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.

Bottom of the Page

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.