The Invitations-Went-Out Edition Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Apple’s Next Event Is On April 20, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Apple will host its first product unveiling event in more than five months, the company announced Tuesday. Invitations that went out this morning state that the event will take place at 10:00 am PST on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.


As has become the custom, the event has a tagline: "Spring Loaded." The taglines usually harbor subtle clues about what products might be updated or how, as well as the general theme of the event.

Apple Trusts Phobio For Its Trade-ins, But Maybe You Should Think Twice, by Nick Statt, The Verge

Apple often prides itself on customer service and in handling many of its sales operations in-house. So the use of a third-party vendor not advertised publicly on its trade-in website — even in receipts, Apple only refers to an unnamed “trade-in partner” — is a peculiar approach for the iPhone maker.


Yet for Apple, which stakes its reputation on quality control, the negative experiences customers report having with Phobio threaten to undermine the image Apple has cultivated as a customer-obsessed product company, which in turn helps justify the company’s high-priced consumer tech.

15 Years Of Spotify: How The Streaming Giant Has Changed And Reinvented The Music Industry, by Kristin Robinson, Variety

With the introduction of the iPod in 2001 and iTunes two years later, Apple quickly and completely dominated the legal digital music world, holding a whopping 69% of the digital sales market in 2009. Its closest competitor, Amazon MP3, lagged far behind with only 8% of the market share during that year. But Apple’s runaway reign over digital music consumption ended in 2016 when streaming revenue finally surpassed that of digital downloads. Spotify led among streamers in the second quarter that year with 44% of the global market; Apple Music followed, with 19%. Spotify continues to hold the top spot as an audio-only DSP, maintaining 34% of the global streaming market as of the second quarter of 2020.

The FBI Wanted To Unlock The San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone. It Turned To A Little-known Australian Firm., by Ellen Nakashima and

Reed Albergotti, Washington Post

The iPhone used by a terrorist in the San Bernardino shooting was unlocked by a small Australian hacking firm in 2016, ending a momentous standoff between the U.S. government and the tech titan Apple.

Azimuth Security, a publicity-shy company that says it sells its cyber wares only to democratic governments, secretly crafted the solution the FBI used to gain access to the device, according to several people familiar with the matter.


Apple Gets Its Own Button On Roku’s Latest Remotes, by Chris Welch, The Verge

In a sign of how far Apple is willing to go to continue raising the profile of Apple TV Plus, the company has worked out a deal with Roku that will give the streaming video service its own shortcut button. This is the first time a branded Apple TV Plus button has appeared on any remote control.

Buying A 64GB iPhone Was Not The Wrong Decision, by Rahul Chowdhury, Hulry

In this post, I’ll talk about why I didn’t opt for higher storage in the first place and how I keep my local storage footprint low.

OmniPlan 4 Highlights Complexity Of Apple's 'Universal Purchase' Feature, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

A major update to the project management app OmniPlan includes the ability for buyers to pay once and get both Mac and iOS editions. Making that easy for users, though, turns out to be highly complex.


Embrace The Grind, by Jacob Kaplan-Moss

Sometimes, programming feels like magic: you chant some arcane incantation and a fleet of robots do your bidding. But sometimes, magic is mundane. If you’re willing to embrace the grind, you pull off the impossible.

Why Some Developers Are Avoiding App Store Headaches By Going Web-only, by Jared Newman, Fast Company

Still, the web-first approach is one that some developers have been rediscovering as discontent with Apple’s and Google’s app stores boils over. Launching with a mobile app just isn’t as essential as it used to be, and according to some developers, it may not be necessary at all.


Apple May Be On The Brink Of A Smart Home Breakthrough, by Jason Snell, Macworld

The evidence is scant, yes. A deactivated sensor is hardly evidence. Rumors about products that may never see the light of day are even flimsier. But two years after Apple overhauled the team running its smart-home strategy, it feels like we might be on the precipice of a major shift for Apple.

At least, that’s what I want to believe.

Respiratory Study Launches To Discover How Apple Watch Can Predict COVID, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Researchers at the University of Washington have partnered with Apple to study how Apple Watch may be used to predict illnesses such as coronavirus, or flu.

As part of Apple's series of health partnerships, the company is working with the University of Washington and the Seattle Flu Study. If accepted onto the coronavirus study program, participants will be provided with an Apple Watch.

Bottom of the Page

All the rumors point to new iPad Pros for the upcoming Apple event. My wishlist, on the other hand: a new iPhone SE.

Not that I am itching to buy an iPhone SE. But I do hope the new SE lines -- phones and watches -- will not be like the first iPhone SE which was never updated for its entire lifetime.

The SE lines should be low-end good-enough value-for-money. It should not be getting more and more low-end and less-value-for-money with each passing year.


Thanks for reading.