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.

Bottom of the Page

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.