Archive for July 2021

The Practice-and-Intention Edition Saturday, July 31, 2021

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Meditation App, by Ashley Lauretta, Wired

Some call it daydreaming; others call it fantasizing. Whatever you call it, it’s actually your brain’s default mode. We spend at least a third of our waking hours thinking about things other than what is happening immediately in front of us. Mind wandering isn’t all bad—it can foster creativity—however, when you need to be present, it takes practice and intention to get there. You can in fact train your brain to focus on the here and now using meditation, but it’s not something you just “get” immediately.

It is admittedly pretty difficult to be present in our lives (so much so that researchers out of University College London admit our smartphones have become a second home, in a sense), but technology isn’t entirely to blame. In the case of learning how to meditate, it can actually help. However, practicing mindfulness requires more than a meditation app and some free time.

Paddleboarding With My Apple Watch Is The Best Thing I’ve Done All Summer, by Kate Kozuch, Tom's Guide

While my Apple Watch follows me almost everywhere, sometimes the smartwatch leads me to my next adventure. Not long ago I found myself scrolling through a seemingly-infinite list of activities the Apple Watch can track, when I realized I could try out a new one rather conveniently.


Bumper Telegram Update Enables Video Calls With Up To 1,000 Viewers, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Group video calls in Telegram allow up to 30 users to stream video from both their camera and their screen, and now a maximum of 1,000 people can tune into the broadcast. Telegram says it intends to continue increasing this limit “until all humans on Earth can join one group call.”

Mastodon Now Has An Official iPhone App, by Adi Robertson, The Verge

Mastodon describes the app as particularly geared toward getting new users on board the nontraditional social platform. As we’ve outlined before, Mastodon looks similar to Twitter but is built around independently run communities (and the ActivityPub protocol) rather than a single central network.


You Anon, by John Herrman, New York Times

After a decade in which online identity came under increasingly centralized control, in which various digital and offline identities were mingled, and during which personal data became a hot global commodity, control over one’s identity is starting to look more like a threatened privilege than a right. To exist online is to be constantly asked to show yourself.

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Getting all humans on earth on that one group call to please mute yourselves is going to be difficult. :-)


I may be getting too old to stay up in the middle of the night to upgrade my servers, but I may still be too young to admit I'm too old to upgrade my servers.

And then I woke up at the same time this morning, automatically.

When I do retire, I've gotta learn how to take naps.


Thanks for reading.

The Cracking-Screens Edition Friday, July 30, 2021

The Privacy Battle That Apple Isn’t Fighting, by Gilad Edelman, Wired

In the past, Apple has used software design and App Store policies to protect users, stepping into the vacuum created by the lack of comprehensive privacy legislation. Now, in California and any other states that follow its lead—Colorado, for example, will require businesses to honor the global privacy control starting in 2024—the law has finally gotten ahead of the technology. The public won’t start seeing the full benefits until the private sector catches up. If even a privacy-centric company like Apple isn’t interested, though, the wait might be longer than you'd think.

Reports Of M1 MacBook Screen Cracks Occurring During Normal Usage, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

There have been multiple reports of M1 MacBook screen cracks occurring during normal usage of the machines, with both the M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro affected.

OS Update

watchOS 7.6.1 Fixes Severe Security Vulnerability, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Apple has issued watchOS 7.6.1 with a fix for the same vulnerability that sparked the iOS 14.7.1, iPadOS 14.7.1, and macOS 11.5.1 updates: a kernel vulnerability that may have been actively exploited in the real world.


Apple Releases Remix Sessions, Sound Packs, And Producer Packs For GarageBand On The iPhone And iPad, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Today, Apple announced Sound Packs for GarageBand for iOS and iPadOS from artists and producers that allow users to remix hit tracks from Dua Lipa and Lady Gaga and create their own music, using hundreds of XX from producers that include Boys Noize, Mark Lettieri, Oak Felder, Soulection, Take A Daytrip, Tom Misch, and TRAKGIRL.

Doppler For Mac Offers An Excellent Album And Artist-Focused Listening Experience For Your Owned Music Collection, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple’s Music app continues to maintain backward compatibility for users who own their music libraries, but Apple’s focus these days is squarely on streaming, not purchasing. That’s left apps like Doppler to fill the void offering features like the ability to add new music to your library from an iPhone, something that isn’t possible with Apple Music.

Byword, by Jill Duffy, PC Magazine

Byword's strength is its ability to export and publish directly to Blogger, Evernote, Medium, Tumbler, and WordPress. For budget-minded writers who compose reasonably short pieces for the web, it's a fine option.


Apple Is Now An Antifragile Company, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Apple is robust because of securing its supply chain, and it’s antifragile thanks to a diverse mix of strong products.

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Is it normal in the new normal to not to expect any normalcy at all?


Thanks for reading.

The Too-Attached Edition Thursday, July 29, 2021

The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper's' Is Being Remixed For Spatial Audio, Again, by Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone

Apple Music’s spatial audio playlists have spotlighted the surround-sound Dolby Atmos mix of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band since the feature launched in June, but Beatles fans shouldn’t get too attached to that version of the album. Producer Giles Martin, who’s been supervising remixes and reissues of the Beatles’ classics in stereo and surround formats, isn’t quite happy with the Sgt. Pepper’s spatial audio mix, and plans to redo it and replace the current version before the end of the summer. “I’m actually going to change it,” Martin says. “It’s good, but it’s not right… It doesn’t sound quite right to me.”

Most Apple Stores To Require Masks Again For Shoppers, Staff, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple will again require masks for shoppers and employees at more than half of its about 270 U.S. stores. The decision was spurred by rising cases, new local mandates and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. [...] It also urged retail staff to get vaccinated, but is not requiring it at this time.

Tim Cook Confirms Employee Return To Apple Park Pushed To At Least October, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

The delta variant of COVID-19 has created a new wave of cases across the United States, so companies like Apple have pushed plans for a return to work back to October. The plan initially had employees returning in September, but health threats from the pandemic bring everything into question.


'Today At Apple' Session Explores How To Shoot And Edit 'Otherworldly' Photos In Night Mode On iPhone, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

A new “Today at Apple” session shared on YouTube today explores how to shoot and edit “otherworldly” photos in Night mode on an iPhone with the help of photographer Maria Lax and Landon, a Creative at Apple Grand Central in New York City.

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The alignment of the coating in relation to the battery contacts is at issue, so to ensure the battery will work, AirTag users should buy replacement CR2032 batteries that do not have any kind of coating.

LumaFusion Brings Video Stabilization, External Drive Editing, More With Version 3.0, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

The powerful video editor takes advantage of the Apple Pencil and the touch screen for those who want to edit on the go.


I Miss Apple's Best iPod, by Andrew Liszewski, Gizmodo

Instead of letting iTunes randomly fill it with tracks, I would upload 120 of my favorites so that when I stuck my headphones in it was like I was tuning into a radio station that catered to my exact tastes in music. It was all killer, no filler, as defined by me. We now take such functionality for granted, because algorithms allow streaming services like Spotify to make tailored recommendations based on what we most often listen to, but in 2005 the relatively dumb iPod shuffle gave me a similar experience.

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The Apple Music app gives me a lot of options to play when I open the app, and, sometimes, that's not good. I wish there is one button somewhere on the Apple Music app that I can press, and Apple Music will just play a mix of music that I like, and music that Apple predicts that I will like. Of course it will be even better if Apple can sense my mood and what I am doing.

(I can listen to music with lyrics when I am programming, but I can only listen to music without lyrics when I am writing.)


Thanks for reading.

The Supply-Constraints Edition Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Apple’s Q3 2021: Still Making Money Hand Over Fist, by Michael E. Cohen, Josh Centers, TidBITS

Apple reported all-time records in every geographic sector in which it does business and significant gains in every product category it reports; the phrase “all-time high” kept recurring in CFO Luca Maestri’s description of the quarter’s results.


In a slight return to normalcy, Maestri offered guidance for the September quarter, something Apple has not done since the beginning of the pandemic. Apple expects double-digit revenue growth in the next quarter, but less growth than in Q3 due in part to the impact of foreign exchanges. Services growth will also appear slower because Q3 2020’s lockdowns made for greater contrast with this quarter. Finally, the most alarming harbinger of future revenue slowdowns brought up during the conference call are anticipated supply constraints.

Tim Cook On Apple Deciding To Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better', by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Cook went on to explain that the M1 chip is a great example of that. “We have the ability within our silicon team to make a product that’s appreciably better than what we could buy,” he said.

Even iPhone Chip Shortages Can't Slow Down Apple's Money Train, by Jason Snell, Macworld

In the wake of the COVID pandemic, Apple has put up some shockingly good financial numbers. As I’ve detailed here this past year, Apple has seemed almost sheepish about doing so. Analyst Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley thought she’d ask Cook and Maestri directly about the issue: “There’s a debate in the market around how much Apple benefited from the pandemic… was your business helped or was it hindered?” Great question, but a thorny one for Apple’s executives, because the last thing you want to do is get quoted as gloating about how great a worldwide disaster has been for your shareholders. I think Maestri handled it well.

This Is Tim: Apple’s Q3 2021 Call With Analysts (Transcript), by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Our greatest source of inspiration isn’t technology itself, but how people use it in their own lives in ways great and small. To write a novel or to read one. To care for an ailing patient, or see a doctor virtually. To track their heart rate on a jog, or to train for the Olympics. Every day, I’m grateful for the dedication of our teams to the simple mission of creating technology that improves people’s lives. And I want to thank everyone at Apple for the purpose and passion they bring to that mission.

On Health

Apple Watch’s Data ‘Black Box’ Poses Research Problems, by Nicole Wetsman, The Verge

A Harvard biostatistician is rethinking plans to use Apple Watches as part of a research study after finding inconsistencies in the heart rate variability data collected by the devices. Because Apple tweaks the watch’s algorithms as needed, the data from the same time period can change without warning.

Coming Soon

Live Text Comes To Intel Macs In macOS Monterey Beta 4, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Unlike iPhones and iPads, which are commonly used to take pictures which might immediately need to be analyzed for Live Text, on the Mac there’s a little more leeway for slightly less-than-instantaneous processing of text.

Some Siri Commands For Third-party Apps Will Stop Working With iOS 15, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Affected Siri domains include ride booking, configuration of vehicles via Siri over CarPlay, and third-party Photo Search. Many of these SiriKit intents were introduced when third-party Siri support was first added to the system back in iOS 10. Apple didn’t provide a reason for their abrupt removal.


Sofa 3.0 Adds New Ways To Manage Your Media Lists Along With A New Business Model, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Users who maintain long lists of media will appreciate the search functionality, stats, and filters. However, in the long run, I think the Shelf will prove to be the most useful addition. That’s because the feature adds a manual override that, along with Sticky Notes, allows users to prioritize, reorganize, and annotate their media queue.

6 Features Of Serene App To Help You Stay Focused At Work, by Satyarth Shukla, Makeuseof

Identifying frequent work-from-home distractions is crucial to maximizing the benefits of working from home. By using the Serene app, you can avoid distractions and stay productive.

Parallels Toolbox 5.0 Arrives On Mac With Brand New Tools, by Stephen Warwick, iMore

A brand new version of Parallels Toolbox is now available, bringing five new tools to users on macOS including a Recognize Text feature that's very similar to Live Text on macOS Monterey.

Nintendo Killing 'Dr. Mario World' iOS Game In November, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Just over two years since its launch on the App Store, "Dr. Mario World," Nintendo is shutting down the Tetris-inspired game that originally debuted on the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. From Monday, November 1, 2021, the game will cease to be available — and existing users will no longer be able to play.


Apple Pulled From List Of NAB Show 2021 Attendees, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Apple's return to the NAB Show after a ten-year absence is in doubt, after the trade show's website removed a mention of Apple as one of the companies taking part in 2021.

Apple Tells Leaker To Snitch On Sources Or It Will Report Them To The Police, by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Motherboard

In the letter, Apple asked the seller to stop acquiring, advertising, and selling leaked Apple devices, and requested a list of anyone who provided them with the leaked devices. In other words, Apple wants the reseller to say who gave them the devices.

Workers Who Fix Apple's Laptops Say Their Workplace Is A 'Sweatshop,' With Broken Air-conditioning, Feces-covered Toilet Seats, And 13-hour Workdays, by Rachel Premack, Business Insider

In response to a list of questions, an Apple spokesperson told Insider that they would investigate the claims in this story.

"We uphold the highest standards in the industry and regularly assess our suppliers to ensure they comply," the spokesperson said. "We have undertaken three assessments at CSAT in Houston in recent years, and Apple members regularly visit the site. We take all allegations seriously and will investigate. As always, our focus is on making sure that everyone in our supply chain is protected and treated with dignity and respect."

Apple Floats Above China Technology Crackdown — For Now, by Angel Au-Yeung, Forbes

The Chinese government under President Xi Jinping has rattled investors in Chinese technology companies by announcing regulatory measures meant to curb the country’s fast-growing economy while reasserting control over some of its biggest companies. But the big U.S. technology company most exposed to China — Apple Inc. — is likely insulated from the turmoil for the time being.

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On the one hand, doing UI experiments on an open beta is fun. On the other hand, it is messy. I'm not an iOS or macOS developer, so I can afford to ignore all these to-and-fros. But I am a little worried: this Safari redesign doesn't really translate to new capabilities afforded to users, it seems to me. Perhaps Apple should have conducted a few more hallway (or WebEx) usability studies among Apple employees before doing this in the open.

I wonder if all these to-and-fros have been planned, or if it is something unexpected that may delay the actual releases?


Thanks for reading.

The Security-Updates Edition Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Apple Releases iOS 14.7.1 To Fix Apple Watch Unlocking And A Zero-day Exploit, by Richard Lawler, The Verge

Even if you don’t have an Apple Watch, you should still install iOS 14.7.1 (and for Mac owners, macOS 11.5.1) as soon as you can, because security notes from Apple reveal that the two updates it pushed today fix flaws that are already being exploited in the wild.

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 With Security Updates, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

According to Apple, ‌macOS Big Sur‌ 11.5.1 brings important security updates and is recommended for all users.


New 'Shot On iPhone 12' Video Gives Film-making Tips And Tricks, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

The three and a half minute clip focuses on DIY and improvised techniques with the iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro. That includes using a headlamp and a bike wheel to create an interesting lighting effect, or mimicking a crane shot by dropping an iPhone onto a dog bed.

These Are The 11 Reasons Businesses Should Choose Macs, According To Apple, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

From lower costs in the long run, the new M1 chip, long battery life, security, IT flexibility, and a reported 336% ROI, here’s Apple’s pitch for businesses of all sizes.

Zens Unveils New MagSafe 4-in-1 Wireless Charger For iPhone 12, Apple Watch, And AirPods, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The 4-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charger offers a floating iPhone 12 mount with full 15W MagSafe charging, an integrated Apple Watch charger, and more.


Apple Museum With 1,500 Exhibits To Open In Poland, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

The museum will feature 1,500 exhibits related to the development and evolution of Apple products throughout the company’s history. It is said to be the biggest and most complete collection of its kind in the world.

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I've stopped midway through the second episode of Lisey's Story over at Apple TV+, and I didn't feel like continuing. As I wrote yesterday, my entertainment diet is now purely sitcoms: happy people with happy problems that can be solved within a multiple number of 22 minutes.

I'm probably just tired, I hope.


Thanks for reading.

The Integrate-Tracking Edition Monday, July 26, 2021

QR Codes Are Here To Stay. So Is The Tracking They Allow., by Erin Woo, New York Times

QR codes — essentially a kind of bar code that allows transactions to be touchless — have emerged as a permanent tech fixture from the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants have adopted them en masse, retailers including CVS and Foot Locker have added them to checkout registers, and marketers have splashed them all over retail packaging, direct mail, billboards and TV advertisements.

But the spread of the codes has also let businesses integrate more tools for tracking, targeting and analytics, raising red flags for privacy experts. That’s because QR codes can store digital information such as when, where and how often a scan occurs. They can also open an app or a website that then tracks people’s personal information or requires them to input it.


Hands-on: How Apple’s New iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack Compares To Anker’s For On-the-go Charging, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Unless you want to charge with a lightning cable and like the iPhone battery widget integration, I can’t recommend it over the Anker model. So if you have a budget of $100 to spend, grab two of them.

Paramount+ And Showtime Apple TV Bundle Billing Issues Suggest End Of Deal, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

A number of Apple TV channels customers are discovering their grandfathered bundle of Paramount+ and Showtime is being refunded, in what could be a sign that the deal is being discontinued.


Apple Business Model: A Naive Nostalgic Look, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

This raises questions. What happens to priorities, to company culture? What will be sacrificed and what will be preserved? For example, if budgetary restrictions are needed, what will be prioritized: the next Ted Lasso or the next Apple Silicon processor?

Apple Officially Attending NAB For First Time In A Decade, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Apple was previously a regular attendee of NAB, but has been noticeably absent for ten years. In its last appearance, Apple used the FCP User Group SuperMeet in April 2011 to unveil the 64-bit Final Cut Pro X, which it would release later that year in June.

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I am now on a strictly sitcom/comedy diet for my television entertainment.


Thanks for reading.

The Animal-Overlays Edition Sunday, July 25, 2021

Charles River Math Trail Inspires Children To Think Creatively, by Ivy Scott, Boston Globe

Designed by the Charles River Conservancy and tech company MathTalk, in partnership with community members and the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the installation’s goal is to improve math literacy for low-income students while increasing opportunities to learn in nature, according to Keith Griffin, the lead organizer for family and community engagement at MathTalk.


Using augmented reality and the iPad‘s camera function, the app overlays images of animals and other objects onto the user’s surroundings, visible through the screen.


Hit The Road With These Travel-Planning Apps And Tricks, by David Nield, Wired

You probably already use your phone to get you from A to B as quickly as possible, but Google Maps, Apple Maps, and other apps can do much more than this—they can put together a proper itinerary for your next excursion, storing longer lists of places that you want to tick off on your travels.

7 Completely Ridiculous Apple Accessories That Are Still So Crave-worthy, by Tyler Hayes, Newsweek

Even the perfect product can be improved with a thoughtful third-party accessory. That's not to say Apple's iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV or AirTag are perfect products, but they are great. Sometimes, however, they could use just a little something extra to make them work and fit into your specific circumstances even better. These products below are trying to do just that—to give Apple's products just a little bit more of an edge around how well they work for you.


I Finally Upgraded To AirPods — And I Was A Fool, by Philip Michaels, Tom's Guide

I'd like to say that's what pushed me to upgrade to AirPods. Or that it was the realization that spending $19 a pop to replace my damaged wired EarPods every so often was adding up. Or even that it was cruel Apple, refusing to include new earbuds with the iPhone 12, that finally forced my hand. But it wasn't any of those things.

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I initially feared about losing my AirPods when I started using them. I'd imagine wearing them during my daily commute on the subway, squeezing myself through the crowds that may or may not be in the same direction as me, accidentally knocking into someone and dropping one or both AirPods, and never be able to find them again.

Fortunately, that has never happened yet. I did dropped the AirPods before, on occasions, but typically that was when I was holding them wrong while pulling them out of the cases. The AirPods have never simply dropped out of my ears, lucky me.

Nowadays, the only time that I do use my wired EarPods is when I am in bed, about to go to sleep, listening to either audiobooks or BBC radio. My fear is that I will be falling asleep, and having the AirPods drop out of my ears and into my mouth.


Thanks for reading.

The Variability-in-the-Domain Edition Saturday, July 24, 2021

Recognizing People In Photos Through Private On-Device Machine Learning, by Machine Learning Research, Apple

The task of recognizing people in user-generated content is inherently challenging because of the sheer variability in the domain. People can appear at arbitrary scales, lighting, pose, and expression, and the images can be captured from any camera. When someone wants to view all their photos of a specific person, a comprehensive knowledge graph is needed, including instances where the subject is not posing for the image. This is especially true in photography of dynamic scenes, such as capturing a toddler bursting a bubble, or friends raising a glass for a toast.

Another challenge, and a fundamental requirement for automatic person recognition, is to ensure equity in the results. People all around the world use Apple products. We want everyone to have the same extraordinary experience that we designed into the feature, no matter the photographic subject’s skin color, age, or gender.

Apple And DuckDuckGo’s New Email Privacy Tools Have One Huge Blind Spot, by Jared Newman, Fast Company

But all of these tools share one major flaw: They can’t stop senders from tracking the links you click on. Even with DuckDuckGo’s Email Protection enabled, senders can see exactly which links you’ve clicked, how many times you’ve clicked them, and your location while clicking. The same is true with anti-tracking tools from Apple, Hey, and most others.

Apple Stops 'Woozy Face' Emoji From Appearing When 'Stammer' Is Typed, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Apple has issued an update that stops the "woozy face" emoji from appearing when users type in the word "stammer" into messaging apps on iOS, including iMessage.


Adobe Lightroom Classic Review, by Stan Horaczek Popular Photography

It has a learning curve, but once you’ve navigated it, it’s hard to leave. After heavy use, the shortcuts become second nature and you get sucked into it.

The 7 Best Apps To Help You Achieve Your Productivity Goals, by Tamal Das, MUO

This method helps you to allocate a particular amount of time for a task and complete the activity within the time frame. With the following timeboxing apps, you too can apply this method in your professional and personal life to achieve your productivity goals.

Tested: CASETiFY MagSafe Wallet Delivers First-party Form And Function Without The Apple Tax, by Blair Altland, 9to5Toys

Everything has a solid feel to it, and the stitching around the edge certainly adds a nice touch to the form. Sure, it isn’t leather, but the quality is quite high nonetheless.

Moment Is Bringing MagSafe To iPhone 11 With New Cases, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

These cases officially support (M)Force, which is Moment's branding for the magnetic connection system that is designed to work the same as MagSafe.

LifeProof Announces Its First Case For Apple Watch, Made From Reclaimed Ocean Plastics, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

Designed to protect your Apple Watch from bumps and scuffs from daily wear, this Eco-Friendly Apple Watch case snaps over your Apple Watch and provides edge-to-edge protection.


iDOS Emulator To Be Removed From The App Store, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

Apple should be in the position of celebrating the resourcefulness of its developers, not punishing them for pushing the limits of the platform.

Public Sculpture Coming To Apple Park Visitor Center Next Year Invites You To Tour The World’s Deserts, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple Park Visitor Center is the perfect place for a photo walk, and soon visitors will discover a totally new environment to capture and experience. Apple has commissioned artist Katie Paterson and studio Zeller & Moye to create a permanent public sculpture for the visitor center titled Mirage.

Apple Testing New External Display With A Dedicated A13 Chip And Neural Engine, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

According to sources, this display will have an Apple-made SoC, which right now is the A13 Bionic chip — the same one used in the iPhone 11 lineup.

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Sometimes, I feel that Apple is seemingly worrying too much about opening floodgates: If we let one iOS app to emulate a different operating system and run all sorts of programs, everything will emulate everything and run everythng and we will have lost control of the platform.


Thanks for reading.

The Begurding-Physics Edition Friday, July 23, 2021

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack Review: Convenience Over Capacity, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

The MagSafe Battery’s best feature is that it is a good MagSafe wireless charger. It’s also a decent battery — but only if you think of it as a small extender, one that trades longevity for size. Do I wish it had more capacity? Of course. I also wish it could have more capacity without getting any larger than it already is. I don’t begrudge physics and I get why Apple chose the size it did.

This Clever Hack Turns Your iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack Into A Magnetic Charging Stand, by Mahit Huilgol, iPhone Hacks

Apple recently launched MagSafe charger for iPhone 12. A new hack that helps you build a wireless magnetic charging stand for iPhone. All you need is an iPhone 12, MagSafe Battery pack and an iPhone dock.


Apple Clarifies Which Devices Support Apple Music Spatial Audio With Built-in Speakers, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

While Apple had once said that older devices such as the iPhone XR and iPad Air 3 supported Spatial Audio in Apple Music, that appears to not be the case after all.

Apple Music App For Android Gains Spatial Audio And Lossless Quality, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple does not provide specific details on which Android devices are able to support the ‌Apple Music‌ features, and suggests in a support document that Android users check with their device’s manufacturer.

Apple Shares 'Hello Sunshine' Ad Highlighting Apple Watch Series 6 Health And Fitness Features, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

“With features like fall detection, the Blood Oxygen app and workout tracking, the future of health is on your wrist,” reads the tagline for the video.

Review: Apple MagSafe Charger Brings Versatility But Not Speed, by Jaclyn Kilani, iMore

This accessory also adds convenience since it snaps right into place automatically. I like that it can be used with other accessories to create iPhone mounts; this makes the iPhone much easier to use while it charges, and it helps prevent the charger from falling off while you use the phone. Overall it adds convenience and versatility that you won't find in previous charging methods.

Two Siri Remote Sleeves That Incorporate AirTag Pockets, by Julio Ojeda-Zapata, TidBITS

Both sleeves work in the same way: you first insert an AirTag into a snug circular pocket at the bottom and then slide the Siri Remote into the sleeve over the tag so they’re held tightly together.

This approach makes the remote thicker, but not enough to hamper usability. My thumb still easily reached most of the buttons.

Carrot Weather Adds Smart Layouts, Ability To Film Your Own Ridiculous Weather Reports, More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The new version comes with the ability to automatically switch between custom UI layouts, includes a fun new feature to film your own weather reports to share with friends and family, and more.

Apple To Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the ‌App Store‌, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 ‌App Store‌ guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.

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I'm not sure how I feel, but I'm glad that the Toyko Olympics opening ceremony didn't try to hide the pandemic.

Stay safe, everybody.


Thanks for reading.

The Two-Days-After Edition Thursday, July 22, 2021

Apple Releases macOS 11.5 With Podcasts App Improvements And Music App Fix, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

macOS 11.5 comes with bug fixes for the Music app and an update for the Podcasts app.

Apple Releases iPadOS 14.7 To The Public With Home App Upgrades And More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Two days after releasing iOS 14.7 to the public, Apple today has released iPadOS 14.7 as well. This update includes enhancements to the Podcasts app, bug fixes for Apple Music, and more.

Apple Publishes Full Details Of Security Fixes In iOS 14.7 And iPadOS 14.7, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple says that iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 fix an array of security bugs, ranging from WebKit vulnerabilities to Find My vulnerabilities and more.


Apple Camp For Kids Will Soon Kick Off In Stores Around The World, by Stephen Warwick, iMore

Apple Camp for young children will begin in stores around the world over the next few days, giving children the opportunity to attend a two-hour workshop all about making movies.

Two Months With Apple’s New M1 iMac, by John Voorhees, MacStories

An all-in-one computer like the iMac often gets knocked for its lack of flexibility, but the reality of the iMac is that what its design gives up in customization, it has managed to gain in other ways. Today’s iMac can still play the role of a centralized family computer as my first iMac’s did, but it’s equally good at professional work or sitting on a counter at a retail location.


Apple Celebrates Its 40 Year Presence In Singapore, Tim Cook Discusses His First Ever Apple Product In New Interview, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Cook describes how one of his first jobs upon joining Apple in 1998 was to visit Singapore to validate the production line for the original translucent iMac, which was manufactured in Singapore.

The Nightmare Of Our Snooping Phones, by Shira Ovide, New York Times

This is about a structural failure that allows real-time data on Americans’ movements to exist in the first place and to be used without our knowledge or true consent. This case shows the tangible consequences of practices by America’s vast and largely unregulated data-harvesting industries.

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I am a macOS user that don't like that many icons up there on my menu bar. But I also don't use utilities like Bartender because I don't like to mess around too much with macOS.

And I am also a dock-on-the-right kind of person, but I feel that the days of having the dock on the left or right-hand side of the screen is numbered.


Thanks for reading.

The Function-First Edition Wednesday, July 21, 2021

First Impressions: Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack Isn't Perfect, But You'll Probably Still Want To Get One, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

The MagSafe battery pack is far from perfect. It’s thick, and it’s heavy, but it provides necessary utility. This is an Apple product that absolutely tackles function first and form second.

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

It’s thicker than you might have thought, coming in at 11mm. For comparison’s sake, an ‌iPhone 12‌ is 7.4mm thick, so it’s adding another iPhone in thickness and then some. As for weight, it’s about 115 grams, or a quarter of a pound. An ‌iPhone 12‌ weighs 164 grams, so it’s not quite as heavy as an ‌iPhone‌.

On Security

Apple Under Pressure Over iPhone Security After NSO Spyware Claims, by Tim Bradshaw, Financial Times

Security researchers said Apple could do more to tackle the problem by working with other tech companies to share details about vulnerabilities and vet their software updates.

Why Apple’s Walled Garden Is No Match For Pegasus Spyware, by Alex Hern, The Guardian

But security experts I’ve spoken to say that there is a deeper malaise at work here. “Apple’s self-assured hubris is just unparalleled,” Patrick Wardle, a former NSA employee and founder of the Mac security developer Objective-See, told me last week. “They basically believe that their way is the best way.”

What that means in practice is that the only thing that can protect iOS users from an attack is Apple – and if Apple fails, there’s no other line of defence.

A Case Against Security Nihilism, by Matthew Green, A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering

The only people who can fix Apple devices are Apple (very much by their own design) and that means Apple has to feel responsible each time an innocent victim gets pwned while using an Apple device. If we simply pat Apple on the head and say “gosh, targeted attacks are hard, it’s not your fault” then this is exactly the level of security we should expect to get — and we’ll deserve it.


Apple Requiring Retail Employees In Some Regions To Wear Masks, Other Employees Encouraged To Do So, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple stopped requiring fully vaccinated customers and employees to wear masks at Apple Store locations in June, but with the Delta variant spreading across the United States and impacting even those who have been vaccinated, Apple is being more cautious.

BBEdit 14, And Why You Should Care, by Watts Martin, Coyote Cartography

I’ve long believed that BBEdit’s balance of text processing power with discoverability and ease of use makes it the best tool for “documentation as code”-style technical writing on the market. But at least for me, it hadn’t kept up with the state of the art for coding. With BBEdit 14, this no longer feels true.

New Dropbox Features Reflect Blurring Between Home And Work, Says Company, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

It says that some of them are designed to give you easier access to the tools many have found themselves using while working from home.


Apple Holds Out In Adopting Next-generation RCS Texting Standard, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

What this means, essentially, is that both Android and iPhone users will be able to take advantage of rich texting features and end-to-end encryption, just not when messaging with each other.

Ultra Wideband Availability Expands To Argentina, Paraguay, And More, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The Ultra Wideband functionality that’s available in the Apple Watch Series 6, iPhone 11, and iPhone 12 models is now accessible in additional countries, including Argentina, Pakistan, Paraguay, and the Solomon Islands, according to Apple’s updated support page.

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Maybe Apple should investigate how to re-structure Safari, so that customers who don't quite agree with the direction of what Apple designers are thinking of can opt to install different chromes? :-)


Thanks for reading.

The New-Updates Edition Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Apple Releases iOS 14.7 To The Public With MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Ability To Combine Apple Card Accounts, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The new update brings support for the MagSafe Battery Pack for iPhone 12, support for combining Apple Card accounts, and more.

iOS 14.7 Bug May Prevent iPhones With Touch ID From Automatically Unlocking Apple Watch, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Apple’s temporary workaround for the bug is for the user to type their passcode into their Apple Watch to unlock it rather than relying on their iPhone, and Apple says the issue will be addressed in a future software update.

Apple Releases watchOS 7.6, Bringing ECG And Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications To 30 New Regions, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today released watchOS 7.6, the sixth major update to the watchOS 7 operating system that was released in September 2020.

HomePod 14.7 Improves Timer Control, But Doesn’t Go Nearly Far Enough, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

In short, months after Apple discontinued the HomePod and focused its sights on the HomePod mini, the company still doesn’t seem to have a clear vision for how exactly consumers use smart home tech. It continues to view the HomePods primarily as places where people play music, as evidenced by opening the HomePod in the Home app: 97 percent of the interface is music, with “Alarms” juuuust peeking out at the bottom so you know that there’s other stuff you can do.

Apple Releases tvOS 14.7 For Apple TV HD And Apple TV 4K, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

No new features were discovered during the tvOS 14.7 beta testing process.

Apple Releases Safari 14.1.2 For macOS Catalina And Mojave With Security Improvements, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Apple today quietly released an updated version of Safari for users running versions of macOS prior to macOS Big Sur 11. Safari 14.1.2 is now available for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave with security improvements and bug fixes.

On Security

This Tool Tells You If NSO’s Pegasus Spyware Targeted Your Phone, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

The Mobile Verification Toolkit, or MVT, works on both iPhones and Android devices, but slightly differently. Amnesty said that more forensic traces were found on iPhones than Android devices, which makes it easier to detect on iPhones. MVT will let you take an entire iPhone backup (or a full system dump if you jailbreak your phone) and feed in for any indicators of compromise (IOCs) known to be used by NSO to deliver Pegasus, such as domain names used in NSO’s infrastructure that might be sent by text message or email.

Work Culture

Apple Delays Office Return By At Least A Month As Covid Spikes, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. is pushing back its return to office deadline by at least a month to October at the earliest, responding to a resurgence of Covid variants across many countries, people familiar with the matter said.

The iPhone maker becomes one of the first U.S. tech giants to delay plans for a return to normality as Covid-19 persists around the world and cases involving a highly transmissible variant increase. Apple will give its employees at least a month’s warning before mandating a return to offices, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing internal policy.

Internal Apple Letter Shows Employees Are Still Fighting To Work From Home, by Shirin Ghaffary, Vox

This is the second petition letter in two months from Apple employees writing about more flexible working conditions, and it’s a sign of continued rank-and-file dissent at the company.


“We continue to be concerned that this one-size-fits-all solution is causing many of our colleagues to question their future at Apple,” the letter states, which goes on to say, “With COVID-19 numbers rising again around the world, vaccines proving less effective against the Delta variant, and the long-term effects of infection not well understood, it is too early to force those with concerns to come back to the office.”


The Ultimate Guide To Choosing Apple/Beats Audio Gear, by Julio Ojeda-Zapata, TidBITS

As you can see, even within the Apple and Beats product lines, there’s a dizzying array of price points, options, and alternatives. I hope you find this article and its companion chart helpful when you’re next in the market for earbuds or headphones. I certainly did—I put this all together because I was confused by all the Apple and Beats options and wanted to make better sense of them.

Apple Says Not To Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Clean Its Products, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Apple has updated a support document to state that customers shouldn't use hydrogen peroxide to clean its products, but added ethyl alcohol to the list of safe-to-use cleaning agents.

BBEdit 14.0 Arrives With Notes And LSP Support, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

For programmers, the biggest BBEdit 14 addition is support for the Language Server Protocol, a standard originally developed by Microsoft for Visual Studio Code and now available for pretty much any developer tool out there. Different editors can access a local language server to provide consistent autocompletion, definitions, and documentation.

Review: Satechi USB Stand Is Perfect For Apple’s M1 Mac Mini, by Mark Sparrow, Forbes

The Satechi Stand Hub for Mac mini with SSD Enclosure puts all the ports that are needed most often at the front and it’s so slim it hardly notices once it’s nestled underneath the Mac mini. I love it and think it’s a great way of making Apple’s Mac mini more usable while boosting the data storage without paying Apple’s SSD prices or fiddling around with unsightly external drives.


Document Proxy Icons In MacOS 11 And 12 As an — Ahem — Proxy For Apple’s Current UI Design Sensibilities, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

But like almost every design challenge, it’s a Goldilocks problem — you can go too far in the other direction, and getting it “just right” is difficult and will never please everyone.

Apple Looks To Lease Hollywood Hub For Filming Shows And Movies, by Erich Schwartzel, Wall Street Journal

Apple TV+ has occupied a curious position in the industry, known for well-regarded shows but lacking the scale many producers assumed it would have, especially given its aggressive push into music and podcasts.


Part of the reason Apple has been scouting locations for many months, one person said, is that much of the city’s available space has been taken up. With hundreds of millions of global subscribers in play, soundstages across Los Angeles are booked months in advance by services that need a constant churn of programming, prompting companies to acquire the space themselves or lock in leases that last several years.

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Well, Singapore has gone back to a partial lockdown. No more dining outside of home for the next one month. (Work-from-home remains the default option.)


Thanks for reading.

The Active-Exploits Edition Monday, July 19, 2021

Report: Active Zero-click iMessage Exploit In The Wild Targeting iPhones Running The Latest Software, Used Against Activists And Journalists, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

An explosive report from Amnesty International interpreted device logs to reveal the scope of targeted malware attacks in active use targeting Android and iPhone devices, since July 2014 and as recently as July 2021. Exploited devices can secretly transmit messages and photos stored on the phone, as well as record phone calls and secretly record from the microphone. The attack is sold by Israeli firm NSO Group as ‘Pegasus’.


Perhaps most alarming for iPhone users, the findings show that there are active exploits against iPhones running the latest iOS 14.6 software, including ones that take advantage of a zero-click vulnerability in iMessage that can install the spyware without any user interaction.

Despite The Hype, iPhone Security No Match For NSO Spyware, by Craig Timberg, Reed Albergotti and Elodie Guéguen, Washington Post

These kinds of “zero-click” attacks, as they are called within the surveillance industry, can work on even the newest generations of iPhones, after years of effort in which Apple attempted to close the door against unauthorized surveillance — and built marketing campaigns on assertions that it offers better privacy and security than rivals.


This App Scans Washing Labels On Clothes And Tells You What They Mean, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

It's all pretty simple, really. Point your iPhone at the care label on your clothes and the app will tell you how to wash them. That's it. That's the app. And it's genius.

Review: Anker Debuts New PowerWave Go 3-in-1, Its Most Versatile Charging Stand Yet, by Blair Altland, 9to5Toys

Unlike other charging stations from the brand, the new Anker PowerWave Go stands out by packing a convertible design that can go from refueling gear at home to on-the-go.


How Spotify Has Changed Music Libraries Forever, by Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic

The music I’ve salvaged from earlier times is now part of my collection on Spotify, which I’ve been using since it launched in the United States, 10 years ago this month. But as I look back on the churn of the past couple of decades, I feel uneasy about the hundreds of playlists I’ve taken the time to compile on the company’s platform: 10 or 20 years from now, will I be able to access the music I care about today, and all the places, people, and times it evokes?

Unfortunately, the experts on media preservation and the music industry whom I consulted told me that I have good reason to fear ongoing instability. “You’re screwed,” said Brewster Kahle, the founder of the Internet Archive, after I asked him if I could count on having my music library decades from now.

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I don't have much of a music library, even back in the iPod + iTunes days. My iPods were mostly filled with podcasts and audiobooks. Nowadays, for non-spoken-words, I mostly listen to playlists 'curated' by Apple.

Which is my way of saying: I wish I've spent less money on CDs back in the days.


Thanks for reading.

The Privacy-of-Contacts Edition Sunday, July 18, 2021

Lots Of Apps Use Your Personal Contacts. Few Will Tell You What They Do With Them., by Heather Kelly, Washington Post

In the past, digital contacts haven’t drawn as much attention as other types of personal data that tech companies collect and share, such as your location information or browsing histories. But digital contacts contain valuable information about you and the people in your circle. Few major changes have been made to contacts’ privacy options on Android and iOS devices since 2012, when Apple first added an option to control what apps had access to them.

Inside The Industry That Unmasks People At Scale, by Joseph Cox, Motherboard

Tech companies have repeatedly reassured the public that trackers used to follow smartphone users through apps are anonymous or at least pseudonymous, not directly identifying the person using the phone. But what they don't mention is that an entire overlooked industry exists to purposefully and explicitly shatter that anonymity.

Apple Handing Out Ted Lasso Stickers At Retail Stores Ahead Of New Season, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Ahead of the new season premiering on Apple TV+ this Friday, some Apple retail stores are giving out promotional sticker packs featuring Memoji of Ted Lasso.

Matter Smart Home Standard Explained: Here's Why Google, Apple And Amazon Are Backing It, by Kate Kozuch, Tom's Guide

Matter should help all these devices play nice with each other. You can expect Matter to roll out soon to the best smart lights, best smart locks, best smart thermostats and all other popular IoT devices. Here’s what that will mean for you, and for your smart home.

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Why don't Apple insert stickers in every product that they sell? Or is that deemed to environmentally-unfriendly?


Thanks for reading.

The Monetization-Feature Edition Saturday, July 17, 2021

Apple Podcasts Reliability Problem Is Turning Into An Image Problem, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

The bottom line is that it’s a shame that Apple’s addition of a monetization feature has ended up damaging its reputation amongst podcast creators.

Amazon Just Got Fakespot Booted Off Apple’s iOS App Store, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

Fakespot, known for its web browser extensions that try to weed out fake product reviews, suddenly no longer has an iPhone or iPad app — because Amazon sent Apple a takedown request, both Amazon and Fakespot confirm, and Apple decided to remove the app.


“The app in question provides customers with misleading information about our sellers and their products, harms our sellers’ businesses, and creates potential security risks. We appreciate Apple’s review of this app against its Appstore guidelines,” reads a statement from Amazon.

Tim Cook Says Apple Will Donate To Support Flood Relief Efforts In Western Europe, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced on Friday that Apple will make a donation to provide aid and relief efforts for regions affected by flooding in Western Europe.

Apple Is Tapping Watch Mastermind And Health Chief Kevin Lynch For Its Work On Self-driving Cars, by Blake Dodge, Business Insider

Apple's Kevin Lynch, a vice president of technology, has been tapped to help with the tech giant's secretive car project, four people familiar with the matter told Insider.


Evan Doll, a director of health software engineering, will replace Lynch on the staff, one of the people said.

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Doesn't Apple's News+ servers already deal with XML-like data feeds coming from many publishers, and pushing content down to many devices? Why is Apple seemingly having so much more problems with the Podcast servers? Is it because of a different scale, just because there are so many more podcasts than News+ publishers? Or is it because of budget, with Apple Podcasts still a (mostly) free product?


Thanks for reading.

The Wall-to-Wall Edition Friday, July 16, 2021

International Collection Of Apple Stores Celebrates Apple Watch International Collection, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

From Tokyo to Milan, some of the world’s top Apple Stores are celebrating Apple Watch International Collection bands with energetic wall-to-wall graphics and unique displays to help customers discover their favorite styles.

Reluctant Apple Watch Wearer Conversion Part Two: Stranded 800 Miles From Home, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

When you're stuck 800 miles away from your house, it turns out that you can get pretty good stress-impacted data collection if your Apple Watch is monitoring your health.

Work Culture

Apple Employees Say The Company Is Cracking Down On Remote Work, by Zoe Schiffer, The Verge

One employee said they were currently on an Americans with Disabilities Act accommodation that allowed them to work from home, but were told that accommodation would be denied when the company went back to the office. “I will be out of a job in September,” they wrote in Slack.


FitnessView For iPhone And Apple Watch Gives You A New Way To Visualize Your Health Data, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The app takes data from from your Apple Watch and the Apple Health app and makes it easy to drill down into more detail about that data, including trends, goals, heart rate graphs, and much more.

Elgato Releases New Facecam Webcam, Other Creator Accessories, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

Facecam is likely the most notable, with an all-glass f/2.4 24mm prime lens backed by a Sony Starvis image sensor for full 1080P video at up to 60 frames per second. It is tuned for indoor lighting for conference calls, classes, or streaming.

Brydge Air Max+ Review: The Ultimate Keyboard And Trackpad For The iPad Air, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

Since Apple added mouse and trackpad support to the iPad, few accessory makers have embraced this as much as Brydge has. On the iPad Pro, there are several options to choose from, including Apple's Magic Keyboard. For iPad Air, Brydge Air Max+ stands alone as the most thoughtful and polished keyboard/trackpad/case combo.

Mophie Debuts New 3-in-1 MagSafe Charger For iPhone, AirPods, And Apple Watch, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

This new Mophie charger features a built-in Apple Watch charging puck, a charging spot for your AirPods, and a spot to place your own MagSafe charger as well.

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Here in Singapore, one week after opening up further, dine-in group sizes have reduced from 5 back to 2. (There is an asterisk here: group size remains at 5 if all are vaccinated.)


Thanks for reading.

The Normal-Tab-Bar Edition Thursday, July 15, 2021

Apple’s Latest iOS And macOS Betas Undo Some Of Safari’s Controversial New Design, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

Apple has released its third developer betas for the upcoming iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, and they bring some much-needed fixes to Safari — namely, undoing some of the more controversial changes introduced in the earlier betas. For macOS, that means a normal tab bar that goes back to the previous design, while iOS is getting a more consistent design when it comes to the URL bar.


Apple’s Educational ‘Today At Apple’ Classes Are Launching On YouTube With A Peanuts-themed Session, by Jay Peters, The Verge

Apple is bringing its educational “Today at Apple” classes to YouTube, the company announced Wednesday. The first episode will show you how to draw yourself as a Peanuts character in the company’s Pages app.

Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack Has More Capacity Than It Seems - Here's Why, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

Our initial examination of specs and data here has shown that Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack isn't as weak an offering as initially feared. Its power rating shows it will have enough capacity to come close to doubling the battery life of an iPhone 12 mini during use.

Elago Brings Item Finding To The Apple TV Siri Remote With New AirTags-compatible Case, by Blair Altland, 9to5Toys

Protecting the remote in a soft silicone material, it has an even more unique feature of letting you place one of Apple’s new AirTags inside for making lost remotes a thing of the past.


Apple Has Deployed More Than $1 Billion Towards Affordable Housing Initiatives In California, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

In partnership with the California Housing Finance Agency, Housing Trust Silicon Valley, and Destination:Home, Apple said the the $1 billion in funding has helped support new housing development and construction, assisted first-time buyers to purchase homes, and expanded programs to reduce homelessness.

MPs Call For 'Complete Reset' Of Music Streaming To Ensure Fair Pay For Artists, by Mark Savage, BBC

"While streaming has brought significant profits to the recorded music industry, the talent behind it - performers, songwriters and composers - are losing out," said Julian Knight, MP, who chairs parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee.


Representatives from the streaming companies suggested they were "open-minded" about changing the royalty system, but noted that 70% their income already goes to labels, publishers and artists.

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Things that were ruined by the browser war of the late 90s, IMHO:

1) Web
2) Email



Thanks for reading.

The Power-Source Edition Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Apple Launches $99 MagSafe Battery Pack, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The ‌MagSafe Battery Pack‌ can also be charged through the ‌iPhone‌ if the ‌iPhone‌ is plugged into a power source. Apple suggests users might want to charge this way if the ‌iPhone‌ needs to connect to another device while charging, such as wired CarPlay or transferring photos to a Mac.

Virtual Today At Apple Sessions Invite You To Create Ted Lasso Fan Art, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Starting July 23, type artist Tyrsa will join Apple Creative Pros to guide three free Ted Lasso Fan Art Sessions. Grab your iPad, Apple Pencil, and the Procreate app to draw motivational mottos inspired by Ted Lasso.

Apple TV+ Scores At The Emmys With 34 Nominations, Led By Hit Ted Lasso, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Ted Lasso’s performance at the Emmys mirrors the success the comedy has seen at other high-profile awards shows including winning a Peabody Award and a Golden Globe for Best Comedy Series.

Coming Soon?

Apple, Goldman Plan ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Service To Rival Affirm, by Mark Gurman, Sridhar Natarajan, Bloomberg Law

The upcoming service, known internally as Apple Pay Later, will use Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as the lender for the loans needed for the installment offerings, according to people with knowledge of the matter.


Darkroom For iOS Updated With Rebuilt Grain Slider Feature, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Darkroom for iOS has just been updated to version 5.5, which brings a new grain slider to reduce memory usage, improve speed and aesthetic, and make it look closer to film grain.

AppSwitcher For Mac Helps Users Cleanly Deliver Presentations, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

AppSwitcher is a new system extension-like app that allows users to switch to one app at a time and switch to only that app. For example, when you click on Safari, you instantly hide the open Mail app.

Shopping Guide: The Ultimate Directory Of Home Furnishings In Virtual Apple Keynotes, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Behind every great virtual Apple keynote is an equally impressive collection of modern furniture and tasteful objects from top designers across the globe. Poring through all six online-only Apple events, I’ve cataloged more than 100 chairs, sofas, tables, lamps, books, and accessories that fill the sets.


Apple’s Weather App Won’t Say It’s 69 Degrees, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

A possible explanation for the issue [...] is that Apple may be sourcing data for its iOS Weather app in Celsius and then converting it to Fahrenheit. For example, 20 degrees Celsius converts to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, while 21 degrees Celsius converts to 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit — which rounds up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Where’s The Apple M2?, by Tim Bray

But it’s been eight months since the M1 shipped and we haven’t heard from Apple. I have a good guess what’s going on: It’s proving really hard to make a CPU (or SoC) that’s perceptibly faster than the M1. Here’s why.

Apple Security Bounty: A Personal Experience, by Nicolas Brunner, Medium

This is my personal story with the Apple Security Bounty program and why I believe it is a lie after reporting an issue, testing fixes and being left in the dark after 14 months.

The Ugly, Geeky War For Web Privacy Is Playing Out In The W3C, by Issie Lapowsky, Protocol

Over the last year, far from the notice of the average consumer or lawmaker, the people who actually make the web run have converged on this niche community of engineers to wrangle over what privacy really means, how the web can be more private in practice and how much power tech giants should have to unilaterally enact this change.

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This is the first time there is a battery pack from Apple available for the iPhone I'm carrying. My previous iPhone X and iPhone 6 both didn't have an Apple battery pack, if I remember correctly.

However, my iPhone is still new. Moreover, I haven't really been outside yet, at all. So, I guess I will hold out on getting this MagSafe battery pack for now.

(It definitely look cool, though.)


Thanks for reading.

The Unpopular-Blade Edition Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Apple Updates Final Cut Pro, Fixing Location Bug, Controversial Blade Icon, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

An otherwise minor update bringing Final Cut Pro to version 10.5.4 has addressed the unpopular new Blade tool icon, plus appears to have resolved region and location bugs.

New 'Behind The Mac' Ad Highlights Multiple Artists From Canada, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Apple today released a new advertisement specifically for Canadians. The “Made in Canada” video, which is part of the “Behind the Mac” campaign, highlights multiple artists from Canada, including Justin Bieber, Daniel Caesar, and Shawn Mendes.

What To Do With Old And Dying AirPods: Recycling, Replacing, And Selling, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Instead of just buying a new pair and tossing (or hopefully recycling them with Apple : ), let’s look at some other options.

The Obsidian iOS App Is Now Available, by Mike Schmitz, The Sweet Setup

We’ve written quite a bit about using Obsidian to manage notes and ideas over the last couple of months. [...] Getting the entire Obsidian interface onto the phone in a way that’s still familiar and discoverable is no small task, but the team has done a great job balancing interface changes and native features without compromising functionality.

Brydge Max+: The Best Third-party Keyboard For iPad Pro, by Killian Bell, Cult of Mac

The big difference with the Max+ — which makes it even better than the Pro+ — is a larger, more reliable trackpad and a new, much more seamless magnetic docking system for your iPad.

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My family of three are all using AirPods, and two ouf three members have already replaced the initial pair of AirPods due to dying batteries.

When I look back to my Apple products purchase history throughout my entire life, earphones probably ranks among the highest in repeated purchases. The iPod earphones used to break quite easily, but for me, it is one of the most comfortable earphones I've ever bought.


Thanks for reading.

The Regular-Fashion Edition Monday, July 12, 2021

Apple And Gallaudet University Team Up To Put Deaf-Friendly Businesses On The Map: Literally, by Laken Brooks, Forbes

Bryce H. Chapman, the Director of Marketing at Gallaudet, has noticed that the Signing Ecosystem is already helping community members commute, shop, and study with more confidence: “We have developed a navigation system that will allow our students, alumni, and visitors to identify locations that are signing-friendly. This has already shifted some of our admissions and recruitment efforts; we are now able to share our guides with prospective students and their parents and families so they can quickly experience what it is like to live and interact here at Gallaudet and in its surrounding neighborhoods.”

How To Achieve Sustainable Remote Work, by Cal Newport, New Yorker

The rise and fall of ROWE at Best Buy suggests a worrying aspect of our return to in-person work: the degree to which we’re focussed on policy. How many workers can be remote? Which days must you be in the office? How will compensation differ depending on your location? The central lesson of Best Buy and ROWE is that policy is the easy part. If you want to radically change when and where work happens in your organization while still achieving results, you also have to change the very definition of “work” itself, moving it away from surveillance and visible busyness, and toward defined outcomes and trust. A culture change of this magnitude requires that you retrain employees and managers at all levels, both in an intensive initial push and then in a regular fashion into perpetuity.

Steve Jobs In Kyoto, by Saeki Kentaro, NHK World

Jobs' autograph now adorns the wall of Sushiiwa. It comes with a message: "All good things", a shortened version of the saying "All good things must come to an end."

"He might have been aware of when his life would end, since he passed away just one year later," says Ohnishi. "Maybe that's why he chose not to write the whole sentence, and only the first three words."

Stop Doomscrolling And Grab A Game Controller Instead, by Sam White, Wired

Gaming, handheld gaming in particular, satisfied my need for mental stimulation while physically scratching the itch of wanting to hold and look at my phone. It felt like a simple swap, but it had a huge impact on my mental health.

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I'm pretty sure I am nearer to the end than the beginning. I've had a lot of good things in the past years, but I am now going to try to maintain a higher ratio of good verus not-so-good things in my life.

My strategy is probably to say yes to new things, and to have more courage to say no to many other things.

Except that in these past one and half year, time has practically slowed down to a crawl for me. But I do believe I need to pick up the pace.

After all, there are only so many days left to enjoy all the good things.


Thanks for reading.

The Limited-Lifespan Edition Sunday, July 11, 2021

Apple AirPod Batteries Are Almost Impossible To Replace, Showing The Need For Right-to-repair Reform, by Kif Leswing, CNBC

The limited lifespan of AirPods is exactly the kind of problem that the "right-to-repair" movement wants to fix. Repair shops and lobbyists that support repair reform want lawmakers to implement a variety of rules, including increased access to manuals and official parts and consumer protections around warranties.

After Nearly A Year Of Use, MagSafe Is The Defining Feature Of The iPhone 12, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

I dream of a world where the iPhone is as waterproof as the Apple Watch, and I believe we can get there once the port is gone and MagSafe is the only option.

Could Gen Z Free The World From Email?, by Sophia June, New York Times

Despite the reasonable qualms of older generations, Generation Z — generally defined as people born between 1997 and 2012 — is pioneering the return of chaotic trends like low-rise jeans, pop-punk and Ed Hardy.

But members of Gen Z do seem to agree with their elders on one thing: Email. Ugh.

And, if we’re lucky, maybe they can one day save everyone from overflowing inboxes.

Apple’s Newest Privacy Changes Mean More Rework For The Ad Industry, by Chris Keune, VentureBeat

The global forces moving our industry towards a consent-based model has its positives. In addition to the obvious improvement in company-customer value exchange already discussed, coming moves by Apple may actually help publishers who rely on ad revenue. We know that a sizable portion of ad spend goes to third-party data brokers. If Apple continues to erode the capabilities of these brokers, more money may start to flow back into publishers’ coffers.

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If work has to arrive, I much prefer email over any other form of communications. The most important consideration: I can search through all my emails for past conversations; I can't easily do that with Teams or Zoom.

Oh, what? Someone is supposed to take minutes for that Zoom call? Oh, and I should follow up with that one-on-one Zoom meeting with email to confirm what we've agreed? Argh!


Yes, I wish Apple would sell plain magnets to anyone who wants them, so that we can have all sorts of MagSafe-compatible stuff.


Thanks for reading.

The Tight-Grip Edition Saturday, July 10, 2021

Joe Biden Wants You To Be Able To Fix Your Own Damn iPhones, by Lauren Goode, Wired

It’s too soon to determine what the FTC’s new rules might look like, or how long it will take the agency to impose any new regulations. But the Biden administration’s involvement in repair issues brings national attention to a topic that has, for the most part, only been addressed in legislation at the state level. And it could have major implications for large tech companies and equipment makers that have historically held a tight grip on how—and by who—their devices can be repaired.

The UK’s Right To Repair Law Already Needs Repairing, by Adam Speight, Wired

As such, one company known for its tight hardware and software integration has sought to stave off the emergence of further right-to-repair laws. Apple, the company in question, argues that these laws could lead to sub-standard repairs and consumers harming themselves when they try to repair devices. In France, Apple has already been required to act as a result of right to repair-related legislation – now listing product repairability scores on its French online store.

Coming Soon

Latest iOS 14.7 Beta Fixes Bug That Caused Certain Network Names To Disable Your iPhone's Wi-Fi, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Over the last several weeks, a flaw has emerged in iOS that means a handful of network names can actually disable Wi-Fi on your iPhone altogether. In the latest beta of iOS 14.7, which Apple released to developers and public beta users yesterday, Apple has seemingly fixed this bug.


Apple Participating In Sales Tax Holiday For Select U.S. States, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

For the next several weeks, Apple is offering customers in a select number of U.S. states the opportunity to purchase a wide range of its products without a sales tax.

Apple Expands Universal App Store + Apple Store Gift Cards To Canada And Australia, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Last year in the US, Apple overhauled its gift cards taking them from two separate products to a single one that works with the App Store/iTunes Store and Apple Stores. Now the new Apple Gift Cards have launched in Canada and Australia.

Apple Debuts 'This Week On Apple Music' With Weekly Highlights, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple says that it will provide highlighted stories with album suggestions, playlists, videos, radio episodes, interviews, and more.

Apple's New 'In The Dark' iPhone 12 Pro Ad Highlights Night Mode, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The spot focuses on night mode selfies, showing a man taking photos of himself in various low lighting situations. “Now you can take amazing selfies in the dark,” reads the tagline of video, which also uses the song “In The Dark” by YG.

Apple Ad Spot Highlights Ping iPhone Capabilities Of Apple Watch, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Apple has shared a new ad spot highlighting how an Apple Watch could help users find a misplaced iPhone — even if it's literally lost in a haystack.

Beyond Goodreads: Four Tools That Help Readers Track Their Books, by Angela Haupt, Washington Post

Whether you want to boost your reading speed, keep track of your growing personal library or find just the right book to fit your mood, here are four reading tools to consider.


Apple Reportedly Wants In On NFL Sunday Ticket, by Ian Carlos Campbell, The Verge

In the quest to get people to pay monthly for video, having the rights to stream sports, especially football, is key. Apple might finally be playing that game to spruce up Apple TV Plus: The Information reports the trillion-dollar phone maker has expressed early interest in securing the rights to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket package — a subscription covering every game that is not airing on local affiliates — for its video service.

Are We In The Metaverse Yet?, by Kellen Browning, New York Times

As a buzzword, the metaverse refers to a variety of virtual experiences, environments and assets that gained momentum during the online-everything shift of the pandemic. Together, these new technologies hint at what the internet will become next.

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Can Apple afford not to raise the price of Apple TV+ if it adds sports entertainment to the service? A good drama or comedy show can continue to attract new subscribers for years to come, but sports? Wouldn't Apple need to recoup the acquisition cost almost immediately?


I haven't been excited about new Apple commercials since the I'm a Mac, I'm a PC days.


Thanks for reading.

The Heart-of-Business Edition Friday, July 9, 2021

Apple’s Design Guide For Inclusive Technology Is Essential Reading, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

Apple argues that inclusive apps put people first by “prioritizing respectful communication and presenting content and functionality in ways that everyone can access and understand.” The company explains that inclusivity covers many bases: class, culture, ethnicity, creed, race, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, disabilities, height, shape and so many more considerations that need to be thought about when designing digital experiences.

For developers and anyone else looking to place inclusivity at the heart of their business, Apple’s guide has many useful insights. It's essential reading for anyone developing any form of person-focused content.

I Collected 'Leftover' Food From SF Restaurants And It Fed Me All Week, by Tessa McLean, SFGate

Too Good To Go was born in Denmark and quickly spread to France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands in 2016. Co-founder Lucie Basch said they knew the key to getting restaurants to participate would be to make the process as simple as possible, making the app easy to use and not requiring any upfront commitments. There’s no quota a restaurant has to meet, so they can add food whenever they want and as often as they want.


For Beacon Coffee & Pantry owner Alexis Liu, it’s a “win-win” for her small business in North Beach. Liu said they almost always have some food items leftover at the end of the day, even if it’s just one bag’s worth of pastries, and she’s happy she doesn’t have to worry about it going to waste anymore. She also said she believes it’s introducing them to new customers who may not have visited the shop before but are now familiar with them and their products.

M1 iPad Pro Review: Why Apple Will Never Put macOS On iPad, by Raymond Wong, Input

It’s remarkable how cogent Jobs’ description of the original iPad was and even more impressive how closely Apple has stuck to it. Sure, iPads have gained new features over the years, especially when it comes to being better for content creation and productivity. But the iPad’s raison d’être as a computing device that fits between a smartphone and laptop has not changed at all in over a decade. There’s no reason to believe Apple wants iPads to be anything more, either.

On App Stores

A New Digital Life, Same Old Problems, by Shira Ovide, New York Times

Stores have long dictated what products appear on their shelves and how aggressively they are promoted to potential shoppers. Apple is doing the virtual equivalent of that for apps. And as Susan (and Apple) points out, conventional stores typically keep a much bigger cut of a product’s retail price than Apple’s commission of up to 30 percent on some app transactions like streaming video subscriptions.


But I also think those complaints reflect a mismatch of expectations and reality about the internet.

Apple Monopoly Case To Be Heard In Aust, by Australian Associated Press

"This is a case about the Australian App Store, the developers of apps for distribution in that store and the Australian users of iOS devices ... it is a case commenced in Australia in reliance on Australian competition law, involving Australian markets and consumers," the full court said, echoing Justice Perram.


Experts Warn Of Drive Failures Impacting Users Of Apple’s AirPort Time Capsules, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In the Time Capsules, Apple used Seagate Grenada hard drives. These drives are now suffering from an apparent design flaw that is leading to abnormally high failure rates.

He Owns 150 Macs. Now He's Created The One Thing Apple Fans Desperately Need, by Chris Matyszczyk, ZDNet

In his launch video, Hackett explains that despite synching all his events to every device imaginable, "I've really learned over the years the best way to keep my entire household on the same page is a good, old-fashioned wall calendar."

You're still not moved? What if I tell you that it's a 2022 wall calendar that "each month highlights some of Apple's hardware announcements over the years."

Roblox, Explained, by Jay Peters, The Verge

Until recently, though, I didn’t really understand what Roblox actually was, despite the app having been around since 2006. (Just to give you an idea of how long that is in tech years, the App Store for iOS launched in 2008.) So I spent some time in the world of Roblox to help explain what all the fuss is about.

How I Took Control Of My iPhone's Photos App And Freed Up Gigabytes Of Space, by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, ZDNet

What Gemini does is it finds the best photos (you know, the ones that aren't blurry or out of focus or where people have their eyes closed), as well as duplicate photos and screenshots. It also allows you to quickly review videos, which can take up a colossal amount of space.

Transloader 3: A Simple, Versatile Way To Remotely Manage Mac File Downloads From An iPhone Or iPad, by John Voorhees, MacStories

That’s a lot of options for moving and managing files, but where Transloader really shines is with its automation integration.


Important And Urgent, by David Sparks, MacSparky

I got in the habit of thinking of all critical work as urgent and all unimportant work as not urgent. This mindset led to all sorts of bad habits on my part.


How Two German Founders Developed Ulysses, by Becca Donaldson, TechRound

The idea to develop a writing app came about when Marcus Fehn, co-founder of Ulysses, needed a professional writing tool himself. Since nothing met his expectations, he decided to create his own solution — together with Max Seelemann, who still was in school when Ulysses was released in 2003. What started as a side project has grown into a successful business over the years: In 2016, the app won the renowned Apple Design Award, an honour for any software developer.

The Strained Relationship Between Apple And Qualcomm, by Marcia Wendorf, Interesting Engineering

Such was the state of affairs until March of this year. That's when chipmaker Qualcomm bought Nuvia for $1.4 billion, and made Williams its new senior vice president of engineering. This gave Qualcomm access to much of the expertise behind the development of the M1 chip.

Then, on July 2, 2021, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon started the 4th of July holiday off with a bang by announcing that, based on Nuvia's technology, his firm was developing a chip to compete with the M1 on their new "flagship smartphones, high-performance ultra portable laptops, and digital cockpits, as well as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, extended reality, and infrastructure networking solutions." The new chip will be released in late 2022.

Bottom of the Page

I may have to stop watching Lisey's Story over at Apple TV+ due to all the bloody stuff.


Thanks for reading.

The Sticking-to-Viewpoint Edition Thursday, July 8, 2021

Original HomePods Reportedly 'Bricked' With 14.6 Software Update, by David Snow, Cult of Mac

Recent reports suggest owners of the original HomePod should steer clear of the device’s software version 14.6 and the newer version 15 update for beta users.

New Backblaze App For Mac Increases Threading, New Optimizations, And Reduces Disk Load By 80%, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Backblaze is introducing version 8.0 of its desktop app that contains many improvements for macOS users who are using the service to backup all of their data.

Nanoleaf Turns On Thread Border Routers For Easier Smart Home Control, by David Ludlow, Trusted Reviews

Thread is a new type of low-power smart home protocol built to control smart home devices, building a reliable mesh network to give better coverage than Wi-Fi.

Nomad Launches Leather Cover For Apple's MagSafe Charger, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The Leather Cover is meant to slide over a ‌MagSafe‌ Charger, providing a more attractive design for those who use Apple’s charging solution.


Apple Picks Riyadh As Headquarters Of Its Academy In MENA Region, by Saudi Gazette

In its first phase, the academy will be dedicated to programmers and developers, in support of efforts for women empowerment and the ongoing massive social reforms under Vision 2030.


Apple’s Curious Resistance To Creating A Touch Screen Mac, by Tim Bajarin, Forbes

I do know that Apple has had customers clamoring for touch screen MacBooks who have become indoctrinated into touch UI's via iPads. However, curiously Apple shows no signs that a touch screen MacBook is on the horizon and is sticking to their viewpoint that their users just don't need it.

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Apple has insisted so many times that they are not doing touchscreens for macOS, nor are they merging iPadOS and macOS that it seems unlikely Apple will pull an iPod Video out of the pockets in order to a u-turn.

However, I do see Apple's willingness to have iPad compete with MacBooks, to a certain extend. (There's still isn't a macOS device that is priced as cheaply as the lower-cost iPads.) I am not surprised Apple is investigating larger iPads that are probably more suited for the desktop than laptops.


Thanks for reading.

The Interactive-and-Clickable Edition Wednesday, July 7, 2021

iPadOS 14 Apple Pencil Features Expand To French, German, Italian, Portuguese, And Spanish Languages, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

That means if you write something in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, you can now copy the handwritten text and paste it as standard typed text, and addresses and other content written in these languages will also show up as interactive and clickable.

You’re Not Backing Up Enough, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

I know you’ve heard it a million times before, so many times that you skim past it when you read it. And you’ll probably do it again this time, but I’ve got to try. I’m looking out for your best interests here.

Kaspersky Password Manager Was Creating Weak Passwords, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

If you’ve been using Kaspersky Password Manager (KPM) on your iPhone for a while, you may need to generate some new passwords. A security researcher has discovered two flaws that could result in an attacker having to try as few as 100 passwords to find yours.


'Defending Jacob' Series Is The First Apple TV+ Content To Get A Physical Disc Release, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

It is likely that Apple’s production deals with its partners vary and it retains more rights to some projects than others.

App Gives Autistic A Way To Promote Physical Activity, by Adria Hyde, Jonesboro Sun

Bryant said Lee developed an app called PuzzleWalk designed with autistic students in mind who prefer to use technology.

“For the population of students who have ASD, my colleague created an app that would tap into their strengths,” he said. “The app aims to increase user motivation for participating in achievable physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior.”

Spike Adds Video And Audio Calls To Its macOS And iOS Email Apps, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Spike is an app that focuses on turning email messages into chats by removing intros, salutations, and signatures so it looks and feels like iMessages or WhatsApp. Today, Spike is adding video and audio calls to its app so users can have meetings without using Zoom or Hangouts.

Twelve South MagSafe SurfacePad Review: Slim And Stylish, by Blair Altland, 9to5Toys

I still love how thin it is, and the soft leather has proved to be much more comfortable than other models I’ve used in the past. Some may not be interested in dealing with the way it sticks onto the back of your device, but that’s the only aspect that makes this anything less than a must-have for iPhone 12 owners.

No, Open Source Audacity Audio Editor Is Not “Spyware”, by Jim Salter, Ars Technica

While the team has announced that Audacity will begin collecting telemetry, it's neither overly broad in scope nor aggressive in how it acquires the data—and the majority of the real concerns were addressed two months ago, to the apparent satisfaction of the actual Audacity community.


Will MailKit Save, by David Sparks, MacSparky

This new sense that mail plugins have a future path and will continue to exist makes it easier for me to use them. I hope this also encourages other developers to get off the sidelines and explore developing new and helpful plugins.

Fury Over 'Demeaning' ​Apple iPhone Emoji That 'Serves To Alienate', by Kirsty Bosley, BriminghamLive

The 'woozy face' emoji shows up on Apple devices whenever people with a stammer - sometimes referred to as a stutter - write about their experiences.

Kill The Standard Privacy Notice, by Leif-Nissen Lundbæk, TechCrunch

So, here’s a plea to tech companies large and small: Kill your standard privacy notices! Don’t write texts that almost no user understands to protect yourselves against potential legal claims so that you can continue collecting private user data. Instead, use privacy notices that are addressed to your users and that everybody can understand.

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It's not over yet, I don't think.


Thanks for reading.

The Narrow-Use-Case Edition Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Why The Password Isn't Dead Quite Yet, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

Even with all of those pieces in place, many passwordless schemes only work on newer devices, and necessitate the ownership of smartphone along with at least one other device. In practice, that's a fairly narrow use case. Many people around the world share devices and can't upgrade them frequently, or use feature phones if anything.

And while passwordless implementations are increasingly standardized, account recovery options are not.


Today At Apple Creative Studios London Launches For Aspiring Musicians And Radio Producers, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

This August, Today at Apple Creative Studios expands to London with opportunities for youth interested in pursuing a career in music or radio. Creative Studios London will connect young artists with industry-leading mentors, major names in the broadcasting world, and professional studio environments.

Kensington’s StudioCaddy Is A Home For All Your Apple Devices, by Sam Byford, The Verge

It’s an unusual product with a simple goal: it’s meant to be the place where all your Apple devices can live.

Audio Editor Audacity Denies Spyware Accusation, by Zoe Kleinman, BBC

Audacity says the only data it exchanges with its users is software updates and error reports.


Apple Refuses To Deliver iPhones To Bemused Residents In Rural Village, by William Cole, Mail Online

When customers insert their postcode on the ordering system it automatically brings up 'Boxted', causing the system to wrongly think they are trying to get the parcel delivered to a post office box - which Apple does not allow.

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Superman: The Movie was my first superhero movie. A straight-forward and effective story-telling, that is not afraid to take its time. Special effects that makes you believe, not just to wow you. There aren't many superhero movies nowadays that can compare with this classic.


Thanks for reading.

The Salad-Photo Edition Monday, July 5, 2021

5 Photographers Proving How Awesome The Apple iPhone Truly Is!, by Dan Ginn, Yahoo!

Back in 2007, its far from attractive 2 Megapixel camera had no other purpose than to make snapshots of day-to-day life. Fast forward to the present day, and the cameras packed into the iPhone are nothing short of breathtaking. So much so, many photographers use it for far more than photos of their salad. The skilled photographer is able to maximize the iPhone camera’s potential. Don’t believe us? Well, in this piece, we’re going to prove it!

Bypassing macOS TCC User Privacy Protections By Accident And Design, by Phil Stokes, Sentinel Labs

We know that malware abuses some of these loopholes, and that various TCC bugs exist that have yet to be patched. Our only conclusion at this point has to be that neither users nor admins should place too much faith in the ability of TCC as it is currently implemented to protect data from unauthorized access.

A Speciifc Network Name Can Completely Disable Wi-Fi On Your iPhone, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Only a couple of weeks after the initial iPhone Wi-Fi bug was found, the same security researcher Carl Schou has found another similar issue.

Work Culture

Apple Decentralizes From Silicon Valley, But Workers Just Want To Be Remote, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Just a few years after completing the multibillion-dollar Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California, Apple Inc. is ramping up efforts to decentralize out of Silicon Valley. I’m told that executives at the highest levels of the company recognize that hiring and retaining talent will be one of the biggest challenges to its future success, and reducing its reliance on the Valley is a key step in mitigating that issue.

Apple has traditionally operated on the principle that ambitious technologists yearn for a place in Silicon Valley where they can put their mark on the next iProduct. The company’s top brass for years fought against decentralization. But that thinking has changed for several reasons based on what I’ve heard from Apple employees.


These MagSafe iPhone Mounts Are The Future Of iPhone Accessories, by Tyler Hayes, Newsweek

Moment began its journey as a mobile photography-centric company but has since branched out to other ancillary product categories. Here it wonderfully takes advantage of MagSafe to make a tripod, car vent mount, wall mount and other products with magnets embedded.

Audacity 3.0 Called Spyware Over Data Collection Changes By New Owner, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Audacity, the well-known open-source audio-editing software, has been called spyware in a report, with privacy policy changes revealing the tool is collecting data on its users and sharing it with other firms, as well as sending the data to Russia.


Apple Music Is Missing One Major Thing: A Classic iPod To Go With It, by Mitchell Clark, The Verge

The iPhone makes it difficult to plug in many types of headphones, and Siri interrupts what you’re listening to when you’re asking it to do something simple that doesn’t really warrant an audible response (like turning on HomeKit-powered lights, for example).

Apple Wins Privacy Battle In China, by Patrick McGee, Financial Times

Apple made its position clear shortly afterwards by rejecting updates to several Chinese apps that it had caught enlisting CAID in their software updates from its App Store.

Several people in China and Hong Kong said that, following these rejections, CAID lost support quickly and the whole project failed to gain traction.

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I've used my previous iPods mainly to listen to podcasts and audiobooks. And the occasional BBC radio. (Yes, there is a BBC World Service station here at Singapore, and yes, there was an iPod that can receive radio signals.)

So, no, an iPod for Apple Music will not excite me. And I don't think this idea excites Apple either. Apple is pursuing an Apple TV+ everywhere strategy, but Apple Music on iPhone and Apple Watch is already everywhere.

Maybe, instead, one of the Focus in the upcoming OS should be Music-Listening?


Thanks for reading.

The Tons-of-Bricks Edition Sunday, July 4, 2021

How To Identify A Pile Of Lego On Your iPhone, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

A free app built by fans of the blocks, Brickit for iOS is a handy tool for situations where you have tons of bricks but no idea what to do with them. By taking advantage of the rear camera and computer vision, the app can tell you what pieces you need for a project and where they are in the pile.

5 Apps To Make The Most Out Of Your Road Trip, by Haley Weiss, Popular Science

Whether you’re traveling alone or cruising the interstate in a caravan, heading out for the day or going fully nomadic, there’s an app out there that can add something unexpected to your auto adventure. You just have to know where to look.

Zhiyun Smooth Q3 Gimbal Review: Small, Feature-packed, And Well Lit, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

While the iPhone has image stabilization to smooth out the video as you walk and talk, a gimbal does it dramatically more.

Plus, a gimbal like the Smooth-Q3 has a feature that keeps you perfectly positioned in the frame.


Starbucks Has A Big Problem And It's Hard Not To Notice, by Chris Matyszczyk, ZDNet

One wonder how much technology is turning fast-food restaurants into vast, glorified vending machines.

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I just realized that in the past one and a half year, as far as I can remember, I did not have any dreams in which I was wearing a mask.


Thanks for reading.

The Value-for-Developers Edition Saturday, July 3, 2021

Apple's Newest Tool Will Be The Unsung Hero Of Your Next Favorite App, by Jason Hiner, CNET

At WWDC, Apple announced that Swift Playgrounds will no longer be just for learning how to code, but you'll be able to build iPhone and iPad apps directly in Swift Playgrounds and deploy them to the App Store.

"All these advances in tools and technologies are the result of a vision that we've been executing on for years," said Wendker. "They're really the result of a never-ending focus on our side to build long-lasting platforms that create lots of value for developers and users."

On App Stores

EU's Vestager Warns Apple Against Using Privacy, Security To Limit Competition, by Foo Yun Chee, Reuters

Europe's tech chief Margrethe Vestager on Friday warned iPhone maker Apple against using privacy and security concerns to fend off competition on its App Store, reasons CEO Tim Cook gave for not allowing users to install software from outside the Store.

Apple Justifies iOS App Store’s Tight Control In White Paper, by Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS

The logical fallacy is Apple’s suggestion that if it were to loosen any control, iOS would fall like Rome to the barbarians, when in fact there are existing counterexamples inside the Apple ecosystem itself.


Weather Strip iOS App Expands Clever Timeline View With ‘Feels Like’ Temp And Humidity, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Weather Strip launched last month with a unique week-long hourly timeline view to see everything going on with the weather in a single horizontal graph. Now the neat app is getting air temperature and humidity with the latest update.

Customise Your iPhone And iPad Using These Cool And Funky Apps, by Mikhail Gomes, Lifestyle Asia

Right from finding the perfect widget style for you to switching up your keyboard with more colour and font styles, we’ve surfed through the App Store to find the very best.

I Tried 5 Sleep Gadgets For My Nagging Insomnia, by Simon Hill, Wired

Desperate for sleep, I tried out several apps and gadgets that promise to alleviate insomnia. I tested most of these out for at least a week, sometimes more, and I used the Withings Sleep Tracking Mat to compare results.


Apple Now Allows Marijuana Businesses On Its App Store, While Google Maintains Ban, by Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment

A marijuana app must be geo-restricted to jurisdictions where cannabis is legal, and the program must be “submitted by a legal entity that provides the services, and not by an individual developer.”

Robots Were Supposed To Take Our Jobs. Instead, They’re Making Them Worse., by Emily Stewart Vox

Companies are automating away autonomy and putting profit-maximizing strategies on digital overdrive, turning work into a space with fewer carrots and more sticks.

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Why hasn't anyone rebooted the good old days of Ambrosia games? I miss games like Apeiron and Bubble Trouble, where you just get in the game and play and play until you used up all your lives. No cute stories, no cut-scenes, no earning of stars and rewards, and no beginning and middle and end.


Thanks for reading.

The Lift-the-Burden Edition Friday, July 2, 2021

Apple Releases First Public Beta Of macOS 12 Monterey, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today seeded the first public beta of the macOS 12 Monterey beta to public beta testers, allowing non-developers to test the new macOS Monterey software ahead of its public release.

The M1, macOS Monterey And The Next Mac Power Shift, by Jason Snell, Macworld

Shortcuts on the Mac is going to be a great first step, but there’s a lot more work to be done before the next generation of Mac user automation is ready to lift the burden from the last. It might take years, but the future is bright.

Work Culture

Charlie Warzel: ‘This Is The Awful Voice Inside My Head’, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

You argue, you tussle, you make your case, and then when a decision has been made you go for it, even if you don’t like it.


Apple Camp 2021 Registration Opens With New In-store And At-home Activities, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple Camp invites kids on creative expeditions in video using the Clips app. Live sessions will be offered in Apple Stores and a PDF guide with 30 More Creative Activities for Kids is available to explore anywhere.

Spark Mail App For Mac Gets Shared Inboxes For Improved Team Collaboration, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

It allows multiple people to access the same Gmail or Google Workplace inbox, assign tasks, set deadlines, see progress, and more.

Brilliant Brings HomeKit To Smart Plug And Wall Switch After Smart Wall Panels, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

A free firmware update has been rolled out to Brilliant smart plug and switch owners that enable this functionality. That allows users to control the plug and switch via HomeKit — whether through the Home app, Siri, or any automations.


Windows 11 For Mac In The Works, Parallels Confirms, by Stephen Warwick, iMore

"Since Windows 11 has just been announced recently, the Parallels Engineering team is waiting for the official Windows 11 Insider Preview build to start studying changes introduced in the new OS to deliver full compatibility in future Parallels Desktop updates," Nick Dobrovolskiy, SVP of Engineering and Support told iMore.

Apple To Test Hybrid Work From Store And Home For Retail Staff, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

[Apple] will begin a pilot program later this year dubbed “Retail Flex” with a small number of store employees. The arrangement will allow employees to work some weeks at their retail store location and other weeks remotely. From home, workers will handle online sales, customer service and technical support, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing company policies.

Are Computers Ready To Solve This Notoriously Unwieldy Math Problem?, by Siobhan Roberts, MIT Technology Review

First proposed (according to some accounts) in the 1930s by the German mathematician Lothar Collatz, this number theory problem provides a recipe, or algorithm, for generating a numerical sequence: Start with any positive integer. If the number is even, divide by two. If the number is odd, multiply by three and add one. And then do the same, again and again. The conjecture asserts that the sequence will always end up at 1 (and then continually cycle through 4, 2, 1).

Bottom of the Page

Is Live Wallpaper still a thing on iPhone? Because it no longer works, right? Pressing on the screen no longer animate the Live Wallpapers, but enter jiggle mode, right?


I hope there are more dynamic wallpapers out in the world for iOS and macOS.


Thanks for reading.

The Publicly-Available Edition Thursday, July 1, 2021

Apple Opens First Public Betas For iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, And tvOS, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple has opened its public beta program for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8 and tvOS 15 on the Apple Beta Software Program website. macOS Monterey is not yet publicly available, but Apple’s beta site says it is ‘coming soon.’

Apple Extends Partnership With (RED) To Combat COVID-19 Until December 30, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Last year, Apple announced that it would be directing 100 percent of eligible proceeds from (PRODUCT)RED purchases to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response to “provide critical support to health systems most threatened by the outbreak” in sub-Saharan Africa until June 30, 2021. Now, the company has extended the period until December 30, 2021.

Apple Arcade Isn't The Cross-Platform Dream We Were Promised, by Alex Blake, Digital Trends

Despite calls from the press and some members of the public for Apple to merge iOS and MacOS, the tech giant continues to plug its fingers in its ears and insist it’s not happening. And you know what? It’s the right approach. But weirdly, Apple is accidentally demonstrating what a disaster this merger would be using one of its own products: Apple Arcade.

Work Culture

This Is The Awful Voice Inside My Head, by Charlie Warzel, Galaxy Brain

There’s a semantic element of truth to this — if a company with hundreds of thousands of employees never made a decision without a full worker vote, very little would get done. But the semantic argument obscures the truth. Apple’s employees aren’t asking for voting control of the board of directors. They’re asking for some flexibility. In truth, they’re asking for management to listen to their concerns.

On App Stores

Apple’s Developer Problems Are Much Bigger Than Epic And ‘Fortnite’, by K. Bell, Engadget

Even if Apple is able to emerge from its antitrust fights relatively unscathed, dissatisfied developers could eventually pose a more existential problem for Apple.


The Internet Is A Collective Hallucination, by Jonathan Zittrain, The Atlantic

It turns out that link rot and content drift are endemic to the web, which is both unsurprising and shockingly risky for a library that has “billions of books and no central filing system.” Imagine if libraries didn’t exist and there was only a “sharing economy” for physical books: People could register what books they happened to have at home, and then others who wanted them could visit and peruse them. It’s no surprise that such a system could fall out of date, with books no longer where they were advertised to be—especially if someone reported a book being in someone else’s home in 2015, with an interested reader seeing that 2015 report in 2021 and trying to visit the original home mentioned as holding it. That’s what we have right now on the web.

Bottom of the Page

If I can travel back 30 years to meet my younger self, here are some things that I can tell him that he will not believe:

In 2021, the majority of my entertainment are radio programmes.
In 2021, the majority of my television viewing is on a small 10-inch screen.
In 2021, there are still new episodes of "The Simpsons."


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