The Make-the-Right-Calls Edition Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Apple's Eddy Cue Believes The Future Of Music Isn't Lossless — It’s Spatial Audio, by Micah Singleton, Billboard

One of the first people that told me about Dolby Atmos was Adam Levine. I happen to know him, and we were in the same place, so he was like, "Have you listened to this?" And he sends me this song and he was really excited. He said, "I can't believe what I can do with this." It's going to be really exciting to see how this evolves, and all of what artists are going to be able to do with this, and how exciting it is for fans and listeners to be able to do this.

So we went after the labels and are going to the artists and educating them on it. There's a lot of work to be done because we have, obviously, tens of millions of songs. This is not a simple "take-the-file that you have in stereo, processes through this software application and out comes Dolby Atmos." This requires somebody who's a sound engineer, and the artist to sit back and listen, and really make the right calls and what the right things to do are. It's a process that takes time, but it's worth it.

Meditation Apps Want Us To Chill Out. Musicians Are Happy To Help., by Eric Ducker, New York Times

Over the past 15 anxious and uncertain months, wellness apps have grown flush with new subscribers looking for different experiences. In the past, musicians might align themselves with initiatives connected to Vans, Red Bull or Toyota — powerful brands willing to use their deep pockets to gain credibility with young consumers. Now, mindfulness apps are playing a similar role, offering artistic opportunities at a precarious moment for the music industry.

Coming This Fall

The Six-year-old iPhone 6S Will Get iOS 15, And That Rules, by Allison Johnson, The Verge

They’ll still get potentially useful updates like notification summaries and Focus modes to minimize interruptions throughout the day, video and music sharing in FaceTime, and added privacy features like a seven-day app privacy report to keep tabs on how apps are using your information. There’s also the peace of mind that comes with running the latest OS version, and the security patches and bug fixes that come with it throughout the year. Not a bad deal for a six-year-old device.

Apple's Fancy FaceTime Features Might Be Too Late To Matter, by Jason Snell, Macworld

I don’t think I’m ready to predict that FaceTime is going to storm out of the gates this fall and begin to threaten Zoom and other big players in videoconferencing. But I will say this: With the savvy upgrades Apple announced this week, FaceTime has a much better chance of being a part of the zeitgeist, pandemic or no pandemic.

Will Apple End The Newsletter Boom?, by Casey Newton, The Verge

It seems clear that Apple’s move to cut off granular customer data from email senders will affect the email economy. But after conversations with newsletter writers and media executives today, I’m not sure that people doing email-based journalism have all that much to worry about from the shift.

Coming This Fall: Privacy and Security

WWDC 2021: iCloud Private Relay Plugs A Few More Privacy Loopholes, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

While your actual web traffic has long been generally secured by encryption using HTTPS connections (that little padlock we all got used to looking for in the address bar), there have remained ways in which your ISP or the website you’re visiting could learn more about your traffic and perhaps even use that information to build a profile of you.

iCloud Private Relay, which will be available to anyone paying for an iCloud storage plan, aims to protect against two of these loopholes.

iOS 15 Can Automatically Add And Remove Widgets To A Smart Stack, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

For example, if a user has an existing Smart Stack which includes the Weather and Reminders widget, iOS 15 may add a Calendar widget to the stack if the user has an upcoming meeting. Then, after the meeting, iOS 15 will remove the widget from the Smart Stack, reverting it to the stack that the user had set up with Weather and Reminders.

iOS 15 Includes Secure Paste Feature That Hides The Clipboard From Developers, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple addressed this issue in iOS 14 by implementing a small banner that notifies you whenever an app accesses the clipboard, which means apps can no longer see the clipboard without your knowledge. iOS 15 takes it further with the secure paste feature that prevents developers from seeing the clipboard entirely unless you opt to copy something from one app and paste it into the app you're actively using.

Coming This Fall: macOS

WWDC 2021: Shortcuts For Mac, by Stephen Hackett, Six Colors

Developers of traditional Mac apps — even those built with AppKit — can add Shortcuts support to their projects via Intents, just like support is added in iOS apps.

That might seem surprising, but considering that Apple pitched this as the start of a longer transition, getting traditional Mac apps on board is going to be required if Apple wants to discontinue Automator somewhere down the line.

Here Are Some macOS Monterey Features The WWDC Keynote Didn’t Mention, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

When you copy files, you'll see "a new pie chart progress window" that Apple claims will give a better sense of how long the files will take to copy. Further, you can stop a large copy action and resume it at a later time.

Coming This Fall: iOS

iOS 15 Enables Siri Personal Requests With 'Unlock With Apple Watch' Feature, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

If you have your Apple Watch unlocked and on your wrist with this option enabled, you can now ask Siri to read your messages or change iOS settings without having to hold your iPhone, unlock with Face ID, or enter your password.

iOS 15 Brings Back The Popular Dial Picker From iOS 13 And Earlier, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Apple has decided to bring back the time-tested large dial picker from iOS 13 and earlier. You’ll find it across the system in iOS 15 and it’s got an even cleaner design than ever.

Coming This Fall: tvOS

tvOS 15 Lets You Sign In To Apps Using Face ID On Your iPhone, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

When users pick this choice, a notification is sent to their nearby iPhone or iPad. This notification will use your iCloud Keychain information to automatically suggest the correct log-in information.


Apple Releases New '3E756' AirPods Max Firmware, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple does not provide details on what's included in new firmware updates, so we don't know what bug fixes or improvements the new firmware might offer.

Apple Launches Virtual Today At Apple Session To Empower Small Business Owners, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Guided by Apple’s Creative Pros, you’ll learn how to capture eye-catching photos for your business that stand out on social media and how to quickly edit for impact. The new online session is designed to help showcase small businesses.

Vivaldi 4.0 Launches With Built-in Email And Calendar Clients, RSS Reader, by Frederic Lardinois, TechCrunch

Vivaldi has always been one of the more interesting of the Chromium-based browsers, in no small part thanks to its emphasis on building tools for power users in a privacy-centric package, but also because of its pedigree, with Opera’s outspoken former CEO Jon von Tetzchner as its co-founder and CEO. Today, the Vivaldi team is launching version 4.0 of its browser and with that, it’s introducing a slew of new features that, among many other things, include the beta of new built-in mail, calendar and RSS clients, as well as the launch of Vivaldi Translate, a privacy-friendly translation service hosted on the company’s own servers and powered by Lingvanex.

Mophie Introduces New MagSafe Lineup With Vent Mounts, Charging Stands, And More, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

Mophie's newest product drop is designed to take advantage of Apple's new MagSafe charging standard and features vent mounts, phone stands, chargers, and more. Many products in the Snap line also include a Snap adapter, a magnetic ring that can be attached to any Qi phone, enabling it to work with Snap products.

HBO Max Restores Native Video Player Interface On Apple TV, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The app once again uses the tvOS native video player which should enable customers using Apple TV with the Siri Remote to be able to successfully pause, fast forward and rewind once more.


Xcode: Vimpocalypse Now, by Erica Sadun

This has appeared at the bottom of Xcode’s Text Editing > Editing settings, sure to make many vi users very happy indeeed.

Apple’s RealityKit 2 Allows Developers To Create 3D Models For AR Using iPhone Photos, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

With Apple’s new tools, developers will be able take a series of pictures using just an iPhone (or iPad, DSLR or even a drone, if they prefer) to capture 2D images of an object from all angles, including the bottom.

Then, using the Object Capture API on macOS Monterey, it only takes a few lines of code to generate the 3D model, Apple explained.

Apple’s New ShazamKit Brings Audio Recognition To Apps, Including Those On Android, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

There are three parts to the new framework: Shazam catalog recognition, which lets developers add song recognition to their apps; custom catalog recognition, which performs on-device matching against arbitrary audio; and library management.

Bottom of the Page

If I am the FaceTime team, my goal will not be to 'defeat' Zoom. My goal should be to do all the sessions in WWDC 2022 via FaceTime.

Stretch goal: Design Awards via FaceTime.

Really stretch goal: Keynote via FaceTime.

(Yes, one of the feature has then to be able to mute everyone except for applauses, cheers, and an occasional bell.)


I hope this is the year when I finish watching all the WWDC vidoes that I've bookmarked.


Thanks for reading.