Archive for January 2021

The Air-Compressors Edition Sunday, January 31, 2021

Putting The Noise Cancellation On Apple’s AirPods Max Through The Wringer, by James Rogers, iPad Insight

With the AirPods Max, I no longer have to worry about sitting and working in a loud environment for a long period of time. I know this level of noise cancellation isn’t absolutely necessary for a long flight or a vacation car ride, but it’s good to know that a set of headphones that costs this much has some versatility beyond the usual places that we like to use it. If the AirPods Max can tame a room full of industrial Air Compressors, they will almost certainly handle anything you throw at them.

Apple Extends Monthly Credit Deposits To Apple TV+ Subscribers Through June, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple TV+ subscribers have begun receiving emails from Apple letting them know that they’ll continue to be credited $4.99 for each month they’ve been charged for the service from February through June 2021.

The Best Apps To Build Better Habits (And Stick To Them), by David Nield, Wired

Don't give up on developing those good habits, because there are plenty of apps to help you meet your goals: From simple to complex, from stand-off to hands-on, there's enough variety here for everyone to find a habit-forming app that suits them.

iPhone 12 Disrupts Calgary Man's Medical Implant, Apple Issues Warning, by Stephanie Thomas, CTV News Calgary

Harckham says he is pleased that Apple has updated their website with specific information, but he would like to see the tech-giant take it even further.

“I would like to see Apple issue a warning at point-of-sale asking you know if anyone in your family or the potential owner has a medical device and if so this device may not be for you," he said.

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I spent quite a few minutes yesterday wondering if I should continue to use an internet radio app that I quite enjoyed, execpt that it didn't have any sleep timer built-in, before I realize iOS has a global sleep timer.

Also, note to future me: try not to make any purchase decision during the midnight hours when I am sleepy but couldn't fall asleep.


Thanks for reading.

The Educated-Decision Edition Saturday, January 30, 2021

Tim Cook On Why It's Time To Fight The "Data-Industrial Complex", by Zach Baron, GQ

But we're not trying to get anybody to change their business model. We have no objective to do that. All we're trying to do is give the individual the right to say, “I want to be tracked,” or “I don't.” That's all we're trying to do. And then with the privacy nutrition label, we're just trying to give the user more facts so they can make an educated decision of whether they want to download this app or not. It's not aimed at anyone. It's about giving the user more power.

I Checked Apple’s New Privacy ‘Nutrition Labels.’ Many Were False., by Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post

Apple’s big privacy product is built on a shaky foundation: the honor system. In tiny print on the detail page of each app label, Apple says, “This information has not been verified by Apple.”

The first time I read that, I did a double take. Apple, which says caring for our privacy is a “core responsibility," surely knows devil-may-care data harvesters can’t be counted on to act honorably. Apple, which made an estimated $64 billion off its App Store last year, shares in the responsibility for what it publishes.

Why Facebook And Apple Are Fighting Over Your Privacy, by Sara Morrison, Vox

The ads won’t go away; they just won’t have as much access to your data to target them. Facebook has already said it will comply with Apple’s ATT requirements, so it won’t be pulling its apps from the App Store over this, nor will Apple be kicking them out.

This is good for both companies because Apple’s users want Facebook’s apps (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp) on their iPhones, and Facebook wants their apps in front of as many people as possible. They may be feuding publicly — as they’ve done for years — but their mutually beneficial relationship is still very much intact.


I Paid Apple $69 To Replace My 3-year-old iPhone Battery. Here's What Happened, by Rick Broida, CNET

The entire transaction was smooth and efficient, and $69 later my iPhone X feels like it just came out of the box -- at least from a battery perspective. Normally, by 5 p.m. I'd be down to about 10% remaining. Yesterday, I still had 55% -- at 8 p.m.

Hands-on: Unboxing And First Look At Standalone AirPods Max Ear Cushion Sets, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

The packaging of these standalone ear cushions seems to imply that the idea is customization rather than simply for replacements. The box reminds me a lot of Apple’s watch band packaging. It has a simple pull tab to remove the cushions from the box and could be used to store other sets of cushions that aren’t in use.

Nomad Multi-Device Charger Aims To Be AirPower’s Heir, by Julio Ojeda-Zapata, TidBITS

So is the flexible positioning on the Nomad Base Station Pro a reason to pay more? Sure, if you can afford it, it’s a snazzy accessory. But for those on tighter budgets, save your money.


Tim Cook Pens Letter To President Biden Praising Early Action On Preserving DACA, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook has penned a letter to US President Joe Biden on behalf of Business Roundtable. In the letter, Cook praises Biden’s swift action on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and says the group looks forward to working together on future issues.

The Iconic Watches That Inspired Apple Watch Faces, by Arun Venkatesan

In particular, the analog faces reveal what Apple does so well — taking the familiar and making it their own. Over the years, they have released quite a few faces with roots in history. Each one started as an iconic watch archetype and was remade to take advantage of the Apple Watch platform.

Apple In 2020: The Six Colors Report Card, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

It’s time for our annual look back on Apple’s performance during the past year, as seen through the eyes of writers, editors, developers, podcasters, and other people who spend an awful lot of time thinking about Apple.

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Dear Apple: Can you also allow me an educated decision on what to keep and what to junk all the iCloud stuff that is currently taking up space in my iPhone?


Thanks for reading.

The Untrusted-Data Edition Friday, January 29, 2021

Apple's iOS 14 Integrates New Messages Security Sandbox Called BlastDoor, by Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider

Written in the relatively safe Swift programming language, BlastDoor is responsible for parsing nearly all data untrusted data in Messages, Groß says. Prior to iOS 14, steps like decompressing binary data, decoding the plist from a binary serialization format, field extraction, and decoding of the "x" key were all performed by imagent. Now, imagent is at the head of the processing flow, but critical operations are forwarded to BlastDoor.

Your App Knows You Got Your Period. Guess Who It Told?, by Alisha Haridasani Gupta and Natasha Singer, New York Times

Deceptive data mining, misleading privacy policies and other troubling practices do not negate the need for women’s health apps. But regulators going after leaky apps, one by one, doesn’t give consumers much confidence or clarity either.

What’s needed, experts suggest, is a new regulatory framework that enables health care providers and researchers to work with consumer apps to better understand women’s health, whether it’s symptoms, medications or different responses to disease.

Apple’s Financial Results: iPad, Apple Silicon, And Secret Sauce, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

But look at the change to that recipe! It’s now the integration of hardware, software, and services. Which, if you’ve been following Apple for the last few years, makes perfect sense. Services is now in the mix, but the larger point remains: Apple is a company that believes it can make the best products by painstakingly integrating features that other companies just buy off the rack.


Apple Releases Lulu Wang’s Heartwarming Short Film ‘Nian’ For Chinese New Year, Shot Entirely On iPhone 12 Pro Max, by Todd Spangler, Variety

Wang, who wrote and directed 2019 feature film “The Farewell,” directed a new short for Apple in celebration of Chinese New Year, “Nian,” which puts a fresh twist on a well-known Chinese folktale. The 11-minute film was directed by Wang and her team from “The Farewell” and shot on an iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Carrot Weather Gets Major Overhaul, Now Free To Download, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Carrot Weather now features a fresh vertical layout, all-new icons built from scratch, a slick “Interface Maker” to customize the app exactly how you want, new “Cards” UI element, and the app has now gone free to download with in-app purchases to unlock all the premium features.


Tim Cook Condemns Facebook Business Model, Says Valuing Engagement Over Privacy Leads To ‘Polarization' And 'Violence’, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Speaking at the EU data protection conference CPDP today, Tim Cook gave the opening keynote with his talk entitled “A path to empowering user choice and boosting user trust in advertising.” Cook covered Apple’s concerns about privacy and security in the technology industry, the hope it sees for change going forward, what it is doing to protect privacy, its deep concerns and consequences with Facebook’s business model, and much more.

Apple Pickup, Express Storefronts, And The Point Of No Return, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Half a decade ago, when customers sought a more immersive offline experience, Apple responded with a floor-to-ceiling redesign of its stores. This time, the most important changes are not to what you see, but to how you feel.

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I've always use the word 'computer' to describe what Apple is selling. Not hardware, like Dell. Not software, like Microsoft (used to). But computers.

I wonder what is the word to describe what Apple is going to be selling nowadays: hardware + software + service = ?


Thanks for reading.

The Transparency-Tracking Edition Thursday, January 28, 2021

Apple Says App Tracking Transparency Feature Will Launch In ‘Early Spring’ With iOS 14 Update, by Chance Mille,r 9to5Mac

In honor of Data Privacy Day on January 28, Apple has announced that its App Tracking Transparency feature will launch to users “in early spring.” The company has also launched a new easy-to-understand report dubbed “A Day in the Life of Your Data,” which illustrates “how companies track user data across websites and apps.”

Google Apps Won't Have To Show iOS 'Allow Tracking' Prompt, by Abner Li, 9to5Google

Rather than having to show that prompt, Google will stop using a device’s unique IDFA (Identifier For Advertisers) when ATT goes into effect early this year, and thus be “in line with Apple’s guidance.” Of course, Google presumably has other tracking methods, while everything in their stack is technically considered first-party. The company also reiterated that its services will get App Privacy labels as they are updated.

What We Learned From Apple’s New Privacy Labels, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

Apple said only some of its apps — like FaceTime, Mail and Apple Maps — could be deleted and downloaded again in the App Store, so those can be found there with privacy labels. But its Phone and Messages apps cannot be deleted from devices and so do not have privacy labels in the App Store. Instead, the privacy labels for those apps are in hard-to-find support documents.

The result is that the data practices of Apple’s apps are less upfront. If Apple wants to lead the privacy conversation, it can set a better example by making language clearer — and its labeling program less self-serving. When I asked why all apps shouldn’t be held to the same standards, Apple did not address the issue further.

Strong Sales

Apple Sees Revenue Growth Accelerating After Setting Record For iPhone Sales, China Strength, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

Apple shipped its iPhone 12 lineup several weeks later than usual, but an expanded number of models and new look appear to have tapped into pent up demand for upgrades, especially in China. The company also posted strong sales of its Mac laptops and iPads in the quarter, driven by consumers working, learning and playing from home during the pandemic.

This Is Tim: Holiday 2020 Results Call Transcript, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Apple’s latest record financial results were released on Wednesday. Here’s our usual complete transcript of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s and CFO Luca Maestri’s statements on their call with analysts, including their question-and-answer segment.


AirPods Max Ear Cushions Now Available To Order Separately For $69, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

AirPods Max Ear Cushions are available in silver, black, green, sky blue and pink. When you buy these you’ll get a set of 2 cushions, one for the right side and one for the left side.

Control HomeKit From The Keyboard With HomeControl Menu, by Jason Snell, Sxi Colors

It’s great to finally have HomeKit under my control on my Mac—from my menu bar, my keyboard, and my scripts.


Apple Releases First-ever tvOS User Interface Design Kit For Sketch, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

Apple’s tvOS design kit includes all of the components you’d expect from design template to colors, materials, and more. These new tools should make it much easier for designers and developers to create mock ups and concepts for their apps.

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I've been greatly enjoying this long audiobook that I am listening right now, that I haven't watched any TV lately.

And I've realized that, because of my way shorter commute lately in these strange times, I haven't been listening to many long audiobooks. (Barack Obama's memoir -- part one! -- was the exception.)

(The book is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, by V.E. Schwab. I haven't finish the book yet -- it's not short -- but I am quite confident the ending will also turn out to be excellent.)


Thanks for reading.

The Actively-Exploited Edition Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Apple Says iOS 14.4 Fixes Three Security Bugs ‘Actively Exploited’ By Hackers, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

It’s not known who is actively exploiting the vulnerabilities, or who might have fallen victim. Apple did not say if the attack was targeted against a small subset of users or if it was a wider attack. Apple granted anonymity to the individual who submitted the bug, the advisory said.

Apple Releases OS Updates With Better Music Hand Off For HomePod Mini, Improvements To QR Code Scanning And Bluetooth Settings, The Unity Watch Face, And More, by John Voorhees, MacStories

HomePod 14.4 adds a few new features that work in concert with the iPhone’s U1 chip. There is new visual, audible, and haptic feedback when music is handed off from an iPhone to a HomePod mini.

How To Label Bluetooth Devices On iPhone And iPad, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

First, correctly identifying your devices will offer improved audio notifications. Second, Apple notes “Specifying the type of device can ensure your Headphone Audio Level measurements are accurate.”


Apple Unveils Limited-edition Apple Watch Series 6 And More For Black History Month, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has published a new press release this morning detailing the multiple ways it will be celebrating Black History Month in February. The company is launching new editorial collections, Apple Maps Guides, limited-edition Apple Watch hardware, and more.

Apple Teams Up With Fragment Design For Special Edition Monochromatic Powerbeats Pro, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Apple has collaborated with revered artist and designer Hiroshi Fujiwara and his company fragment design on new pair of special edition Powerbeats Pro. This version comes with a minimal, monochromatic design on the black Powerbeats Pro.


Apple Invites Developers To Attend Special Online Event On Improving Apps Widgets, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Developers are being invited by email to register for the “Building Great Widget Experiences” event, which will take place live on February 1, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will be conducted entirely online, which gives developers from all over the world the chance to attend the conference.


I Love Reading 1980s Computer Magazines, And So Should You, by Samuel Arbesman, Wired

I love the wordiness of the old advertisements, with whole paragraphs devoted to the details of their products. I love when an article describes concepts and ideas that we take for granted now, like the nature of uploading and downloading. And I love the nostalgia these magazines evoke, that sense of wonder and possibility that computers brought to us when they first entered our lives.

But there’s much more to it than mere delight. I’ve found that excavating old technology often points the way to something new.

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I remember enjoying reading the early issues of PC/Computing magazine. And I also remember the expensive price tags of these U.S. magazines in Singapore. Buying a single issue in Singapore then were more expensive than subscribing for an entire year in U.S then.


Thanks for reading.

The Recorded-While-Walking Edition Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Apple Unveils ‘Time To Walk’ For Fitness+, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Each workout is around 25-40 minutes long and includes stories told by well-known guests who tell inspirational and entertaining stories about their lives. The stories, which were recorded while the guests walked, are coupled with images that automatically play on the Apple Watch and a short playlist of songs at the end of each story that is meaningful to the guest. Also, as soon as you start playing a Time to Walk story, your Watch will begin a walking workout. If you use a wheelchair, Time to Walk changes to Time to Push and starts a Wheelchair Walk Pace workout.

Apple Launches Time To Walk Feature For Fitness+, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

But what I find really fascinating about this is that it’s essentially a paywalled podcast, available only to Fitness+ subscribers. [...] Given that rumor has the company considering its own paid “Podcasts+” service, this might help the company suss out whether or not that idea has legs.


How To Fix Apple News Download Bug On macOS Big Sur, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The Apple News app seems to have a flaw in macOS Big Sur that’s causing very large background downloads for some users. While Apple hasn’t issued a patch to the app itself, there is another way to fix the Apple News download bug that’s causing background downloads of up to 60GB+ a day.


Gus Mueller And Ken Kocienda On Brad Cox And Objective-C, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

When I listen to my favorite app developers speak of Objective-C and its runtime, they almost never talk of the source code they wrote. They speak about it like Kocienda does, like it gave them the ability to put their fingers on the apps themselves. Like they weren’t writing instructions to make the app, but that they were writing the app itself. Not writing a recipe for baking a cake, but somehow baking a cake directly, and tweaking it to taste better and look prettier as it’s cooking. And if you needed to write ungainlier-looking recipes to get that on-the-fly dynamic feel for the cake as it’s being made, so be it, because the cake is the thing, not the recipe.


Apple Announces That Dan Riccio Moving To A New Role At The Company, And John Ternus Is Stepping In As Senior VP Of Hardware Engineering, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple has announced its senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, Dan Riccio, is leaving that role to work on unspecified projects. Stepping into the gap left by Riccio is John Ternus, who has appeared as a presenter at recent Apple events covering the M1 Macs, for example.

Apple Suppliers Fear COVID Surge Over Chinese New Year, by Lauly Li and Cheng Ting-Fang, Nikkei Asia

A string of Apple's most important suppliers in China are trying to quash fears of renewed coronavirus outbreaks by offering extra handouts to workers if they do not travel home for the upcoming Lunar New Year festivities.


Tech suppliers are desperate to avoid a repeat of last year, when they struggled to keep manufacturing sites housing tens of thousands of workers virus-free while dealing with labor shortages brought on by strict quarantine measures and traffic restrictions during the first phase of the pandemic.

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There are stronger and stronger indications that this strange times is going to last for years, from both scientists and non-anti-science governments. 2021 is not going to be like 2020, but we are still very far from the post-2020 that we imagined back in 2020.

It seems very likely I will still be wearing a mask at the end of this year. I will still not be eating out. And I will still trying to stop myself from doomscrolling.

What I don't know is whether I will still be staying at home working, or whether I will still be staying at home but looking for a job.


Stay safe, everyone. And thanks for reading.

The Electromagnetic-Interference Edition Monday, January 25, 2021

Apple Elaborates On Potential For iPhone 12 And MagSafe Accessories To Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information.

How To Back Up Your Most Important Emails, by David Nield, Wired

It might not matter for all those newsletters, special offers, and account notifications that clog up your inbox, but what about emails and documents you really need access to? It helps to have at least some of your emails backed up in another location so that you can always get at them, offline or otherwise.

Why iPhone Is Today’s Kodak Brownie Camera, by Om Malik

Here I was, standing high above, with a camera rig that cost as much as a second-hand sedan, waiting for the perfect light as I took great care to keep my own shadow out of the frame. And there they were, recording the same moment with faint regard for the quality of the light or the image itself. Instead, they were letting the chips figure it all out as they strained to document their own presence.

That moment reinforced for me the extent to which the iPhone had changed not just the act of photography, but the very notion of photos. Before other smartphones followed suit, it marked the introduction of a new language and the beginning of a new volume in the annals of visual communication.

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The young me will be pretty surprised to find so many magents around my so many computers.

Yes, he will be surprised with the number of magnets. I wonder if he will try to hide his floppy disks from me.

And, yes, he will be surprised with the number of computers. On the desk. On the coffee table. In my pocket.


Thanks for reading.

The Flexible-Base Edition Sunday, January 24, 2021

Apple ProRaw Can Transform Your iPhone 12 Photography. Here's How, by Andrew Hoyle, CNET

ProRaw is Apple's version of the raw files that pros typically use on DSLRs. They're called raw because unlike JPEG images they don't save information about color, sharpening or other effects applied by the camera. They usually result in a more natural base image to postprocess in software such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. ProRaw works in much the same way, but unlike DNG raw files you can take in third-party apps, ProRaw makes use of Apple's computational photography for deep fusion HDR. The result is a better-looking base image that still gives a lot more flexibility for editing than you'd get with JPEG images.

Apple Fitness+ Feature 'Time To Walk' Launching Soon With Audio Stories From Special Guests, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple Fitness+ subscribers will be able to open the Workout app on an Apple Watch, select Time to Walk, and choose from one of the audio stories to listen to during their walk. The feature will likely extend to wheelchair users.


Apple Fitness Plus Review: Needs More Time At The Gym, by Kate Kozuch, Tom's Guide

Until Apple Fitness Plus adds outdoor workouts, difficulty ratings and warm-up classes, I’m not entirely convinced. I’m not cancelling my trial, but when it ends in a few weeks I’ll need to see updates to stick around.

Apple Mac Mini With M1 Review, by Shubham Agarwal, Laptop Magazine

I will cut to the chase: with the new M1 chip, the Mac mini takes a giant performance leap and punches well above its weight as well as its price segment. Whether it’s juggling between dozens of Chrome tabs or editing 4K videos, the new Mac mini keeps up without breaking a sweat.


Brad Cox, Creator Of Objective-C, Passes, by Gus Mueller, The Shape of Everything

Previously I found myself struggling to express the ideas I had in my head, and it was a frustrating experience. Now I was struggling to type fast enough and come up with new ideas that I could express in Objective-C. I felt like I could do anything I wanted with it.

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No spoilers here, but I do enjoyed the ending to the book "The Midnight Library", by Matt Haig. It may not be the perfect ending, but, to me, it is the right ending. It is the only ending that serves the story.

I did not guess the ending -- that's why I am more of a reader than a writer -- but it made me happy.


Thanks for reading.

The Witnesses-to-Uprisings Edition Saturday, January 23, 2021

Apple Donates George Floyd Mural From Downtown Portland Store To Don’t Shoot PDX, by Mike Rogoway, The Oregonian

Apple has given the enormous Black Lives Matter mural covering its downtown store to Portland civil rights organization Don’t Shoot PDX.

The panels “reflect the responses of so many that were witnesses to this summer’s uprisings and the joint call to action against institutionalized violence and white nationalism,” Don’t Shoot PDX wrote in its newsletter this week.


This Is The Best Budgeting App For Over-spenders, by Nadine El-Bawab, CNBC

The PocketGuard app is ideal for over-spenders who want routine reminders of how much they can spend on a day-to-day basis.

It is the best choice for those who struggle to keep track of their spending and want to improve their saving skills. Its features allow you to get into the habit of keeping a close eye on your finances and spend more wisely.

Focos Photo Editor For iOS Updated With Support For Apple ProRAW Images, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Focos is a popular photo editor for iOS that brings advanced tools to edit images with depth field taken using Portrait Mode on iPhone. The app was updated this week with some interesting new features, including support for the Apple ProRAW image — which is available for iPhone 12 Pro users.

Streaks 6.1 Introduces An Incredibly Useful Stats Widget For iOS 14, by Mike Schmitz, The Sweet Setup

Streaks, our pick for the best habit tracking app, just received an update to version 6.1. The update adds a bunch of small health and automation features, but the thing that I’m excited about is the addition of the Stats widget.

FoodShiner Keeps Track Of Your Food So It Doesn't Get Wasted, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

You tell FoodShiner what food you have, where it is in your home – fridge, freezer, cupboard, down the back of the sofa – and when it will expire. And then you get on with your life. FoodShiner does the rest.

The Best Outdoor HomeKit Cameras For Securing Your Home, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Integrating your cameras into HomeKit is one of the best ways to build up your smart home environment, but which cameras are the best? This week, I will give you all the information about the best HomeKit cameras for securing the outdoors of your home in 2021.


Apple Finally Publishes macOS Big Sur Sketch Library For Designers And Developers, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

Nearly two months after macOS Big Sur’s public release, the Apple human interface team has finally released an updated Sketch library optimized for its top to bottom redesign. User interface designers and developers have been anxiously awaiting this new design kit for quite awhile.

Traits Of A Good Accessible iOS App, by Dani Devesa

At the time of writing this post, there are 17 different traits that you can use to define your UI controls. Button, Selected, Not Enabled, Adjustable… are some examples. You can find the full list in Apple’s documentation. But sometimes, it might not be straightforward to understand what these traits really mean, or how they affect the user experience, in the documentation so I thought it would be a good idea to write a bit about some of them.


Apple Paid Lobbyist To ‘Educate Policymakers’ Regarding Bill To Stop Uighur Slave Labor, by Chuck Ross, Daily Caller

Apple, the trillion dollar tech company, paid a consulting firm $90,000 to “educate policymakers” regarding a bill that would prohibit U.S. companies from using forced labor of Uighur Muslims in China, according to lobbying disclosure reports filed on Friday.

The Convenience Of Delivery Apps Is Ruining Restaurants, by Deepti Sharma, Eater

Instead, we can start by recognizing how we got here. How our need for fast meals at low prices displaced an entire industry while pushing hourly workers to become our own personal couriers. Once we look in the mirror, we can start taking the right steps to restore some of the dignity and equality that’s been stripped away by a decade of growth and mass convenience.

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I'm playing around with SwiftUI, and I have re-started from scratch three times already. Must be getting old. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Healthy-and-Connected Edition Friday, January 22, 2021

The Apple Watch SE Has All You Need For Fitness Tracking, by Jakob Schiller, Outside Magazine

Apple will roll out new features on whatever watches launch in the future, but my guess is that those features won’t be something so new that you’ll want to upgrade. Instead, the SE will continue to keep you healthy, connected, and organized for years to come.

Apple Debuts A New 'Unity' Watch Face In The watchOS 7.3 Release Candidate, by Joe Wituschek, iMore

Apple rolled out the watchOS 7.3 release candidate to developers today. In addition to bringing ECG and irregular heart rhythm notifications to more countries and guided walking workouts to Apple Fitness+, the update also debuts a new "Unity" watch face.

Coming Soon?

Apple Plans Thinner MacBook Air With Magnetic Charger In Mac Lineup Reboot, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The new computer is planned to be released during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022. It will include Apple’s MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company’s in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed making the laptop smaller by shrinking the border around the screen, which will remain 13-inches.

Apple’s First Headset To Be Niche Precursor To Eventual AR Glasses, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc.’s first crack at a headset is designed to be a pricey, niche precursor to a more ambitious augmented reality product that will take longer to develop, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The initial device has confronted several development hurdles and the company has conservative sales expectations, illustrating how challenging it will be to bring this nascent consumer technology to the masses.


Today At Apple And Made In LDN Launch Virtual Sessions For Young Musicians, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Today at Apple and Made in LDN are again teaming up with the creative arts youth space Spotlight to help young musicians launch their careers in the music industry. The Music Revival series will offer virtual creative sessions from February 10 to June 30.

Apple Debuts New Interactive Valentine's Day Gift Guide Featuring iPhone 12, HomePod Mini, And More, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

The gift guide is interactive and lets you shop for specific types of people like “lovers of photography” or “lovers of music.”

These Are The Best Sleep Tracking Apps For Apple Watch, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Sleep tracking with Apple Watch is a great way to gain new insight into your sleeping habits and trends over time. In fact, with the release of watchOS 7 last fall, Apple officially added native sleep tracking support to the Apple Watch for the first time. Read on as we round up the best sleep tracking apps for Apple Watch, comparing Apple’s first-party solution with the competition.

Fuzion App Expands Double Exposures And Image Blending Tech To All iPhones, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Fuzion launched back in 2019 as a super efficient and fun way to create unique images with double exposures and image blending. It was originally just compatible with iPhones that could take Portrait mode photos. Now with a major update, Fuzion is compatible with all iPhones and isn’t limited to official Portrait mode images. The update also brings other neat features like a text tool, stickers, fresh UI, and more.


Apple’s Bundle Grows…, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish

As with many of the things Amazon bakes into Prime, Apple is starting to understand the value of creating the illusion of value. You’re probably not going to sign up for a premium podcast service by itself, but it’s a great deal as a part of the bundle you’re already paying for. Customer retention.

What Color Was “Apple Beige”?, by Ben Zotto, Medium

I came by this relic, a remarkable artifact of the fledgling home computer era. It’s a small glass jar filled with an oil-based paint — there’s a little brush built into the cap, and the monochromatic label glued to it sports the old Apple Computer Inc logotype and the title “Apple Beige Touch-Up Paint”.

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I loved my 11-inch MacBook Air... when I was younger and have better eyesights than today's me. The rumored smaller, and possibly lighter, new MacBook Air will have greatly delighted the younger me.


Thanks for reading.

The American-Values Edition Thursday, January 21, 2021

Tech Rallies Behind Biden’s Immigration Plans, by Makena Kelly, The Verge

“We welcome President Biden’s commitment to pursuing comprehensive immigration reform that reflects the American values of justice, fairness and dignity. This effort will strengthen American communities and the pathways to opportunity this country has long fostered,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement Wednesday. “In the weeks and months to come, business leaders look forward to working with the Administration, as well as Democrats and Republicans in Congress, to achieve bipartisan, practical and comprehensive solutions to fix our broken immigration system, including a permanent solution for Dreamers that includes a path to citizenship.”


Apple's Joint Venture Small Business Program Coming To An End, Here's What Will Replace It, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

After a decade, Apple’s Joint Venture support program for small and medium-size businesses appears to be coming to an end. Apple is sending emails to customers about how the program will wrap up, that refunds will be issued, and how a new AppleCare offering will be filling the gap going forward.

‘Agenda’ Date-focused Notes App Gains Support For Tables And More On iOS And Mac, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Agenda for iPhone, iPad, and Mac is a date-focused notes/productivity app and it has received some new features today in the latest update. Headlining the changes is support for tables, inline styles, and horizontal rules.

Best Apps For Young Kids To Foster Fun And Creative Learning, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

For my wife and I, finding engaging, fun apps that naturally encourage creativity and learning with game-like qualities has been super helpful.


The Problem With Apple Reportedly Killing The MacBook Pro Touch Bar, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

My issue with the Touch Bar in 2021 isn’t that it’s no longer better than a static row of function keys. It’s that Apple shipped the Touch Bar then never touched it again.

The Touch Bar is considered just OK to lackluster four years later because it’s bizarrely still a 1.0 product.

Apple TV+ Had Only 3% Market Share In The US Last Quarter, Netflix Still In First Place, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Although Apple has been investing in new movies and shows for its streaming service Apple TV+, the platform is still far from being considered a huge success. New research from JustWatch obtained by 9to5Mac revealed that Apple TV+ had only 3% of market share in the fourth quarter of 2020 in the US, ranking far behind competitors like Netflix, Disney+, and even Peacock.

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I don't know how the story will yet end, but I suddenly realize this may not be the right time for me to be reading a novel about what-ifs between life and death.


Thanks for reading.

The Spotlight-Showcase Edition Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Apple Spotlights iPhone 12 Photography, by John Voorhees, MacStories

For the past several years, Apple has shown off some of the best photos taken with the current-generation iPhone. In a press release today, the company highlights 17 beautiful images taken around the globe, as a showcase of what the iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max can do.

Apples Podcasts Adds Spotlight Editorial Feature, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Today, Apple unveiled a new monthly editorial feature for Podcasts called Spotlight, which showcases up-and-coming podcast creators. The first podcaster featured is Chelsea Devantez, whose show Celebrity Book Club debuted late last year and discusses the memoirs of celebrity women.


$49 Beats Flex With Apple’s W1 Chip Now Available In Two New Color Options, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Packing Apple’s W1 chip for seamless connectivity to Apple devices, the Beats Flex have proven to be a popular choice for budget shoppers. Today, Beats is further expanding the Flex lineup with two new color options: Flame Blue and Smoke Gray.

Apple Sets First Apple Watch ‘Unity' Activity Challenge For February In Honor Of Black History Month, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The first-ever “Unity Challenge” will be held from February 1 through February 28, and it encourages Apple Watch users to celebrate Black History Month by closing their Move ring seven days in a row.

iFixit Tears Down Apple’s $550 AirPods Max Headphones, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

All in all, iFixit called servicing the AirPods Max "surprisingly painless, particularly for an AirPods product." The ear cushions attach magnetically, and the headband can easily be detached.

MindNode For Mac Gains Support For Outlining Alongside Mind Mapping, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

The updated app has a few improvements this time out, but the biggest is a newly redesigned outlining tool that now includes support for editing, adding, removing, and rearranging entries.

Doodle Jump 2 Review: A Modern Take On A Classic, by Alex Guyot, MacStories

Doodle Jump 2 is instantly familiar to anyone who has played the original. The controls haven’t changed at all, nor has the core idea of The Doodler bouncing its way to ever-increasing heights. However, the game’s art and animations have been completely revamped, with tremendous results.

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I can't wait to see what Apple is doing for podcasting. But I doubt I will want to pay for it. I already have too much stuff to listen.

(I am paying for audiobooks.)


Thanks for reading.

The Helping-Others Edition Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Apple Distinguished Educator Mike Lang Draws Blueprint For Change In Las Vegas, by Apple

“My hope for all my students is that they see and consider themselves as citizens of the world who are responsible for helping others be successful,” Lang says. This month, Lang initiated a three-part project with his kindergarten and first grade students to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and instill a sense of civic duty in them. “That’s the ultimate goal: We want people who are going to be informed, passionate, patriotic in the true sense of that word, and who are going to be empathetic.”

Apple Partners With The King Center On 'Challenge For Change' Educational Initiative, by AppleInsider

Apple on Monday partnered with The King Center to launch a second installment of "Challenge for Change," an educational series that urges youth to participate in community service programs.


AirPods Max Battery Drain - Some Say They Empty Overnight, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Some owners are reporting that their headphone battery is draining from 100% to 1% or 0% overnight, even when left inside the official Apple case designed to drop them quickly into ultra-low power mode.

Some M1 Macs Blighted By Fast User Switching Screensaver Bug, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

A growing number of user reports online suggest some of Apple’s M1 Mac models are susceptible to a Fast User Switching bug that spontaneously activates the screensaver and leaves the user unable to dismiss it.

I Tried 4 To-Do List Methods. Here’s What Worked., by Kelsey Alpaio, Harvard Business Review

The “do one thing” method made me feel more productive and in control than the others. But it was really best for completing my most immediate tasks. Moving forward, I’m going to combine it with Todoist, my digital task manager, which is better for scheduling important tasks that are due down the line.

I confess: My verdict is entirely based on my own preferences, strengths, and flaws. No one method is really better than the other — what works for you will depend on your own quirks, habits, and what you’re trying to accomplish. So experiment! And make sure to leave some blank space on your calendar to relax. (Burnout is real.)

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I do not know what this year will bring, and I am wary of looking forward to any form of normality for this year.

Instead, what I am trying to do is to look towards to five years from now. I hope I still have my physical health, and I hope I am not too bad financially. But I think I may have a better mental health and a happier outlook to life. And in order for that to happen, I need to start to figure out a way to move to that state now.

And that's something I can look forward to.

(We may still have to wear a mask whenever we go out, but at least, underneath that mask, I'll smile more.)


Thanks for reading.

The A-Lot-More Edition Monday, January 18, 2021

Want To Write A Book This Year? These Tools Can Help, by Harry Guinness, Wired

2020 was not the year I wrote my first book—but it was the year I started thinking about it. And in typical freelance writer fashion, I decided to take advantage of my position and get some advice on how to go about it from people much more accomplished than me under the guise of researching this article. Here’s what I managed to learn.

How To Use Your iPhone To Get In Shape And Stay Healthy, by Todd Haselton, CNBC

You might already know that you can track your steps, for example. But the Health app built-into your iPhone can do a lot more, like tracking how long you practice mindfulness through third-party apps, determining how long you spent in bed, your walking speed and more.


Fitness+ Subscribers Now Have Nearly 300 Workouts To Choose From, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple on Monday added over two dozen new video workout sessions to Fitness+, continuing a recent trend of building out the catalog of its fledgling subscription service on a weekly basis.

Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer.

Apple Arcade Icons Come To Life In New Apple Store Displays, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Characters from your favorite Apple Arcade titles are the stars of larger than life displays in Apple Stores around the world. The new interactive demos debuted this past week and are powered by a QR code-based experience.


From Bangkok To NYC: 5 Of The Coolest Apple Stores Around The World, by Tom Huddleston Jr., CNBC

The settings for those stores can vary greatly, from shopping malls to Manhattan's trendy SoHo shopping district. But in several cases, the tech giant co-founded by Steve Jobs (who always placed an emphasis on pleasing aesthetic designs) has aimed to ensure that the look of the store is just as appealing to customers as the company hopes the products inside will be.

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Out of the three Apple Stores in Singapore, the only one that I haven't visited is the dome-in-the-waters at Marina Bay Sands. It sure looked nice in photos.

Singapore is currently in the third phase of the re-opening; masks are still mandatory anywhere outside of one's home, and social gathering is limited to a maximum of eight people. But I've seldom left my home anymore. I think I've lost appetite of the outdoors.

Maybe things will change when I no longer solely work-from-home.

What I missed is seeing other people's smiles.


Thanks for reading.

The Up-to-the-Job Edition Sunday, January 17, 2021

Are Women Let Down By Period Trackers?, by Zoe Kleinman, BBC

When journalist Orla Barry received a notification from her iPhone informing her that her period was due "any day in the next three weeks", she shared it on social media with wry amusement.


These apps do face a big challenge - periods are not always renowned for their punctuality. But are they up to the job?


Apple Adds VolunteerMatch Guides To Apple Maps Ahead Of MLK Day Of Service, by Ian Sherr, CNET

Apple has teamed up with VolunteerMatch to help people find a new way to give back to their communities this Monday, which is a federal holiday to celebrate civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

HomePod Mini: Big Sound Small Complaint, by Bob Levitus, Houston Chronicle

For example, I was out for a walk and tried to send an Intercom voice message to my kitchen HomePod mini from my Apple Watch; an alert informed me that, “There was a problem with Intercom. Please try again later.”

Logitech HomeKit Doorbell Is Ready To Rule The Roost, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

It’s got a sharp and simple design, HomeKit Secure Video support, face recognition, and an impressive price point – particularly if you’re willing to handle the installation yourself.


The Death Of Apple's Touch Bar Is Long Overdue, by Brenda Stolyar, Mashable

Sure it looks cool, but it's super unintuitive — adjusting things like volume and brightness requires extra taps, and it's not even optimized for all apps.

DOJ Keeps 80-year-old Music Licensing Rules Affecting Apple Music Intact, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

The Department of Justice has chosen to keep 80-year-old consent decrees relating to music licensing rules intact, a decision that keeps the way Apple Music secures licenses for songs and tracks the same without any major legal changes.

Bottom of the Page

There were quite a few years that I didn't buy any new Macs. And so I avoided both the butteryfly-keyboards and the touch-bar.

But, with my failing eyes, as well as the likelihood that I will not be going anythere else to work besides my home and my office (maybe starting sometime this year?), it is very possible that I will not be buying another laptop for the rest of my life.


Thanks for reading.

The Extensions-Library Edition Saturday, January 16, 2021

Safari 14 Added WebExtensions Support. So Where Are The Extensions?, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Months after Safari 14’s release, are developers “bothering with Safari?”

The answer seems to be largely no—at least, not yet. The Mac App Store’s Safari extensions library seems to be largely populated with the same stuff that was there before Safari 14 was released, though there are some exceptions.

Apple Highlights Students Shooting Movies With iPhone In New Video, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

The behind the scenes video shows off four films being made using the unique aspects of iPhone, like its small size and vertical aspect ratio. From stop motion using homemade props to full Hollywood-level productions, the video highlights how students can achieve beautiful shots with just an iPhone.

Automating Homes

HomeKit For The Holidays (And Home Troubleshooting Tips), by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Throughout all of iOS 12 and iOS 13, I was never able to turn on personal requests in the Home app—I’d tap the appropriate link, but the next screen would just be blank. I tried various things to no avail, but it wasn’t enough of a problem that I was willing to spend significant time on the phone with Apple support. I just assumed there was something wonky with my iCloud account. With iOS 14, personal requests finally work, but I’ve run into other issues that I’ll discuss at the end.

How I Used Open Source To Extend Apple’s Home Automation To More Devices, by Simon Bisson, ZDNet

If you're worried about privacy and want voice-controlled IoT in your home, the combination of Siri, HomePod, HomeKit, and Homebridge is well worth investigating.


Apple Again Extends Apple TV+ Free Trials, Subscribers Now Get Free Access Until July 2021, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

This means customers who took advantage of the ‘year free’ deal back when the service first launched will now be getting an additional 9 months of free access to Apple original shows and movies.

Apple Adds 'Privacy' Collection To iOS Tips App, by AppleInsider

The new Privacy collection consists of nine tips covering Sign in with Apple, Safari passwords, system-wide password security, camera and mic usage indicators, Messages previews, location, Photos, Private Browsing in Safari, and Safari's Privacy Report feature.

The Best Budgeting App For People Serious About Getting Out Of Debt, by Elizabeth Gravier, CNBC

The big perk with using the YNAB app is that it forces you to be thoughtful about your money and it makes you allocate funds toward saving and investing. For these reasons, the app is favorable for anyone trying to get out of debt.


Apple Fails To Overturn VirnetX Patent Verdict, Could Owe Over $1.1 Billion, by Jonathan Stempel, Reuters

A federal judge denied Apple Inc’s bid to set aside or reduce a $502.8 million patent infringement verdict favoring VirnetX Holding Corp, and awarded interest and royalties that could boost Apple’s total payout in two lawsuits above $1.1 billion.

The Additional-Levels Edition Friday, January 15, 2021

How Law Enforcement Gets Around Your Smartphone's Encryption, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

Lawmakers and law enforcement agencies around the world, including in the United States, have increasingly called for backdoors in the encryption schemes that protect your data, arguing that national security is at stake. But new research indicates governments already have methods and tools that, for better or worse, let them access locked smartphones thanks to weaknesses in the security schemes of Android and iOS.

Apple Encryption Is A Balance Between User Convenience And Total Security, New Study Shows, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

This means Apple has additional levels of encryption and security that isn't being tapped by the operating system or installed applications. Apple is a consumer brand, however, and may not want a device so locked down a user's data is in danger of being lost forever.

Coming Soon

Apple Plans Upgraded MacBook Pros With Return Of Magnetic Charging, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. is planning upgraded MacBook Pro laptops this year with much faster processors, updated displays and the return of its magnetic charger, according to a person with knowledge of the plans.


The company is now bringing back MagSafe, the magnetic power adapter that means any accidental yanking of the power cable would simply detach it from the laptop rather than pull down the entire computer.

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning On iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras, by Joe Rossignol and Steve Moser, MacRumors

“Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera,” the message will read. As with a similar warning for non-genuine iPhone displays, the message will likely appear in the Settings app under General > About as necessary, and the warning may also appear as a notification on the Lock screen for a short period.


Apple TV+ Website Gets First UI Update Since The Streaming Service Launched, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

As of today’s overhaul, the new TV+ website homepage features the same featured header that you see in the Apple TV app, along with sections for latest releases and genre categories. This makes it feel much more familiar for customers who are used to the native TV app experience.

SpringNotes Is A Cross-Platform And Minimalistic Note-Taking App, by AppAdvice

With the app, you can easily write style Markdown notes that automatically sync across an iPhone, iPad, and Mac.


Apple Working To Release Music And Podcasts Apps On Microsoft Store, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Sources told 9to5Mac that Apple has been testing both Music and Podcasts apps for Microsoft platforms in a private beta. We cannot confirm if the apps will be compatible with Windows PCs or if they were developed to work exclusively with Xbox, just like the Apple TV app.

Doing Business With Apple Means You Probably Can't Tell Anyone About It, As Hyundai Learned, by Kif Leswing, CNBC

While nondisclosure agreements are common in high tech, people who work with Apple say it takes confidential information more seriously than competitors. Apple tells partners they can't mention Apple in public or to the media, according to people familiar with the matter who didn't want to be identified to avoid risking their relationship with Apple. One person who has worked with Apple described its secrecy requirements as a lot of hoops to jump through.

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I hope the future MacBook Pros can be charged via MagSafe and regular USB. No, not at the same time. But when I was still using my MacBook Air previously, when Apple had already transitioned to USB-C, I was worried that if anything went wrong with the MagSafe charger, I may not easily get a replacement.


Thanks for reading.

The Giving-Opportunities Edition Thursday, January 14, 2021

Tim Cook Says Apple's $100 Million Racial Equity Initiative Is "About Giving People Opportunity", by CBS News

Speaking with "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Vice President Lisa Jackson are revealing new details about the racial equality initiative, launched last summer after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

"It's about giving people opportunity," Cook said. "I can't wait to see students that are able to enjoy the innovation hub at the Propel Center."

Coming Soon

macOS Big Sur 11.2 Beta 2 Removes Filter That Lets Apple Apps Bypass Third-party Firewalls, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Back in November, some developers raised concerns due to a change in macOS Big Sur, which allowed Apple apps to bypass firewall filters in any situation. Since this could lead to security and privacy breaches, Apple has removed this list of exceptions from macOS Big Sur 11.2.

macOS Beta Code Suggests Apple Will Block Users From Sideloading Unsupported iOS Apps On M1 Macs, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Based on internal code that is shared between recent iOS 14.4 beta versions and macOS Big Sur 11.2, Apple is implementing a new system that will block some iOS apps from running on the Mac. This, of course, will not affect the apps available on the Mac App Store.

URL Scheme Reveals Hidden 'Find My Items' Menu On Apple Devices, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

Apple has enabled third-party companies to use Find My to locate lost items, and a handy URL scheme will make the hidden "Find My Items" menu show up within the app.


macOS Big Sur’s Battery Optimization: You Can’t Do Much To Tweak Settings, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

You can either deselect Optimized Battery Charging in the Battery tab of the Battery preference pane, or keep it checked and let macOS handle it. You can’t set a target of your own.

'An Otter RSS Reader' Arrives For iPhone, iPad, Mac With Widgets, iCloud Sync, Minimalist Design, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Key features include a minimalist design, iOS and Mac widgets, iCloud sync, an adorable icon, and as you’d hope, it’s a universal app.

The 7 Minute Workout App Was 'My Lifeline' During Quarantine, by Danielle Page, Today

What you will get is a workout that leaves you feeling energized and accomplished; one that you don't need to block out your calendar for during the day. Being able to do this workout at any time I felt motivated enough was a game-changer and kept me coming back for more.

Belkin Wireless Charger Sold By Apple Is Being Recalled For Fire Hazards, by Ian Carlos Campbell, The Verge

Belkin is voluntarily recalling its Portable Wireless Charger + Stand Special Edition that was sold in Apple retail stores and online on Apple and Belkin’s sites because of fire and shock safety hazards. No incidents or injuries have been connected to the charger, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the malfunction should only affect chargers sold between July 2020 and October 2020.

Bottom of the Page

I wish there can be really smart playlists in podcast players. For example: I want a smart playlist that automatically deletes any episodes about current news events that will make me unhappy.


Thanks for reading.

The Equality-and-Justice Edition Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Apple Launches New Nationwide Racial Equity And Justice Initiative Projects, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple today announced a set of new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color.

The projects include the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an Apple Developer Academy to support coding and tech education for students in Detroit, and venture capital funding for Black and Brown entrepreneurs.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

Living With Apple Fitness+: We Get Sweaty With The New Fitness Service, by James Stables, Wareable

Fitness+ is a brilliant workout app for Apple Watch users – although it’s 100% more focussed on accessibility and inclusivity than rivals. And the price looks great against rival apps.

Where Apple Could Improve Fitness+, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

Even after just a few weeks, we’ve definitely run into places where the service could be tweaked or offer more. That’s understandable, given that Fitness+ just launched, and no doubt Apple is planning to make changes down the road, especially once it sees how customers are using the service.


Apple Still Repairing Eligible MacBooks For Anti-reflective Coating Issues, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

The program has already been extended once, and it seems that Apple is still repairing eligible MacBooks for free.

Transform Text In Real Time With Textcraft, by AppAdvice

There are more than 60 text formats available - everything from uppercase or lower case to more fun options like reversed text and bubbles.You can also find great options like the ability to strip HTML or encode/decode strings in Base64.


The Case For A 12-inch MacBook Air, by Jason Snell, Macworld

As much as I love my M1 MacBook Air, I would drop it in a heartbeat for a 12-inch model that looked like the Retina MacBook. There’s room in the Mac laptop line for a smaller, lighter MacBook. I promise it won’t take up very much space.

iTunes At 20: How One App Changed Apple's Course, by Kirk McElhearn, Intego

On January 10, 2001, Steve Jobs went on the stage at Macworld Expo in San Francisco and presented a new app that would change the course of Apple. iTunes would become Apple’s most important app, not only because it was the companion of the iPod that would be released later that year, but also because it would become the framework for all of the company’s future online stores.

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I hope people don't send out work emails just before the end of the workday... while I'm busy finishing up my work for the day and sending out work emails at the end of the workday.


Thanks for reading.

The Find-Accessories Edition Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Apple Starts Allowing Third-parties To Join The Find My App Ahead Of AirTags Launch, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

Apple launched the Find My Accessory Program in June 2020 to certify third-party products.

Six months later and the first products to take advantage of the feature are being announced, including the latest Belkin SoundForm Pro true wireless earbuds. These will show natively in the app, the same way that your Apple devices do.

Medical Study Suggests iPhone 12 With MagSafe Can Deactivate Pacemakers, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

It doesn’t sound like there is concrete evidence that iPhone 12 and MagSafe do pose a greater risk of increased interference but with this study out now, we may see more testing in the medical field to find out for sure.

Apple Highlights Commitment To Privacy In New Ads On First Day Of CES 2021, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple has often used CES as an opportunity to promote the company’s commitment to privacy, and this year is no different, with Apple releasing two short privacy-focused ads that highlight how Face ID data and Apple Pay purchase history is not shared with Apple.

New Interfaces

Is App Library For Me?, by Tech Reflect

I hope that this helps you decide whether to use this unique and powerful new feature. And I hope you realize I’m actually making fun of the feature.

Big Sur’s Icons Die In The Dock, by Howard Oakley, Eclectic Light Company

I’m now reliant on position within the Dock for distinguishing several of Apple’s app icons. What works neatly in Launchpad and iOS/iPadOS doesn’t do at all well in the Dock.


Apple Releases iOS 12.5.1 For Older iPhones With Bug Fix For COVID-19 Exposure Notifications, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has released iOS 12.5.1 for older iPhones and iPads today, roughly one month after the release of iOS 12.5. The update includes bug fixes for the COVID-19 exposure notification feature.

AirPods Max Warranty Replacements Don’t Include New Ear Cushions Unless Necessary, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple’s assumption is that you should take the ear cups from your damaged AirPods Max and use them with your new pair.

Find The MagSafe Case That's Right For You, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

For the first time ever you can get any of the 2020 cases for all four flagship models all the way from the tiny iPhone 12 mini to the ginormous iPhone 12 Pro Max. So which case is right for you? Apple is currently offering clear cases, silicone cases, and two different styles of leather case.

Widgetsmith For iOS Updated With New Health And Fitness Widgets For Your iPhone’s Home Screen, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Widgetsmith now includes a variety of new step-counting widgets. You can set a daily step goal, then add a widget to your iOS 14 home screen that shows your progress toward that goal.

ESR HaloLock: Magsafe Compatible Car Vent Mount, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

For long trips, keeping your iPhone charged is crucial, so it’s not surprising that other manufacturers are filling the gap.

Puppr Review: Teach Your Dog New Tricks, by Alex Guyot, MacStories

The app is a simple and fun instructional tool for teaching your dog new behaviors and tricks. Since I’ve been staying with my parents for the last couple of months, I decided to take it for a spin doing some training with the family dog.


Biogen Will Use Apple Watch To Study Symptoms Of Dementia, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Biogen is launching a new virtual research study in collaboration with Apple, one that will look into how an Apple Watch and iPhone could help monitor a person's cognitive decline, a potential symptom of dementia and neurological diseases.

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I am not feeling particularly optimistic about this year.


Thanks for reading.

The Intermittent-Disconnection Edition Monday, January 11, 2021

Software Fix For M1 Mac Bluetooth Connectivity Issues Reportedly On The Way, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

When the ‌M1‌‌ MacBook Air, ‌‌M1‌‌ MacBook Pro 13-inch, and ‌‌M1‌‌ Mac mini models arrived in customers’ hands, a number of owners almost immediately began reporting various Bluetooth problems ranging from intermittent disconnects of wireless peripherals to completely non-functional Bluetooth connections.

6 Apps To Help You Trim Down Subscriptions—and Save Money, by David Nield, Wired

They help you identify the recurring payments leaving your bank account, so you can make sure you actually want to keep subscribing to all of them.

There's more to these apps than canceling subscriptions, though. They can help you renegotiate better deals on your smartphone contract, set up savings accounts for you, manage a more effective way of paying off debt, reduce the amount you need to pay on a parking ticket, and lots more—usually with minimal effort from you.

UK Leading The Way In Use Of Language-learning Apps, by Kitti Palmai and Will Smale, BBC

For a country not renowned for its population's skill or enthusiasm at learning a foreign language, the Covid-19 pandemic appears to have seen many more Britons try their hand at becoming at least a bit bilingual.

With lockdowns limiting what we can otherwise do with our leisure time, people have been downloading apps to swap their "hellos" for a "buenos días", "bonjour" or "guten tag".

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Can we skip forward to 2022?


Thanks for reading.

The Half-the-Speed Edition Sunday, January 10, 2021

Don't Let Third Parties Confuse You About Apple's MagSafe, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Many accessory makers have chosen to take a standard Qi charger and add the magnetic components to the edges to connect to the back of iPhone 12 models magnetically. The most significant difference here is that these chargers are often only 5W and 7.5W maximum — half the speed of Apple's MagSafe charger.


These Apps Automute Your Microphone When Typing, by Lawrence Abrams, BleepingComputer

The good news is that software exists that can automatically mute your microphone while typing or suppress background noise so that others are not annoyed by the sound of your keyboard.

7 Hidden Things Most People Didn't Know Their Apple Watch Could Do, by Tyler Lacoma, iDrop News

Apple has a habit of continually packing its watches with lots of upgrades, including new features, watch faces, and more – so it’s no surprise that even dedicated Apple Watch users can get a little overwhelmed when updating or upgrading.

Get More Professional Photos With These Advanced Camera Apps, by Dwight Silverman, Houston Chronicle

Both iOS and Android devices will let you work with advanced third-party software that provides the kind of control you’d get with a DSLR.


He Created The Web. Now He’s Out To Remake The Digital World., by Steve Lohr, New York Times

“Pods,” personal online data stores, are a key technical ingredient to achieve that goal. The idea is that each person could control his or her own data — websites visited, credit card purchases, workout routines, music streamed — in an individual data safe, typically a sliver of server space.

The All-Levels Edition Saturday, January 9, 2021

I Tried Apple Fitness+ For A Month — And Finally Became An At-Home Workout Person, by Kylie Gilbert, InStyle

Not only is it great for someone brand new to a type of exercise or working out in general, but it's also a great way for someone like me to ease back in. The studio workouts also cater to all levels: If you're working on perfecting your planks or squat jumps, there's always a trainer showing you a modification so you don't hurt yourself or get discouraged if you can't do the 'full version' of a move.

Big Sound From Apple's Home Pod Mini, by Bob Levitus, Houston Chronicle

Purists may sneer at speakers that rely on custom-built chips and software, but I’m impressed. And, when it comes to audio and sound quality, I’m not impressed easily.

'Denim' Is A New iPhone App That Lets You Create Stunning Cover Artwork For Your Playlists, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

If you like to take some time to create your own music playlists, you know how hard it can be to keep them organized and, most importantly, give them a great name and cover artwork. With the Denim app, which was recently released on the App Store, you can easily create custom cover artwork for your playlists.

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When I was young, I was always rushing to get old. Today, I discovered, on a podcast, that there are others who are also planning to get older and be retired. Just like me. I'm hoping to rush forward so that I finally have time to slow down.


Thanks for reading.

The Privacy-Moves Edition Friday, January 8, 2021

Apple Unveils Stringent Disclosure And Opt-in Privacy Requirements For Apps, by Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS

Apple’s privacy moves might topple some dark ad giants who don’t deliver for advertisers (or publishers) and have managed to hide their incompetence behind Rube Goldberg contraptions. It’s not unthinkable that Apple could help sweep in a simpler, more direct, and less intrusive advertising that resembles the Internet’s earlier days.

That’s probably too optimistic, but let’s start with the changes Apple has already made and the opt-in requirement on third-party tracking about to emerge.


Two Months With The HomePod Mini: More Than Meets The Eye, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The combination of size, price, and unique features make it more than just a speaker for playing audio. That flexibility has made the HomePod mini a terrific fit for a broader range of situations than the original model. The audio quality of the original HomePod will always win out if I want to sit down and focus on music, but for getting things done around the house while enjoying music and podcasts, the HomePod mini is an excellent alternative that I expect will fit neatly into many more users’ lives.

TripMode 3 Review: Data-Saving App Is A Must-Have For Canadians, by Gary Ng, iPhone In Canada

For Canadians with limited data plans, TripMode allows you to connect to your hotspot connection safely, and limit any apps sapping up your data connection in the background. It’s a must-have app for those who work on the go.

LongPlay: Listen To Your Favorite Albums, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

What it does is incredibly simple: It shows you the albums in your Apple Music library. You can sort them by personal popularity, in alphabetical order, grouped by color, or (very cleverly) to highlight albums you love but haven’t listened to in a while.


FTC Commissioners Criticize Apple And Google In Settlement With Mobile Ad Company, by Megan Graham, Lauren Feiner, CNBC

The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday it has settled with mobile advertising company Tapjoy over claims it used false advertising offers for the promise of in-game rewards that weren't given.

But regulators also said Apple and Google helped create the environment that squeezes mobile gaming industry players and incentivizes them to find other monetization models that may have unsavory consequences for consumers.

Hyundai's Confusion Over Apple Electric Car Tie-up, by BBC

The South Korean car company initially said it was in the "early stage" of talks with the iPhone maker about a possible electric car partnership.

But hours later it backtracked and said it was talking with a number of potential partners without naming Apple.

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Please, continue to stay safe. I hope February will be better than January.


Thanks for reading.

The Empty-Box Edition Thursday, January 7, 2021

How To Find The Perfect Music And Podcasts, Faster, by Tyler Hayes, Wired

The reason you’re not listening to what you want to when the mood strikes is because you can’t get to it fast enough. Whether you know it or not, you’re drowning in listening choices. Audio options abound. Often the time it takes to dig through songs, podcasts, or audiobooks is the thing that actually stops us from listening when we decided we wanted to listen.

I know I’ve thought about putting on some soft, background music during family dinner, but with only two or three minutes between when I think of it and when the timer goes off, I’ve given up. Making the perfect playlist isn’t hard, but it can take some time. The same goes for finding a new podcast episode or audiobook that can match the mood as well as a certain listening duration. It’s not hard, it just takes time.

Why Do People Keep Their Empty Apple Boxes?, by Hannah Ewens, Vice

People collect a lot of things — coins, comic books, vinyl records. Some are even into pretty outlandish things like celebrity hair strands. They’re usually novelties, but sometimes, they’re as basic as they can get. It turns out that a lot of people save the packaging that Apple products come in. Not just the old iPhones, MacBooks, and Apple Watches, but all their boxes too. It’s a pretty common habit and people have different reasons for keeping them, but some don’t even realize that they’re doing it. Until, of course, the internet started talking about it.

Apple Recaps Its 2020 Services, Including The App Store's Record-Breaking Holiday Season, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Among the highlights Apple shared are App Store revenue numbers for the 2020 holiday season, which were greater than 2019 for the same period and once again set an all-time record for single-day sales on New Year’s Day.


Apple Launches Limited Edition AirPods Pro To Celebrate Chinese New Year, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

The unique emoji applied to the AirPods Pro case depicts the classic cow emoji with a smaller cow emoji popping out of its head with stars floating around it.

Bear (For Mac), by Jill Duffy, PC Magazine

Bear does away with folders and notebooks, giving you a place to simply create notes and store them. It also omits elaborate text styling, opting instead for Markdown language. Though light on features, it's a decent option for people with modest note-taking needs.

Overviewer Is A New App That Turns An iPhone Into A Document Camera For Zoom And Virtual Learning, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Overviewer will send to Zoom exactly what the iPhone’s camera sees, including support for property rotating into landscape. This allows teachers to use their iPhone like a document camera, and easily show students as they work on math problems, drawing, and other tasks.

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I have build playlists in my Apple Music for times when I just want to escape from real life, where I can not only block what's out there, but also block all the little voices in my head.

I think I'll spend some time to strenghtening my playlists.


Thanks for reading.

The Finger-Printing Edition Wednesday, January 6, 2021

App Makers Explore Desperate Measures To Dodge Apple Privacy Rules, by Tim Bradshaw, Financial Times

Some app makers say they plan to use invasive tracking techniques such as “device fingerprinting” to work around the new restrictions — even though doing so risks getting them thrown off the App Store if they are caught.

“100 per cent, everyone will try doing fingerprints, whether Apple enforces their rules or not,” one mobile games developer said.

Google To Add App Store Privacy Labels To Its iOS Apps As Soon As This Week, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

And like other large companies, Google goes on a code freeze in late December through early January, so as not to cause major issues with its products and services over the holidays when staff is out.


Reached for comment, a Google spokesperson confirmed the company has a plan to add privacy labels across its app catalog. They also confirmed the labels are expected to begin rolling out as soon as this week or next week, though an exact date is not yet available.

Annual Proxy Filing

Apple Will Modify Executive Bonuses Based On Environmental Values In 2021, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

Apple Inc said in its annual proxy filing on Tuesday that it will modify executive cash bonuses based on whether the executives act within the company’s social and environmental values.

But the iPhone maker did not specify how it would evaluate progress toward the company’s publicly stated targets such as removing carbon from its supply chain.

Apple Adds New Section About Antitrust Risk To Its Annual Proxy Statement, by Kif Leswing, CNBC

The language, which is new in this year's proxy statement, highlights how regulatory pressure and antitrust issues have become a significant risk for Apple as policymakers increasingly scrutinize big technology companies.

Coming Soon?

iOS 14.4 Beta Suggests Guided Audio Walking Workouts Coming To Apple Watch, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Named “Time to Walk”, the setting describes a feature where walking workouts are downloaded to the watch when connected to power and the iPhone is nearby.


Memento Is The Simple, Clean Reminders Replacement You've Been Looking For, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

Beyond the syncing, there's a lot to like about Memento, starting with the powerful notifications for advanced triaging and continuing through the location support for tasks that need to be completed at a given place.


It’s Time For The Mac To Undergo A Product-design Renaissance, by Jason Snell, Macworld

I think Apple has been gearing up for this switch for a long time, and the move to a hardware platform Apple completely controls should leave to another flurry of creative activity that will shape the Macs we use for the next decade or more.

It’s time for Apple to put it all on the table. What does the definitive laptop of the 2020s look like? How can the iMac be reinvented, based on how users and technology have changed between 2007 and now?

Apple's Annual Shareholders Meeting To Take Place Virtually On February 23, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple’s annual shareholders meeting is set to take place on February 23, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time, Apple said today in an SEC filing. Shareholders meetings are normally held in person at Apple Park, but this year’s meeting will take place virtually and will be open to a greater number of shareholders because there are no space restrictions.

Apple's Holiday Quarter Earnings Announcement Scheduled For Jan. 27, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Apple on Tuesday announced its quarterly earnings call for the first fiscal quarter of 2021 will be held on Jan. 27, offering a detailed breakdown of the important holiday quarter as the coronavirus pandemic rages.

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Will there be an iPad-like Mac? Will there be an iMac-like iPad? Or are there lines that Apple does not allow each product to cross?


Thanks for reading.

The One-Home-Screen Edition Tuesday, January 5, 2021

You Only Really Need One Home Screen, by Beth Skwarecki, Lifehacker

I dedicate my one and only home screen to the apps that I actually want my phone to remind me about, or that I want the easiest possible access to. These include my camera, texting apps, and a few health and habit-related apps. If I want to browse old photos or check my work email, I have to take the extra two seconds to locate the appropriate app. As a result, my home screen represents what I want to use my phone for, rather than a hodgepodge of every app that’s made its way on there. And I’m happier this way.

Apple Still Hasn't Fixed iOS 14 Notifications Bug For Some Users, by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, ZDNet

Basically, the problem was (or is) that iPhone owners just aren't getting notifications for things like messages. Those with an Apple Watch were noticing that notifications were being delivered to their wrist, but that the iPhone was remaining silent. Those owning just an iPhone were left in the dark when a message came in.


This Handy Fitness App Got Me Active Again At Home – Here’s Why You Should Try It, by Lauren Murdoch-Smith, Vogue

It’s got me moving, something that I admit I hadn’t been doing as much since being stuck at home, and I’ve discovered new workouts that I would have once shied away from. It’s truly a refreshing approach to taking an exercise class.

This App Puts Timers On Your iPhone Screen No Matter What You're Doing, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

Pop Out Timer & Stopwatch cleverly turns itself into a video and then allows users to watch that video via picture-in-picture. The result is a movable timer and stopwatch that you can always see, whether you're on your Home screen or checking up on Twitter.

Belkin Delays Its 3-in-1 MagSafe Wireless Charger, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Despite being among the first to announce a range of MagSafe accessories, Belkin has now said that its chief product has been delayed. The $149 3-in-1 Wireless Charger with Magsafe, which charges iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods, will now not be released until February.


Apple To Close All UK Retail Locations Amid New Government Lockdown, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Apple will shutter all of its retail locations in the United Kingdom amid a new national lockdown implemented in response to a surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

WhatsApp Soundly Beaten By Apple’s Stunning New iMessage Update, by Zak Doffman, Forbes

In a fairly stark example of being careful what you wish for, Apple has updated its website and that same level of privacy information for iMessage is now live, presenting a stunning contrast between iMessage and WhatsApp.

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Even before iOS 14, I only had one home screen. All the other 'unnecessary' apps were hidden away in folders. iOS 14 makes this hiding even easier, though. It makes my fidgeting around the home screens even less likely to conjure up unnecessary apps that I can fiddle with.

Screen Time on my iPhone can set limits on certain categories of apps. Perhaps Apple can consider to also allow limits to be set on apps that are not on the home screen?


Thanks for reading.

The Last-Bit Edition Monday, January 4, 2021

How To Craft The Perfect Apple Watch Face, by Craig Grannell, GQ

Whether you own the latest Apple Watch Series 6, the Apple Watch SE or an older model, your customisation options span from tracking the latest lunar cycle to AI-enabled artwork. Given all that choice can be a little overwhelming, we thought we'd break down your latest options and show you the shortcuts to crafting a more unique Watch.

Apple's 'Ring In The New Year' Activity Challenge Now Available, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple’s annual “Ring in the New Year” Activity Challenge has begun appearing for many users in the Fitness app on iPhone and Apple Watch over the last few days.

Apple AirPods Max Over-Ear Headphones Review, by Matthew Jens, Stereonet

Never in my life have I come across Bluetooth headphones that cost so much. But then again, never in my life have I come across full-size headphones that boast so much wizardry and gadgetry packed into a premium, luxurious wireless offering.

MyLife Review: The Mindfulness App That Hooks Meditation Skeptics, by Ken Foster, Mashable

But if you’re stressed out about your life and goals already, how can you trust your mental state to an algorithm-driven phone app? I was surprised to find how effective (and accessible) these apps can be.

'Peak Hype': Why The Driverless Car Revolution Has Stalled, by Gwyn Topham, The Guardian

Looking back, Reed says “the technology worked … people had the sense, it does the right thing most of the time, we are 90% of the way there. But it is that last bit which is the toughest. Being able reliably to do the right thing every single time, whether it’s raining, snowing, fog, is a bigger challenge than anticipated.”

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What delights me? A good story -- whether it is in an e-book, an audiobook, or a TV show. A cup of coffee. A cup of ginger tea. A perfect sunny-side-up egg.

May you be delighted every day in this new year.


Thanks for reading.

The Decision-Reversing Edition Sunday, January 3, 2021

Apple Will Let Amphetamine App Stay In The App Store After Wrongly Telling Developer It Violated App Store Rules, by Kim Lyons, The Verge

The developer of Amphetamine, an app that prevents Macs from going into sleep mode, says Apple told him it violated App Store guidelines, even though it’s been in the App Store since 2014, and has nothing to do with drug use. Not long after The Verge reached out to Apple for comment on Saturday however, the company reversed its decision, and the app will be able to stay up with its current name and logo.

Apple Promotes Fitness+ And Apple Music Integration With ‘Studio Series’ Playlists, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

One of the key features Apple touts with its new Fitness+ workouts service is deep integration with Apple Music. One of the ways in which this is now manifesting itself is with a dedicated category in the Music app, allowing users to quickly view playlists from Fitness+ workouts.

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Apple should have known something is not quite right. When an app existed for quite a while on your App Store, and your reviewer suddenly rejected the app, maybe Apple should spend a bit more time reviewing your own decision first?


Thanks for reading.

The Condensation-in-Cups Edition Saturday, January 2, 2021

AirPods Max Owners Are Reporting A Major Flaw — What You Need To Know, by Imad Khan, Tom's Guide

Users on Twitter are reporting condensation buildup inside the ear cups of the Apple AirPods Max, which might be problematic as the headphones are not water resistant.

Dato Review: Calendar Events And Time Zones From Your Mac's Menu Bar, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The convenience of having Dato sit in my menu bar means I don’t have to open the Calendar app when all I want to do is check my schedule.

10 Best Calculator Apps For iPad You Can Use In 2021, by Akshay Gangwar, BeeBom

So, whether you want a scientific calculator, graphing calculator, or just a simple calculator, here are the 10 best calculator apps for iPad.

Apple Vs Facebook: Why I'm On Team Apple, by David Court, Stuff

Apple giving its customers the choice of more digital privacy is logical and sensible. The only questions I have is: why has it taken so long and why hasn't this been done at a governmental level?

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I don't think I've seen the sun yet in 2021. It has been raining all day long for these first two days of the new year here in Singapore.


Thanks for reading.

The Supply-Chain-Cleanup Edition Friday, January 1, 2021

Apple Reportedly Took Years To Drop A Supplier That Used Underage Labor, by Igor Bonifacic, Yahoo

Former employees who worked for Apple’s supplier responsibility team, the internal unit that audit’s the company’s manufacturer partners to ensure they’re adhering to labor and safety rules, said several issues prevent Apple from cleaning up its supply chain. To start, there aren’t many manufacturers that meet Apple’s standards for quality and volume, and there are fewer still that can step in and fill its needs on short notice. Related to that problem is that the company is often unwilling to incur higher costs and go through product delays. They claim Apple has avoided or delayed dropping a manufacturer when doing so would mean hurting its business. The Information details two examples that showcase how that’s created a problem for the company.

Charger Nerdery, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

What really matters when an adapter is negotiating with a device are the various voltage/amp configurations that the charger can supply as output, and the device can accept as input.

macOS Big Sur 11.1 Now Reverts Open/Save Dialog Boxes To Original Size, by Zohaib Ahmed, PiunikaWeb

The macOS Big Sur 11.1 update now forces users to resize Open/Save dialog boxes according to their requirements each and every time they pop up.


Two Weeks With Apple Fitness+, by Cherlynn Low, Yahoo

The good news is that with its excellent tech, Fitness+ has laid the groundwork for a satisfying service that can grow with its users.

AirPods Max Case: WaterField Shield Hands-on, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The WaterField Designs Shield Case provides ample protection for when my AirPods Max are in my backpack, which is a crucial advantage over the Apple Smart Case.

Textcraft App For iOS And Mac Offers Powerful Text Conversion Tools For HTML Stripping, Base64, Alt Case, Emoji, Much More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Textcraft brings over 50 formats that you can quickly convert your text to which should be useful for everyone from developers to everyday users.


Apple Executes New Year's Eve Apps Purge In China, by Leo Kelion, BBC

Apple kicked tens of thousands of products off the Chinese version of its App Store on the final day of the year to meet Beijing's demands.

The bulk of them were unlicensed games.

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The M1 chip is out. This year, there may even be a more powerful Apple-Silicon making its debut. So, the obvious the question to ask: Will the upcoming iPad Pro take advantage of the same Apple Silicon chips? Will iPads be making a huge leap too, just like what the Mac is doing right now? What new capabiltiies will the iPadOS bring this year? Will we finally have all the Pro apps -- Xcode, Final Cut, Logic -- on iPadOS?

I can't wait to see what Apple is doing for this year.


Thanks for reading.