced at WWDC 2020), consumers will expect to pay once for apps that work across the entire Apple ecosystem.

Apple Customers Can Now Submit Claims As Part Of Settlement Over Slowing Down iPhones, by Rishi Iyengar, CNN

Apple customers who purchased certain previous iPhone models can now submit claims for about $25 per phone as part of the company's settlement of a class action lawsuit that accused it of slowing down older devices.

The settlement, announced in March, applies to customers who purchased the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus and or the SE before December 21, 2017 and experienced performance issues, according to a website set up for users to submit claims.

Apple Wins Major Tax Battle Against EU, by Valentina Pop and Sam Schechner, Wall Street Journal

Apple Inc. won a major battle with the European Union, when the bloc’s second-highest court on Wednesday sided with the U.S. company over a €13 billion ($14.8 billion) tax bill that EU antitrust officials had said the company owed to Ireland.


But in its judgment on Wednesday, the General Court said it annulled the commission’s decision because it had failed to meet the legal standards in showing that Apple was granted an illegal subsidy.


Nudget For iPhone Is A New Budgeting App Focused On Easily Tracking Expenses And Insights, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

There are quite a few different approaches to budgeting, and that is certainly not a bad thing. For iPhone users, one of the newest solutions is an app called Nudget, which puts the focus on seamless support for recording and tracking your purchases.

Ulysses 20 Review: New Dashboard Featuring Advanced Grammar And Style Check, Outline, And Much More, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Ulysses 20 is an update all about the quality of its improvements over quantity. On paper there are only two new features, but each of these features represents a major advancement for the app.

Apple Notes Vs Evernote: Which Note-Taking App Is Better, by Parth Shah, Guiding Tech

Apple Notes offer better OS integration, and it is free to use. Evernote is feature-rich, offers better organization and the web clipper is the best in business.

Logitech’s New Mac-specific Mouse And Keyboards Are The New Best Choices For Mac Input Devices, by Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch

These aren’t dramatically different devices from the existing versions that Logitech offers – but that’s a good thing in this case, and it elevates what were already amazing peripherals to no-brainer default choices for Mac users.

NBCUniversal's 'Free' Streaming Service Peacock Launches On iPhone, iPad And Apple TV, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Peacock is available today in the iOS and tvOS App Store. Peacock includes titles like Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Parks and Recreation, Downton Abbey and will be the home of The Office when it leaves Netflix at the end of 2020. Peacock is offered in three tiers, including a free ad-supported plan.


You've Only Added Two Lines – Why Did That Take Two Days?, by Matt Lacey

Why did a fix that seems so simple when looking at the changes made take two days to complete?


Apple Recloses Eight Stores In Maryland, Missouri, Virginia, And Wisconsin, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple is re-closing eight more retail stores across the United States, in the states of Maryland, Missouri, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

New EU Regulation Gives Developers More Protection And Transparency In App Store Review, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

[O]ne of the new requirements is that operators of app distribution platforms like Apple provide developers with a minimum of 30 days notice before removing their apps from the ‌App Store‌, with exceptions for illicit or inappropriate content, safety concerns, counterfeiting, fraud, malware, spam, and apps that have suffered a data breach.

As Tech Giants Rally Against Hong Kong Security Law, Apple Holds Out, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

The move by Silicon Valley to cut off Hong Kong authorities from their vast pools of data may be a largely symbolic move, given any overseas data demands are first screened by the Justice Department in a laborious and frequently lengthy legal process. But by holding out, Apple is also sending its own message: Its ardent commitment to human rights — privacy and free speech — stops at the border of Hong Kong.

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Get through the day with busyness, and hope to sleep through the night without waking up. Somewhere inside my brain is a tiny voice protesting that these are opposing goals.


Thanks for reading.

The Press-Play Edition Tuesday, July 14, 2020

How Many Tech Titans Does It Take To Change A Light Switch?, by Tim Bradshaw, Financial Times

Ever since the iPhone’s touchscreen slew the BlackBerry’s keyboard more than a decade ago, software has made buttons infinitely malleable.

However, that can also make them more ambiguous. Tactile, single-purpose buttons are blunt but effective instruments. Everyone knew how to press play on an iPod or VCR, sometimes without even having to look. Once designers leave that obviousness behind, they risk confusing people.

Apple Pessimistic On Full 2020 Return To U.S. Offices, Pushes Retail To Work Remote, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is pushing retail staff to work remotely as the virus forces the company to shut some of its stores again, according to a video message sent to employees. It is also shipping Covid-19 test kits to employees’ homes, and told staff in a memo that a full return to U.S. offices won’t occur before the end of the year.

In a video shared with Apple retail employees over the weekend, Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and people, pressed employees working at stores that have closed again to begin working from home to serve customers buying or seeking support for products online or over the phone.


Apple Highlights Hardware And Apps In ‘The Whole Work-From-Home Thing’, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The new video follows the same group of colleagues as they attempt to design an all-new box while working from home. The story follows the quartet as they work around the clock on a tight deadline while juggling personal obligations and coping with working remotely.

The pace is frenetic. Over the course of the multi-day ordeal, the group turns to their Macs, iPads, and iPhones to come up with ideas and design the box. They also rely on a wide array of apps, including third-party apps like MindNode and Adobe InDesign.

Ulysses Gets Redesigned Dashboard With Style And Grammar Checker, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

The grammar and style check is an integration of the LanguageTool Plus service, and can analyze texts and provide informed suggestions in categories such as capitalization, punctuation, semantics, redundancy, typography, and style.


Why Older People Really Eschew Technology. (It’s Not Because They Don’t Understand It.), by Joelle Renstrom, Slate

There’s a widespread idea that seniors are technologically illiterate or dislike devices, but that’s not necessarily the case. Instead, older adults adopt tech they find useful and resist tech they don’t. In normal times, that can be problematic when it comes to filing online forms or accessing test results. But in the pandemic, when internet connectivity drives social engagement and medical care, this misconception could be deadly. Roughly 27 percent of Americans over 65 are not online, and understanding why is key to changing that. If companies designed devices and software with value for seniors, not as many older people would find themselves on the other side of the digital divide. During a pandemic, that could save lives.

Apple Pays Samsung An Estimated $950 Million For Missing OLED Panel Purchase Targets, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Samsung last week shared guidance on revenue and operating profit for the second quarter of 2020, which included a one-time gain related to its display business. The one-time payment is believed to be from Apple, caused by Apple purchasing fewer than expected OLED panels for smartphones during the second quarter of the year.

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A few years ago, my wife made an obseration about my outlook: As I grew older, I've had become more pessimistic. And now, in these stranges times, it is probably expected that I am waking up pessmistic more than optimistic.

There was a study recently that claimed that middle-age misery peaks at around age 47. Perhaps this warrants a revision today. I'm on the other side of the peak -- and it is not getting better.


Thanks for reading.

The Screen-Breakages Edition Monday, July 13, 2020

The Real Reason Apple Is Warning Users About MacBook Camera Covers, by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, ZDNet

I spoke to an Apple repair technician, who, on condition of anonymity, gave ZDNet a rundown of the problem.

"What we've been told is that since people have started to work and study from home more, the use of camera covers has gone up dramatically," the repair tech told me. "It makes sense, people are using video more and more, and it can feel intrusive, so being able to slide a cover across the camera offers some privacy even mid-meetings where people might not want to disconnect. But consequently, the number of screen breakages are up. And it's a pretty distinctive screen break -- leaving a glowing white line down the middle of the display -- so we know why it's happened even if people are evasive about how the damage happened."

Apple Music's Dan Adams On Supporting Songwriters And Publishers, by Andre Paine, Music Week

Adams said the new award underlines Apple Music’s support for songwriters.

“We're an artist first company,” he said. “For us, that very much includes the artistry of songwriters – and producers as well – that goes into making a great song. My team was set up to serve those songwriters and their publishers around the world. Our goal is to build creative relationships that deliver new opportunities for them across the Apple ecosystem, and help them understand and engage with us.”


Directive Review: Reminder App Designed With Home And Auto Needs In Mind, by J.R. Bookwalter, Macworld

Directive makes it easy to keep track of recurring maintenance tasks that would otherwise clutter up your to-do list app.

Review: The New August Is The Best Wi-Fi Connected HomeKit Smart Lock Around, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

DoorSense is great to make sure your door isn't left open, and the August app and Apple Watch app are reliable and feature-rich.


Hybrid Remote Work Offers The Worst Of Both Worlds, by Sid Sijbrandij, Wired

Success with a remote workforce, hybrid or fully remote, requires operational intentionality. Unquestioningly sticking to systems and processes that made an office-based model successful will doom any remote model to fail.


I Turned Off Autocorrect On My iPhone And Learned A Terrible Lesson, by Dinu Das, Best Gaming Pro

They know the keyboard’s too small. That they had no actual choice to make it greater. So that they needed to create one thing to make you look — and really feel — barely much less of an fool for having purchased a really intelligent iPhone.

Apple To Announce Q3 2020 Earnings On July 30, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The quarter began on March 29, just over two weeks after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Apple did not provide guidance for the quarter due to these uncertain times, but analysts expect the company to report revenue of $51.4B on average, down from a record $53.8B in the year-ago quarter.

Apple Taps First $400 Million Of $2.5 Billion California Housing Pledge, by Louis Hansen, San Jose Mercury News

Making a downpayment on its housing pledge, Apple announced Monday it has committed $400 million to affordable housing projects this year across California, including immediate assistance for struggling Bay Area tenants and four, new low-income projects across the region.

The short-term aid and construction projects mark the first installment of the tech giant’s $2.5 billion commitment to address the state’s housing crisis.

The Too-Efficient Edition Sunday, July 12, 2020

Review: Eve Cam Protects Your Home And Your Privacy, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

The Eve Cam is a new HomeKit Secure Video-enabled camera that protects your home with high-quality video coverage, but also your privacy by committing only to Apple's smart home platform.

"The Blind Leading The Blind", by Olof Hellman

Each little step towards real inclusivity might be life-changing. If you imagine a world where “the blind leading the blind” is a sign of a well-functioning, caring, joyful world, you can be part of the transformation of society, and the traditional sense of the phrase “the blind leading the blind” will no longer make sense to you. That’s a glorious world to live in.

Just Too Efficient, by Tim Bray

It’s hard to think of a position more radical than being “against efficiency”. And I’m not. Efficiency is a good, and like most good things, has to be bought somehow, and paid for. There is a point where the price is too high, and we’ve passed it.

Apple Supplier Foxconn To Invest $1 Billion In India, Sources Say, by Sankalp Phartiyal, Yimou Lee, Reuters

Foxconn plans to invest up to $1 billion to expand a factory in southern India where the Taiwanese contract manufacturer assembles Apple iPhones, two sources said.

The move, the scale of which has not previously been reported, is part of a quiet and gradual production shift by Apple away from China as it navigates disruptions from a trade war between Beijing and Washington and the coronavirus crisis.

Bottom of the Page

Sometimes, I wish there is someone or something that just tell me what to do, so that I can use my brain for other things that really do matter to me.


Thanks for reading.

The Crash-Triggering Edition Saturday, July 11, 2020

Apple Apps Collapse As Facebook Takes Blame, by BBC

Of this latest failure, Facebook said in a statement: "Earlier today, a code change triggered crashes for some iOS apps using the Facebook SDK [software developer kit]. We identified the issue quickly and resolved it. We apologise for any inconvenience."


The two incidents have led some to question whether Facebook has too much power over independent apps.

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With A Cover Over The Camera, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone.


Damage from applying a webcam cover to the camera is considered accidental and can be repaired under AppleCare+, but it's quite possible it's an issue that Apple won't fix for customers that don't have ‌AppleCare‌+, and it's an expensive fix.


The PortCozy Protects Your MacBook Pro's Ports From Dust And Debris, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The PortCozy is a simple silicone plug that’s meant to plug into the USB-C ports on Apple’s MacBook Pro models to keep out dirt, dust, debris, and moisture while traveling or when the MacBook is not in use.


I Am Here To Demonize Spotify, by Richard Beck, n+1

Finally, there was Spotify. I am here to demonize Spotify. Its negative impact on the lives of working musicians has been well documented, as have its homogenizing effects on music itself (the intensified need to make sure that listeners don’t get bored within the first thirty seconds and skip to the next track, songs getting shorter because artists are paid by the single play, et cetera). But Spotify also degrades the experience of listening to music. Like the rest of the internet, it encourages impatience. You listen to a track or album, and if it doesn’t grab you right away, you skip to the next thing, and then you never come back to it. You may intend to, but you won’t. There are too many playlists, too many slapped-together musical mood-boards, too many mixes claiming to document subgenres that don’t exist—opening the app on my phone just now, I’m being asked to delve into something called “Organic Experimental.” The platform is a fire hose of asinine recommendations for songs you haven’t heard that were only recommended to you because they’re as similar as possible to songs you have. (In the words of one Guardian writer: “You like bread? Try toast!”) In pursuit of its goal of perfect, frictionless streaming, Spotify encourages you to outsource the work of deciding what you like and dislike, and of figuring out why. In other words, it discourages listening to music as such. Not all listening requires immersive attentiveness—that’s what the radio is for—but in its attempts to swallow up radio and home listening alike, Spotify turns all music into something that fills up the background while you work or exercise or scroll through Twitter. And at least radio stations have DJs. Listening to Spotify is like listening to a radio station run by the stupidest version of myself.

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When I join a Teams or Zoom meeting while working from home, I always assume my microphone is on and people can hear me -- even when I am not wearing my AirPods, or when I have press the software 'mute' button.

I use my iPhone as a camera, which does give me some assurance because of the sandbox model on iOS.


Sure, there is an indicator light, but a camera cover is preventive while noticing the indicator light is on is reactive.

Maybe Apple can start building laptops with a slightly thicker screen so that it can build a camera cover into the case?


Thanks for reading.

The Potentially-Buggy Edition Friday, July 10, 2020

Apple Opens First Public Betas For iOS And iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur, tvOS 14, And watchOS 7, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple has opened its public beta program for iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 on the Apple Beta Software Program website. One notable difference between this year’s public betas and those of past years is that this is the first time watchOS has been included in the program.


If you would like to sign up but haven’t, visit and log in using your Apple ID. It should go without saying that you should only install betas on your devices after you’ve taken appropriate steps to protect your data and are willing to endure potentially buggy software.

Widgets And The App Library: A First Look At Bringing Personality And Customization To Your Home Screens, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Stacks are widgets’ superpower. I eliminated a dozen app slots on my iPhone Home screen but replaced them with thirteen widgets. Of course, those widgets aren’t visible simultaneously, but between their built-in smarts and the ease of flicking through them quickly, they don’t need to be. Add deep linking to photos from years past, notes stored in nested folders, and my favorite playlists, and the result is a more personalized, relevant Home screen experience that requires far less tapping around on my phone.

Adjusting to the new setups was far easier than I expected, and even with just the system widgets, the experience has been outstanding.

First Look: iOS 14 Public Beta, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

I like the idea of the App Library, but it does feel a bit redundant. Its top two features, the search box and Siri Suggestions, are also available by swiping down and getting to that Search screen. Yes, the two screens are different—the swipe down brings up the keyboard so you can quickly type a search query (and it searches everything, not just apps), while in App Library you have to tap on the search box to enter text (or just scroll through an excellent alphabetized list of all installed apps)—but they’re not that different.

As much as I like the look of the App Library, I question how much I’ll use it, since I can still swipe down and search for apps from the Search window. It feels like these two features could stand to be redesigned so that there’s less overlap between them.

Two Weeks With iPadOS 14: Redefining The Modern iPad Experience, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Apple’s challenge for the future of iPadOS is to rid the platform of features that are only optimized for one of the device’s modes. At this point, it’s evident that any modern iPadOS app needs to feel great both when used with touch and the keyboard-trackpad combo – a unique problem Apple never faced in any of their other OSes before. The changes in iPadOS 14, while not revolutionary when considered in isolation, are part of this bigger narrative, and they’re paving the way for a redefinition of the iPad app ecosystem, powered by an OS built around modularity and multiple interaction methods.

My experience with iPadOS 14 over the past few weeks suggests that while deeper system changes may be awaiting us next year, this year’s update has a chance to put iPad apps on a new trajectory, resulting in a more versatile, desktop-inspired but still uniquely-iPad experience.

iOS And iPadOS 14 Public Beta Preview: Something For Everybody, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

Going back and fixing a mistranscription is not quite as elegant as you’d probably like. You can circle words to select them or scratch them out to erase them, but nailing cursor placement and word insertion feels a little haphazard. It’s very close to being great, but there’s a kind of uncanny valley of interaction it falls into.

All that said, I love Scribble for short bits of text, like jotting a search into the Safari URL bar or a quick text in Messages. It makes it so you can leave the Apple Pencil in your hand more if that’s what you’re already using in the first place. There’s a better “flow” to it, to borrow a term from Microsoft’s Panos Panay (who knows a thing or two about pen input on tablets).


Apple Updates iWork For Mac With YouTube And Vimeo Integration, More, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

These updates bring YouTube and Vimeo integration to Numbers and Pages, in addition to captions and titles to images, videos, and more.

GoPro’s New Mac App Lets You Use The Hero 8 Action Camera As A Wide-angle Webcam, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

GoPro has joined the growing number of camera makers allowing their hardware to be used as webcams. With a new version of the GoPro Webcam desktop utility, GoPro Hero 8 users can now use their device as a 1080p wide-angle Mac webcam.


Apple Updates Coding Resources For Students, Teachers, And Families, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple has updated its lineup of coding resources for kids and educators across the board and introduced all-new resources for parents and children interested in learning to program from home.

Unreal’s New iPhone App Does Live Motion Capture With Face ID Sensors, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Unreal Engine developer Epic Games has released Live Link Face, an iPhone app that uses the front-facing 3D sensors in the phone to do live motion capture for facial animations in 3D projects like video games, animations, or films.


Apple Recloses 10 More Stores In Southern California, Ohio, Tennessee, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple is reclosing 10 more US stores in California, Ohio, and Tennessee due to deteriorating COVID-19 conditions. The latest round of reclosings adds to 2 stores temporarily shuttered earlier this week for a total of 90 US locations reclosed due to COVID-19.

A Moment Of Clarity Regarding The Raison D’Être For The App Store, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

I’d like to see all the vim, vigor, and vigilance Apple applies to making sure no app on the App Store is making a dime without Apple getting three cents applied instead to making sure there aren’t any scams or ripoffs, and that popular apps support good-citizen-of-the-platform features within a reasonable amount of time after those features are introduced in the OS. I don’t know exactly how long “reasonable” is, but five fucking years for split-screen support ain’t it.

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Stay safe. And if you are installing the public betas, stay backup-ed.


Thanks for reading.

The Committed-to-the-Future Edition Thursday, July 9, 2020

Apple Promises To Support Thunderbolt On Its New ARM Macs, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

Apple is moving away from Intel’s chipsets in favor of its new, custom-designed ARM chips — but the company is promising that it’ll still support Intel’s Thunderbolt USB-C connectivity standard on new Apple silicon computers, despite the lack of Intel processors.

“Over a decade ago, Apple partnered with Intel to design and develop Thunderbolt, and today our customers enjoy the speed and flexibility it brings to every Mac. We remain committed to the future of Thunderbolt and will support it in Macs with Apple silicon,” commented an Apple spokesperson, in a statement to The Verge.

Apple Takes Its iPhone Independent Repair Program International, by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac

The program launched in the United States last fall. Today it is expanding out of the U.S. for the first time. It’s also announcing that a total of more than 700 registered independent repair providers are now available across America.

“We are thrilled to expand our independent repair program to more locations across the US and to businesses across Europe and Canada,” said Apple COO Jeff Williams. “When a customer needs a repair, we want them to have a range of options that not only suits their needs but also guarantees safety and quality so their iPhone can be used for as long as possible.”

How Apple And Stanford Are Speeding Up Medical Discoveries, by Maria Aspan, Fortune

“A really important part of the work we do is really thinking about: What is the science that we're bringing to bear, and is it grounded in evidence? And then how do we take that and make it usable?,” said Dr. Sumbul Desai, Apple’s vice president of health, during a panel discussion at Fortune’s virtual Brainstorm Health event.

In November, Stanford researchers published the results of their Apple Heart Study in the New England Journal of Medicine, finding that wearable devices (like Apple Watches) could detect irregular heart beats. The clinical study, which was funded by Apple, enrolled more than 419,000 participants over eight months—a large and remarkably fast accomplishment for a clinical trial, and “far beyond what we anticipated,” Desai said.


Apple Stores Now Offer Reservations To Shop With A Specialist, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Starting today, Apple Store visitors can head online before visiting the store in person and schedule a Shop with a Specialist appointment. Booking an appointment guarantees you a time to comfortably browse inside the store and shop without the hassle of waiting or potentially being turned away at the door. Customers with appointments will still need to follow Apple’s health and safety guidelines and wear a mask while inside.

New 'Behind The Mac' Ad Spot Features Grammy Winner James Blake, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

In the latest installment of the ad campaign, Blake can be seen working on his latest track, "Are you even real," using Logic Pro X on his MacBook Pro. According to Apple, the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist uses his Mac device to edit, pitch, loop, and layer his latest song.

Stress Apps For iPhone Designed To Help You Relax, by Matthew Byrd, The App Factor

It’s hardly a surprise that everyone seems to be looking for stress apps. Current events aside, we live in a time when it feels like you’ve got to be aware of all the horrors in the world. On top of that, you’ve got to manage the various stress sources in your daily life.

We can’t promise you that an app can help change all of that. However, the right app can be an important part of a stress management routine. They’re something you can reach for during a bad time to help you get through it all.

Taskheat Is A Powerful Task Manager For iOS And macOS With Advanced Flowcharts, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

And for users who want to take task management to the next level, the Flowchart mode enables a new experience that lets you precisely organize your tasks’ priority.

REC iPhone App From Camera+ Is A Pro Video Recorder With Full Manual Controls, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The developers behind Camera+ have unveiled their latest app called REC. As the name suggests, it’s designed to shoot video and brings pro-quality full manual control for focus, exposure, white balance, bitrate, audio gain, and more.

Osmo Is A Home-school Hero – An App That Educates And Distracts, by Ciara O'Brien, Irish Times

Osmo has a good line in hybrid games, where you use an app on the iPad but the game pieces are real world. That could be anything from letter tiles to make words to a detective set that includs maps and a magnifying glass. They manage to combine the best of both worlds, and in some cases are educational too.

Sling TV For Apple TV Adds Free Local Channels Support With AirTV 2 Network Tuner, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

If you’re a Sling TV user with an Apple TV, a new update to the service today brings deep ingrate with AirTV 2 network tuners and local channels. With this update, Apple TV users can now access local channels in the Sling TV channel guide.

Fujifilm’s macOS Webcam Tool Is Out Now, by Sam Byford, The Verge

Fujifilm has released its software that lets you use X-series mirrorless cameras as a webcam for your Mac.


The Switch To Apple Silicon: Will The Touch Bar Survive?, by Jason Snell, Macworld

I can’t say what Apple will do with the Touch Bar. But if I had to guess, I’d say that the lack of effort put into the Touch Bar in the past few macOS updates suggests that Apple itself doesn’t believe in it, and has been waiting for an appropriate moment to let it fade away. The transition to Apple silicon is that moment. And while I kind of like the idea of a widget bar at the top of my MacBook keyboard, it’s an idea that feels like it’s trying a bit too hard.

That’s the story of the Touch Bar as a whole, isn’t it? It was designed to address some of the Intel Mac’s deficiencies, and with Apple silicon those deficiencies are going to be wiped away. The Touch Bar’s services are no longer needed.

Intel Details Thunderbolt 4: Required DMA Protection, Longer Cables, And More, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Intel has outlined what to expect from the new Thunderbolt 4 standard, which is expected to start appearing in consumer devices later this year.

While it won't offer an increase over the 40GB/s that Thunderbolt 3 does, Thunderbolt 4 has steeper minimum requirements than Thunderbolt 3 for devices to claim certification—and that makes some new features and perks standard.

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I don't think too many people had doubts that Apple is going to drop Thunderbolt, but it is nice to have the support confirmed.

Apple has been saying many right things about the future of the Mac. Let's now sit back and watch the execution.


Thanks for reading.

The Environmental-Sounds Edition Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Apple's iOS Update Comes With A New Accessibility Feature — But Big Tech Still Has A Long Way To Go If It Wants To Be Truly Accessible, by Sarah Katz, Business Insider

I was born deaf more than 30 years ago, so I consider myself skilled at navigating an inaccessible world. But despite my visual attentiveness and high-powered hearing aids, some events escape my notice. For instance, as I was sleeping a couple weeks ago, my bathroom and office flooded with an inch of water after I accidentally left the sink running overnight. It caused costly water damage in the ceiling of my neighbor's apartment below.

But Apple's new accessibility feature, which will debut in the iOS 14 update of the operating system when it releases this fall, could prevent such a thing from happening again. The feature, announced during Apple's virtual Worldwide Developers Conference, will alert deaf and hard-of-hearing users by text to doorbells and door knocks; fire, smoke, and siren alarms; and other specific environmental sounds (14 in total), including shouting, a baby crying, a dog barking, a cat meowing, and — lo and behold — running water.

Apple Stores In Melbourne Area Reclose After Lockdown Returns, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple is reclosing all of its stores in the greater Melbourne area of Australia as portions of the state of Victoria prepare to enforce new lockdown measures. Australia has reported a growing number of COVID-19 infections over the past several weeks and is reimposing travel and business restrictions as a preventative measure.

On Security

Will macOS Protect You From Ransomware Like ThiefQuest?, by Howard Oakley, Ecletic Light Company

Just a week after security researchers discovered what the macOS ransomware ThiefQuest (alias EvilQuest) does, Apple pushed an update to XProtect which detects that malware, although you won’t find that documented by Apple. What’s unfortunate is that those who most need this additional protection are also those least likely to benefit from it. Let me explain.

Coming This Fall

Apple Is Working On QR Code Payments For Apple Pay, iOS 14 Code Reveals, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

References found in the iOS 14 code reveal that Apple is working on a new method for letting users make payments with Apple Pay by scanning a QR Code or traditional barcode with the iPhone camera.

Apple Adds Apple Pay Support For Catalyst Apps With macOS Big Sur Beta 2, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

The addition of the Apple Pay API for Catalyst apps was mentioned in the release notes of iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur developer beta 2. According to Apple, developers won’t have to make big changes to get Apple Pay working in Catalyst apps.


Some iPhone Users Report Significant Battery Drain Due To Music App Background Activity, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Hundreds of users, many running iOS 13.5.1 on devices both new and old, are experiencing rapid battery drain when the Music app is not in use. In some cases, the background activity occurs over several hours each day, even if the app has not been used for weeks or even at all.


Virus-Tracing Apps Are Rife With Problems. Governments Are Rushing To Fix Them., by Natasha Singer, New York Times

Norway is one of many countries that rushed out apps to trace and monitor the coronavirus this spring, only to scramble to address serious complaints that soon arose over extensive user data-mining or poor security practices. Human rights groups and technologists have warned that the design of many apps put hundreds of millions of people at risk for stalking, scams, identity theft or oppressive government tracking — and could undermine trust in public health efforts. The problems have emerged just as some countries are poised to deploy even more intrusive technologies, including asking hundreds of thousands of workers to wear virus-tracking wristbands around the clock.

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The wearability of the Apple Watch, but with the bigger screen of the iPhone. Could this be the Apple Glasses?


Thanks for reading.

The Optimized-for-Mac Edition Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Why 'Appification' Is The Real Threat Facing The Mac, by Anders Lundberg, Macworld UK

Apple's biggest challenge is creating incentives for developers to make their apps objectively better, and properly optimised for the Mac. It may not be possible to prevent bad apps from becoming profitable - a utopia where every app in the store is fantastic and no one tries to make money on cheap tricks is too much to hope for - but somehow it must be profitable for developers to care.

The results will be something completely different from the Mac we've known and loved for almost 40 years, but it can still be good.

After The Mac's Processors, Apple's Next Transition Is Apps, by Michael Simon, Macworld

It might not have gotten its own segment during the WWDC keynote, but Apple laid down the tracks for a major shift away from traditional apps over the next several years. It won’t be as sudden or even as quick as the move to Apple’s silicon, but before long apps aren’t going to be something we need to download before we can use them. Rather they’re going to be ever-present, glanceable, dynamic, and agnostic extensions that adapt to both our location and the device we’re using without needing to visit a store.

Apple Re-closes Texas Stores, Including Two In San Antonio, by Madison Iszler, San Antonio Express-News

Apple has temporarily closed its Texas stores once again as COVID-19 cases in the state continue to surge.

All 17 of the company’s Texas locations are shuttered until further notice, including two stores in San Antonio — at the Shops at La Cantera and North Star Mall.


Apple Music's 'Africa Rising' Program Highlights Emerging African Artists, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Apple Music this week launched a new artist discovery initiative and accompanying playlist that will highlight artists and musicians from Africa.

As part of the "Africa Rising" program, the Apple Music editorial team will select an artist from the continent to highlight every two months. A companion playlist will also feature songs from some of Africa's newest emerging artists.

Hands-on: Logitech MX Master 3, MX Keys, And K380 Keyboard, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

Today Logitech is releasing Mac-flavored iterations of a few of its most popular peripherals. The MX Master 3 for Mac is the latest iteration of the popular wireless mouse for creative professionals, sporting a Mac-friendly space gray exterior and USB-C to USB-C cable for easy recharging. MX Keys is a wireless keyboard with Mac-centric keys and built-in person-sensing backlight. It too comes with a space gray exterior and is the perfect companion for the MX Master 3.

Apps We’re Trying: GoodLinks, by Josh Ginter, The Sweet Setup

GoodLinks’ quick share sheet saving extension, great reading mode, cross-platform compatibility, and extensive action support make it a better read-it-later app for me.

Portrait Mode Videos Come To iPhone With Focos Live App, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Focos Live allows you to shoot wide aperture with Bokeh effect videos for iPhones “on dual camera, triple camera, and front Face ID camera.”


How We Shot The Talk Show Remote From WWDC 2020, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

I have good news and bad news. The good news is the answer is very simple and doesn’t require any expensive equipment. The bad news is it’s a lot of work.

Apple Assessing New Hong Kong Law As Others Pause Data Responses, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. said it is “assessing” a new Hong Kong security law that has sparked concern about criminalizing protests.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant also said it has not received requests for Hong Kong user data since the law kicked in last week, and noted that it doesn’t get requests directly from the government there.

Bottom of the Page

Even though iPad Pros exist, I hope Apple will still go ahead and make a Mac that is as light and as portable as an iPad Pro.


Thanks for reading.

The Going-Forever Edition Monday, July 6, 2020

The Mac Never Left, But It’s About To Have A Comeback, by Dan Moren, Macworld

The only constant is change, and if the Mac doesn’t adapt, it will die. Therefore, the fact that it’s changing to fit the times is a testament to its longevity. The Mac has been through far worse before, and it’s always survived; hard to say the same about any other technology product entering its fifth decade because, well, there just aren’t that many of them, are there?

The Mac, as Phil Schiller once said, keeps going forever, so what we’re seeing now is just the start of the latest chapter in its long and storied history. And it looks like it’s going to be a good one.

Five Ways Apple Is Opening Up Its Products With iOS 14 And macOS Big Sur, by Jason Cross, Macworld

Apple is making it possible for more outside devices and software to work with its own technology, and that’s going to make the Apple ecosystem stronger. Here are five ways Apple is embracing the outside world with its fall operating system releases.

Apple Arcade Reportedly Focusing On Games With Replayability, by Benjamin Mayo

The problem with saying ‘we want more games like Grindstone’ is not that Grindstone is a bad game. It’s a great game actually, one of Arcade’s best. The issue is that it has the potential to pigeonhole creativity, thereby defeating one of Arcade’s supposed strengths. Game makers may not even bother to pursue new and innovative ideas because they now have to worry about its replayability prospects and fear the pitch would be ultimately turned down.

The Artists-in-London Edition Sunday, July 5, 2020

Today At Apple’s Made In LDN Series Helps Young Musicians Break Into The Industry, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

This summer, Today at Apple and the creative arts youth space Spotlight are joining forces to give young artists in London an opportunity to learn the secrets of the music industry from experts. The Music Survival series of creative sessions runs from July 27 to August 28 and is the latest program produced in Apple’s Made in LDN series, which is supported by the mayor of London.

5 Years Ago, I Thought Apple Watch Was Very 'Meh.' Here's Why I Changed My Mind, by Vanessa Hand Orellana, CNET

I haven't always been a fan of the Apple Watch. I bought one as soon as it went on sale in 2015 hoping it would blow me away, but it ended up spending more time in my drawer than on my wrist. It took three more years and the addition of two key features -- LTE and the ECG app -- for me to finally start wearing it on a regular basis. And now it's earned a permanent spot on my wrist.

7 Tips To Make The Web More Readable On An iPhone, by Tim Brookes, How-To Geek

You probably spend more time reading on your iPhone than you do texting, calling, or playing games. Most of that content is likely on the web, and it’s not always easy to see or scroll through. Fortunately, there are plenty of hidden features that can make reading on your iPhone a much more pleasant experience.

Catch ‘Liberty Bell’ On Your iPhone At The Art Museum Steps. It’s Like Pokémon Go, But Arty., by Becky Batcha and Ellen Gray, Philadelphia Inquirer

A major augmented reality artwork debuted July 4 at sites in six U.S. cities, including the Art Museum steps in Philly, according to its organizers. Viewers who download an app and take their phones to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be able to watch artist Nancy Baker Cahill’s work Liberty Bell appear, Pokémon Go-style, hovering in the air above the museum.

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Thanks for reading. Do continue to stay safe. Take care.

The Might-be-the-Time Edition Saturday, July 4, 2020

What Changes Might Be Coming To New Mac Hardware?, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Part of it is my guess that Apple’s been champing at the bit to roll all sorts of iOS features into the Mac for years, but has been limited by Intel’s architecture. What the Mac has gotten is the stuff that was enabled by the T2 chip—biometric ID, better camera control, secure storage, and security features. But there are plenty of features that haven’t come over from the iPhone and iPad, and now might be the time.

How Mobile Games Crushed Consoles, Tim Bradshaw, Financial Times

The coronavirus crisis has proved a bonanza for video game makers, as shut-in consumers turn to digital distractions in greater numbers and for longer sessions than ever before.

But while the sector’s big listed groups such as Nintendo, Activision Blizzard, and Take Two have enjoyed share price rises of more than 25 percent since early March, a clutch of mobile gaming studios, many privately held, have enjoyed the real windfall. Along with the sudden rise in leisure time among a ready market of more than two billion smartphone owners, they have reaped the rewards of a plunge in mobile advertising prices as other corporate sectors slashed their marketing budgets.

The Walkman, Forty Years On, by Matt Alt, New Yorker

Even prior to extended quarantines, lockdowns, and self-isolation, it was hard to imagine life without the electronic escapes of noise-cancelling earbuds, smartphones, and tablets. Today, it seems impossible. Of course, there was most certainly a before and after, a point around which the cultural gravity of our plugged-in-yet-tuned-out modern lives shifted. Its name is Walkman, and it was invented, in Japan, in 1979. After the Walkman arrived on American shores, in June of 1980, under the temporary name of Soundabout, our days would never be the same.

On Privacy

LinkedIn Says iOS Clipboard Snooping After Every Key Press Is A Bug, Will Fix, by Catalin Cimpanu, ZDNet

"We've traced this to a code path that only does an equality check between the clipboard contents and the currently typed content in a text box," Berger wrote on Twitter.

"We don't store or transmit the clipboard contents. We will follow up once the fix is live in our app," he added.

On iOS Apps Peeking At Your Clipboard Contents, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Most apps want to access these things for good, honest reasons, but because some don’t, we need OS features to defend against the bad actors. And it winds up adding a bit of unfortunately necessary friction.

Apple Privacy Changes, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

I like that Apple knows that it’s not enough to just shut down the bad actors — people who have questions to answer, but who have no interest in violating privacy, need solutions.


AirPods Versus AirPods Pro: Apple’s Earbuds Go Head-to-Head, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Happily, I’ve ended up in a situation where I can choose between the AirPods and the AirPods Pro depending on what I’m doing. If noise cancellation is important, as it is when vacuuming or mowing the lawn, I always go for the AirPods Pro. [...]

But for nearly everything else, I gravitate to the AirPods. They may stand out in my ears a bit more due to their long stems, but they’re more comfortable, and their case is a marvel of modern design that borders on artistry.


Taiwan's Foxconn Says Customs Clearing Procedures In India Have Been Resolved, by Yimou Lee, Reuters

Apple supplier Foxconn said on Friday customs clearing procedures in India have been resolved, as additional scrutiny by the country of imports from China disrupted operations in some foreign firms amid tensions between the Asian giants.

Nicholas Carr On Deep Reading And Digital Thinking, by Ezra Klein, Vox

The point of this conversation is not that the internet is bad, nor that it is good. It’s that it is changing us, just as every medium before it has. We need to see those changes clearly in order to take control of them ourselves.

Bottom of the Page

Was the vision of what a Mac-with-Apple-Silicon should be kept Apple fixated on the butterfly keyboard for so long? How has the failure of this keybard changes the vision?


Thanks for reading.

The Web-Portal Edition Friday, July 3, 2020

Apple Debuts Web Portal For Apple Card Management, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Apple Card users can now view their entire transaction history, make payments, and more from

Launched today, the new web portal for Apple Card users addresses a concern prospective users voiced when Apple Card first launched: how do I manage my credit card if I lose my iPhone (and/or iPad)?

Goldman Explains Apple Card Algorithmic Rejections, Including Bankruptcies, by Jeremy Horwitz, VentureBeat

As Goldman managing director Andrew Williams made clear, the companies’ acceptance/rejection algorithm is a “pretty simple decision tree,” not AI, which is to say that it’s built to use basic financial metrics to reach a yes or no decision. The key input is a TransUnion credit report, notably evaluated using the FICO Score 9 (aka FICO9) rating system, though the specifics of that evaluation aren’t completely transparent. It also considers your reported annual income to determine how much cash you will likely have left over after paying your monthly debt obligations.

Williams emphasized that the Apple Card has only been available for less than a year, and that the companies are still working to evolve the algorithm and add additional customers; in other words, an applicant rejected last August might be accepted in the future without personally making any changes. But my impression is that the “simple” decision tree won’t change much unless the companies decide to open their gates wider. The “Path to Apple Card” is there to help more people meet Goldman’s prior “creditworthiness” standard, rather than to ease that standard.


Influential Wristwatch Website Hodinkee Becomes An Authorized Apple Watch Retailer, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

New York City-based watch retailer Hodinkee today announced that it is now an authorized retailer for the Apple Watch. The company has been known as an influential watch review site and recently launched an e-commerce platform, the Hodinkee Shop, where high-end mechanical watches can be purchased.


How To Live A Happy Life, by Michael Plant, University of Oxford

If we want to be happier, I think the first place to start is looking at the available options and then working out which to pursue. The way I see it, there are only three avenues to take. We can change how we think, how we spend our time, or the external facts of our life.

If you look at what people actually do to be happier, it seems nearly everyone tries to change the external facts: we try to become richer, thinner, more successful, to find a better house in a nicer area, and so on. A few of us think about trying to spend less time working, and more time on hobbies or with friends and family. Almost no one thinks about actively retraining the way they think. In fact, I don’t think this last one even crosses most of our minds.

However, looking at the latest research on happiness, I think we basically get this the wrong way around: it seems much easier to become happier by changing how you think or spend your time, and actually quite hard to increase it by becoming rich and successful.


Here Come The 4 Horsemen Of The Techopolypse, by Kara Swisher, New York Times

No surprise that I prefer public grillings with a side of shame, but more important will be how the companies portray themselves and how they differentiate themselves. While it’s convenient to apply the catchall term “Big Tech” to them, they are not a monolith and some in this group are further along in understanding that with great power comes great responsibility — and, more important, accountability.

Hopefully, that is what we are going to finally see at the hearing.

Google-backed Groups Criticize Apple's New Warnings On User Tracking, by Stephen Nellis, Paresh Dave, Reuters

Sixteen marketing associations, some of which are backed by Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, faulted Apple for not adhering to an ad-industry system for seeking user consent under European privacy rules. Apps will now need to ask for permission twice, increasing the risk users will refuse, the associations argued.

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If you are reading this in the late evening, just like when I am when I am writing this: good night, and I hope you have a wonderful night's sleep. Sweet dreams. And I hope all your worries disappear into the night.

Good night.



Thanks for reading.

The Doubled-Down Edition Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Comeback Of Fun In Visual Design, by Michael Flarup, Apply Pixels

Given the chance of a redesign on the mac, Apple did not choose minimalism as the single guiding design pillar. In fact, they doubled down on expressiveness, added depth, gaussian blur shadows, angled lighting and real lifelike objects. Sure, it’s not consistent and we lost some expressiveness elsewhere (🥃 pour one out for detailed toolbar icons), but generally this is like a green light turning on for more expressiveness and ultimately more fun in visual design. They didn't just keep this for nostalgia's sake, they developed it further. They advanced it and are pushing it out to millions of Mac users later this year.

Why The Mac Is (Once Again) Central To Apple’s Future, by Jason Snell, Macworld

When I look at the future of the Mac in the 2020s, it’s not as a legacy platform used by old-school computer users. Instead, it’s truly the capstone of Apple’s software platforms. The Mac will be able to do anything, and run anything, that the iPhone and iPad can. And on top of that, it will have its traditional powers, including access to decades worth of professional apps, the ability to download software outside of the App Store, access to the command line, and much more. The Mac won’t be the red-headed stepchild—it will be the one Apple device that does everything.

30 More US Apple Stores Reclose Tomorrow, But Why Haven’t They All?, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple today announced its fifth wave of US store reclosures in less than two weeks as states struggle to keep COVID-19 under control. The latest closures affect stores in Alabama, California, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, and Oklahoma.


For the latest wave of stores reclosing this week, Apple is allowing customers with existing online orders and previously scheduled in-store Genius Support appointments to visit through July 3.

How To Make Smartphones Last Longer, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

If we put a small amount of time into caring for our gadgets, they can last indefinitely. We’d also be doing the world a favor. By elongating the life of our gadgets, we put more use into the energy, materials and human labor invested in creating the product.


So here are some of the most effective steps you can take to squeeze as much life as possible out of your phones, tablets and computers without breaking the bank.

On Security

Uncovered: 1,000 Phrases That Incorrectly Trigger Alexa, Siri, And Google Assistant, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

As Alexa, Google Home, Siri, and other voice assistants have become fixtures in millions of homes, privacy advocates have grown concerned that their near-constant listening to nearby conversations could pose more risk than benefit to users. New research suggests the privacy threat may be greater than previously thought.

The findings demonstrate how common it is for dialog in TV shows and other sources to produce false triggers that cause the devices to turn on, sometimes sending nearby sounds to Amazon, Apple, Google, or other manufacturers.

New Mac Ransomware Is Even More Sinister Than It Appears, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

The threat of ransomware may seem ubiquitous, but there haven't been too many strains tailored specifically to infect Apple's Mac computers since the first full-fledged Mac ransomware surfaced only four years ago. So when Dinesh Devadoss, a malware researcher at the firm K7 Lab, published findings on Tuesday about a new example of Mac ransomware, that fact alone was significant. It turns out, though, that the malware, which researchers are now calling ThiefQuest, gets more interesting from there. (Researchers originally dubbed it EvilQuest, until they discovered the Steam game series of the same name.)

In addition to ransomware, ThiefQuest has a whole other set of spyware capabilities that allow it to exfiltrate files from an infected computer, search the system for passwords and cryptocurrency wallet data, and run a robust keylogger to grab passwords, credit card numbers, or other financial information as a user types it in. The spyware component also lurks persistently as a backdoor on infected devices, meaning it sticks around even after a computer reboots, and could be used as a launchpad for additional, or "second stage," attacks. Given that ransomware is so rare on Macs to begin with, this one-two punch is especially noteworthy.

Developer Relationships

Apple's Developer War Reignites After A Yoga App Says It Was Rejected From The App Store For Refusing To Auto-bill Users, by Isobel Asher Hamilton, Business Insider

"Apple is rejecting our latest update because we refuse to auto-charge at the end of our free trial," Down Dog said in its statement, including a screenshot of an email from Apple.


The company said on Twitter: "We've experimented with auto-charging trials in the past and they lead to (1) fewer users trying the product (2) a huge number of refund requests by users who forget to cancel and (3) complete disbelief from those users when we explain that Apple won't allow us to issue refunds."

Tim Cook Agrees To Testify In Congress This Month During Hearing On Big Tech Antitrust, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook has agreed to testify as part of a US House Judiciary Committee antitrust probe later this month. Cook is the latest of the four largest tech companies CEOs to agree to testify during the antitrust hearing, following Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.


The goal of the bipartisan congressional probe is to find out whether tech giants capitalize on their size to give themselves an unfair advantage over smaller companies, and whether these decisions affect consumers. In Apple’s case, the concerns generally center on the cut the company takes from App Store sales and in-app payments and subscriptions.


Apple Now Offering Radeon Pro W5500X For Mac Pro, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple’s Mac Pro can now be configured with a Radeon Pro W5550X with 8GB of GDDR6 memory, a graphics card option that’s a step above the entry-level Radeon Pro 580X but not as expensive as the W5700X graphics card that Apple introduced as an option in April.

Apple Card COVID Assistance Extended Through July, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

Apple Card customers are now allowed to defer their July payments without incurring interest. Customers will need to talk to a financial representative to request entry into the program or extend their deferments if they are already enrolled.


The Gap Between Learning Code And Producing Usable Software, by Yassine Rajallah

One of the unspoken areas about software development is building usable software. Learning how to code, coding something, and having it used by thousands is no easy task. In this article, I’ll be discussing the most important pillars that you need to address before launching your product.


Apple Suspends App Updates For Unlicensed Games In China's App Store, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

Apple freezes updates for thousands of mobile games in the App Store in China while facing pressure to comply with the government's local regulations.

[...] Developers have been informed they require licenses from Chinese regulators to continue offering their games in the iOS App Store from July onwards.

Apple Supplier Foxconn, Others Hit As India Holds Up Imports From China: Sources, by Aditya Kalra, Sankalp Phartiyal, Reuters

India’s additional scrutiny of imports from China has disrupted operations at plants owned by Apple supplier Foxconn in southern India, three sources told Reuters, and other foreign firms are also facing delays as tensions between the two countries build.

Customs officers at Indian ports have held back shipments from China and sought additional clearances after deadly clashes at the disputed Himalayan border last month. The checks have been imposed without any formal order.

UK Regulators Take Aim At Apple's Search Engine Deal With Google, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

The payments by Alphabet Inc’s Google to Apple Inc to be the default search engine on Apple’s Safari web browser create “a significant barrier to entry and expansion” for Google’s rivals in the search engine market, the UK markets regulator said in a report released on Wednesday.

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I bet Apple is seriously considering doing the manufacturing and assembling themselves.


Thanks for reading.

The Pushing-Forward Edition Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The iPadification Of macOS: What Does It Mean For Developers Of Productivity Software?, by Mike Schmitz, The Sweet Setup

So this year’s WWDC has shown us that 1) the Mac is still very important to Apple, and 2) because it’s important, macOS will change and evolve as Apple pushes it forward – and sometimes not in the way that long-time Mac users expect.

And while we still don’t know exactly what the Mac of tomorrow will look like, there are lots of signs from WWDC 2020 hinting that the future of the Mac could look more and more like an iPad:


'Punkt' App Simplifies The Process Of Keeping A Personal Journal On Your iPhone, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Instead of making you think about what you’re going to write, Punkt simplifies the process by asking you to describe your day in just one sentence. But writing is just one of the things Punkt lets you do to keep your daily memories.

Sim Genie Is A New Mac App That Helps Developers Manage Multiple iOS Simulators, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

Sim Genie is a native app that sits in the menu bar and offers an incredible amount of shortcuts and functionality related to Simulator management, testing, and more.

AMD Releases Boot Camp Drivers For 16-Inch MacBook Pro With Radeon Pro 5600M Graphics, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

AMD has released Boot Camp drivers for the 16-inch MacBook Pro with Radeon Pro 5600M graphics, providing full compatibility with Windows 10.


Apple Cancels Some Arcade Games In Strategy Shift To Keep Subscribers, by Mark Gurman and Jason Schreier, Bloomberg

On calls in mid-April, an Apple Arcade creative producer told some developers that their upcoming games didn’t have the level of “engagement” Apple is seeking, the people said. Apple is increasingly interested in titles that will keep users hooked, so subscribers stay beyond the free trial of the service, according to the people. They asked not to be identified discussing private conversations.


Some developers who had contracts canceled by Apple were suddenly faced with financial woes, compounded by the pandemic, according to the people briefed on what happened. While Apple ended contracts, it still paid studios based on the development milestones they already hit. The company also told developers that it would work with them on future titles that meet the new requirements.

Apple Not Dominant In Any Market, Plenty Of Rivals, Senior Executive Says, by Foo Yun Chee, Reuters

iPhone maker Apple, the target of EU antitrust investigations into key segments of its business, on Tuesday rejected accusations of market dominance, saying it competes with Google, Samsung and other rivals.