The Stable-and-Dependable Edition Thursday, September 24, 2020

iOS 14 And iPadOS 14 Review: iPhone Revolution, iPad Evolution, by Chris Welch, The Verge

If there’s ever been a time to blow up your home screen and rethink the way information and apps are laid out on your phone, this is it. Try something new, and stick with it for a few days. If the experiment fails, you can always put everything back right where it was. But widgets and the App Library can make interacting with your iPhone feel considerably more efficient.


Unlike iOS 13, which shipped in a buggy state, these latest updates are mostly stable and dependable for everyday use. The release came sooner than expected — without a new iPhone to showcase these new features on — but perhaps that’s for the best. More than most updates before it, iOS 14 shows how Apple’s software can breathe new life into the hardware you already own.

Watch's Measurements

The New Apple Watch Says My Lungs May Be Sick. Or Perfect. It Can’t Decide., by Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post

Over several days of comparing my second Apple Watch’s measurements to my FDA-approved finger oximeter, Apple’s readings most often differ by two or three percentage points — though they’ve also sometimes exactly matched, and sometimes been as much as seven percentage points lower.

Is it just me? Skin, fat and blood vessels do vary. Apple would not comment on the error rate of its sensor, but spokeswoman Amy Bessette said it “has been rigorously tested across a wide spectrum of users and across all skin tones.” (When I tested the Apple Watch on a colleague whose skin is darker than mine, the results were also off from the finger pulse oximeter, but less wildly so.)

Apple Emphasizes That Solo Loop May Increase In Length Over Time, Updates Sizing Guide With More Specific Instructions, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple on Tuesday updated one of its support documents to emphasize that the new silicone rubber Solo Loop for the Apple Watch may increase in length over time, as mentioned in fine print at the bottom of the Solo Loop product page.

Apple Removes 5W Power Adapter From Apple Watch Edition And Apple Watch Hermès, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Apple has removed the 5W Power Adapter from the Apple Watch Edition and Apple Watch Hermès. Both Apple Watch models included the power adapter for just a week before it was removed.

iPad Things

The New 2020 iPad Isn’t Enough For Zoom School, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

This iPad is very good at the traditional “iPad Things.” But the list of things we’re asking of our iPads as we are stuck at home is getting bigger. iPad things include using Zoom.

The Eighth-generation iPad Is A Fine Choice For Casual Users, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

The iPad isn’t the king of the hill it once was among Apple tablets, but it remains a fine device.

Party On, Wayne

iOS 14 Customization: A Tale As Old As Time, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Surely it’s clear that iPhone users desperately want more tools to customize their home screens. If more customization features aren’t shooting up Apple’s priority list for iOS 15 (or before), something’s really wrong.

So party on, home screen designers. Don’t let the curmudgeons bring you down. You’re just the latest in a proud line of people who have wanted to do the natural thing and make their technology more personal.

On Widget Shaming, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

While this may not be for you, complaining that people are going down this road is not a good look. We should welcome more customization and personalization of the technology we spend hours a day with.

Developer Relationships

Apple Clarifies Details On Video Partner Program For Developers, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

The program has a series of requirements, that, if followed, allow vendors to pay 15% commission versus 30% on customers who sign up using Apple's in-app purchase systems.

Developers Form Coalition To Fight Apple Over App Store Practices, by Patrick McGee, Financial Times

A group of news, gaming and music app developers has banded together to form a coalition in protest against Apple’s alleged anti-competitive behaviour, as tensions between the tech giant and app makers over the terms of its App Store continue to escalate.


Grocery Brings Lists, Recipe Steps, And Timers To Your Home Screen And Is Right At Home On The iPad With A Three-Column Layout, by John Voorhees, MacStories

No other grocery app I’ve used makes it as easy to add and manage lists as Grocery, through a combination of smart design and dynamic sorting which is based on the order you check items off as you shop. On top of that, the app includes meal planning, recipes, inventory management, and list sharing, extending its usefulness well beyond the grocery store.

Marvis Pro Brings Custom Apple Music Widgets To Your iOS 14 Home Screen, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Users can change the appearance and select albums, playlists, or recently played songs to be featured on the widget.

The Best Score-reading Apps For Classical Musicians, by Lucy Parham, BBC Music Magazine

Even without apps you can do a lot on an iPad. Simply scan your own music in on the Notes app bundled with the iPad, save it and annotate it with an Apple Pencil (model allowing). But if that’s so easy to do, why use an app at all? Tablets in performance have become a major player in the music industry and are becoming increasingly popular. Many musicians now use them to download and buy scores, to perform and to share – and for that you need apps…

Review: Twelve South BookBook Cover For iPad + Keyboard, by James Rogers, iPad Insight

Its classic look is unique and interesting, but also completely at home in a professional setting. It also provides that little bit of extra iPad Pro protection that the Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio don’t.


The Hidden Costs Of Streaming Music, by Alex Ross, New Yorker

Like everything we do on the Internet, streaming and downloading music requires a steady surge of energy. Devine writes, “The environmental cost of music is now greater than at any time during recorded music’s previous eras.” He supports that claim with a chart of his own devising, using data culled from various sources, which suggests that, in 2016, streaming and downloading music generated around a hundred and ninety-four million kilograms of greenhouse-gas emissions—some forty million more than the emissions associated with all music formats in 2000.

Bottom of the Page

So far, iOS14 on my iPhone X hasn't really failed me yet. The bugs I've encountered were, mostly, cosmetic in nature. I am watching out for bugs, and didn't believe everything I see on the screen. :-)

The three bugs that I can recall:

a) The Clock widget showing the wrong time; this went away after a while.
b) The Shortcuts widget showing super-large buttons; this went away almost immediately.
c) The Weather app showing an out-of-date forcast; the screen refreshed itself only after about five seconds.

The alarm clock didn't fail me. The alarm went off right on time every day.


Thanks for reading.