Archive for August 2021

The Music-Metadata Edition Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Apple Acquires Classical Music Service Primephonic, Will Launch Dedicated Classical Music App, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple says that with the Primephonic purchase, ‌Apple Music‌ subscribers will be provided with an improved classical music experience. This will start with Primephonic playlists and audio content, and in the coming months, Apple will offer a dedicated Primephonic experience with improved browsing and search capabilities by composer and repertoire, better classical music metadata, and more.

Google, Apple Hit By First Law Threatening Dominance Over App-Store Payments, by Jiyoung Sohn, Wall Street Journal

The law amends South Korea’s Telecommunications Business Act to prevent large app-market operators from requiring the use of their in-app purchasing systems. It also bans operators from unreasonably delaying the approval of apps or deleting them from the marketplace—provisions meant to head off retaliation against app makers.

How The ‘Right To Repair’ Might Save Your Gadgets—and Save You Money, by Joanna Stern, Wall Street Journal

“It isn’t like we’re asking for something that’s impossible. It’s something that’s easy to do: Provide parts, provide information and let people really feel like they own their own devices,” Tim Wu, a special assistant to President Biden for technology and competition policy who worked on the executive order, told me. “It gets to deeper questions about autonomy and control.”

Office Culture

Apple Cares About Privacy, Unless You Work At Apple, by Zoe Schiffer, The Verge

Employees have been asked to install software builds on their phones to test out new features prior to launch — only to find the builds expose their personal messages. Others have found that when testing new products like Apple’s Face ID, images are recorded every time they open their phones. “If they did this to a customer, people would lose their goddamn minds,” says Ashley Gjøvik, a senior engineering program manager.

Apple employees also can’t use their work email addresses to sign up for iCloud accounts, so many use their personal accounts.

#AppleToo Publishes First Five Stories Of Harrassment, Discrimination, by AppleInsider

The first batch of stories collected by the #AppleToo movement has been published by the internal Apple organization, giving a glimpse at the company's internal work environment.


‘Weather On The Way’ Updated With iPad App, Siri Shortcuts Support, Rain Probability, And More, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Originally launched in 2020, Weather on the Way is a great app for tracking weather as you’re planning a trip. Today, it’s adding a key feature that’ll make traveling even easier: Siri Shortcuts support.

Hyper Launches New Color Matched USB-C Hubs For M1 iMacs, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Hyper today announced the launch of a set of HyperDrive USB-C hubs that are designed for Apple’s 24-inch M1 iMacs, and the hubs are unique because they come with faceplates available in each iMac color.


Apple To Donate To Hurricane Ida Relief And Recovery Efforts, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple will be donating to Hurricane Ida relief and recovery efforts on the ground after the devastating category four storm made landfall in Louisiana over the weekend, according to a tweet from Apple CEO Tim Cook.

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The faster I clear emails, the faster new emails arrive.


Thanks for reading.

The Small-and-Customisable Edition Monday, August 30, 2021

Compressing Your Keyboard, by Matt Gemmell

The beauty of small and customisable keyboards is that, quite contrary to sacrificing the functionality you’re used to, you can actually smooth over many of the rough edges of adaption by introducing consistency and thus comfort that’s unique to your own needs, expectations, and muscle memory. That’s a delightful thing, and something you ought to avail yourself of.

Infrared With An iPhone, by William Sawalich, Digital Photo

Recent generations of iPhones (the 11 and 12, in particular) use LIDAR to aid in measuring depth and space and their front-facing lenses are sensitive to infrared light. This means if you place an IR filter over all three lenses on an iPhone 12 Pro Max, for instance, you can effectively capture infrared images. Here’s how.

Apple's New Child Safety Technology Might Harm More Kids Than It Helps, by Elissa Redmiles, Scentific American

These issues of algorithmic accuracy are concerning because they risk misaligning young people’s expectations. When we are overzealous in declaring behavior “bad” or “dangerous”—even the sharing of swimsuit photos between teens—we blur young people’s ability to detect when something actually harmful is happening to them.

On App Stores

Developers Suffering Through 'Kafkaesque' App Store Review Process, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

The App Store Review process is failing developers for being "Kafkaesque," the CEO of coding app Hopscotch claims, with system bugs and inconsistent application of policies preventing a legitimate app update from passing through.

Apple Accentuates The Positive, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish

To be clear, it’s obviously the goal of every PR person around every single announcement to accentuate the positive as much as possible. No one can fault Apple for that, of course. But if this bit of reporting by Jack Nicas of The New York Times is to be believed — and I believe it is to be believed given my own experiences in such matters — Apple’s positioning and tactics were decidedly more slippery than just your standard PR spin.

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Apple need to realize to run a proper App Store that is good and profitable, it need to invest more and more money as it grows more and more popular. Stop trying to take shortcuts, and do the hard work that can justify for the money it charges off developers.


Thanks for reading.

The Secrecy-and-Loyalty Edition Sunday, August 29, 2021

How One Woman Helped Build The #AppleToo Movement At Tech’s Most Secretive Company, by Anna Kramer, Protocol

"There's this culture within Apple that is very rewarding of secrecy and loyalty, and when I have read some of these posts about me, it's very much seeping through, people are feeling that I'm leaking confidential data." But Scarlett doesn't see it that way — she works in corporate security and legal, and she said that she would never leak product information (and that her direct team supports her, and condemns the abuse she's receiving). Talking publicly about issues within the workplace is, to her, an entirely different question.

While #AppleToo is not a union per se, the group's website says that it wants to use the power of a collective movement to bring attention to the hundreds of Apple workers who have long felt invalidated by the company. Scarlett, who had a well-known online presence in the software world even before she became an Apple worker, is the group organizer who has spoken the most publicly, and who publicly led the effort to create the informal pay equity survey against Apple's wishes.

Apple’s App Store Class-Action Settlement: What Does It Mean For Developers?, by Bowdeya Tweh, Wall Street Journal

Another settlement provision requires developers who receive money to waive past and potentially future legal claims against Apple if they are similar to complaints raised in the lawsuit. Developers have a window to opt out of the settlement once it has been approved by the court.

Software developers face a tough choice of whether to accept the money—especially those who could potentially receive thousands of dollars—if it has future legal implications, said David Barnard, a San Marcos, Texas-based software developer.

The App Store Is Too Big To Change, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

But at the end of the day, Apple was never going to budge. The App Store is too big and too important to the company, and the way the App Store works in 2021 means that — unless a court decides otherwise, as Epic, Spotify, and others are actively trying to do — nothing will really change for the core parts of the app economy.


5 Ways To Turn Your Old iPad Into A Kid-friendly Smart Home Gadget, by Dashia Starr, CNET

Here's how to give an old Apple tablet new life if you're thinking about retiring your old iPad.

Sky Guide Astronomy App For iOS Gets Its Biggest Update Yet With Release Of Version X, by Nicholas D'Alessandro, Space Explored

The headlining features of the new update are geared toward a more premium visual experience. Users can now toggle an Aurora effect and will experience real-time dawn, day, dusk, and night shadings of the sky within the app (Fifth Star Labs, the app’s developers, use a physics based computational process known as Atmospheric Multiple Scattering to simulate these visuals).

Nomad Leather Skin Review: A Cover That Maintains Your iPhone 12's Aesthetic, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

A skin won't protect your phone, but it does class it up. Just make sure you put it on carefully.

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I don't know why, but the song "Love Shack" always cheer me up when I am a little sad.

Also, when I am a little sad, all I watch on Netflix are sticoms with laugh tracks.


Thanks for reading.

The Sound-Issues Edition Saturday, August 28, 2021

Apple Launches New iPhone 12 Service Program For 'No-sound Issues', by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple today has launched a new service program for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro users who are facing issues with their device’s speakers. Apple says that the affected devices “may experience sound issues due to a component that might fail on the receiver module.” This marks the first service program for the iPhone 12 lineup.

Why Apple Won Its Legal Settlement With Developers, by Jack Nicas, New York Times

The incentives of digital news today reward those who are first, not those who are more nuanced or accurate. [...] As a result, news headlines initially framed the change as a major avenue for companies to avoid Apple’s commission. This was good for Apple, as any perception that it was making substantive changes to its App Store rules could help appease developers, the courts, regulators and lawmakers.

Apple Has Changed Its App Store Rules, And Apple’s Critics Aren’t Satisfied, by Peter Kafka, Vox

Which means this is unlikely to be the last App Store concession Apple has to make. Whether it continues to make incremental changes or makes big sweeping ones will tell us a lot about how motivated and effective Big Tech critics are going to be.

The Curious Timing Of Apple's App Store Settlement, by Philip Elmer‑DeWitt, Apple 3.0

One may wonder if Apple settled the case now in order to try to influence the Epic ruling, but by law she isn’t allowed to consider it; her decision must be based on the trial alone.

Still, it’s not a stretch to imagine Epic being disappointed by the developer settlement, because if the little guys are cool with getting a few crumbs from Apple, it may seem like Epic and other strong companies are asking for too much.


Little Snitch 5.3, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Objective Development released Little Snitch 5.3, introducing a new feature to Network Monitor: Grouping system background processes into a single macOS process which you can expand to view all of those processes.

Belkin Launches New MagSafe iPhone 12 Car Mount With Streamlined Design, by Blair Altland, 9to5Toys

Delivering a more streamlined model of versions we’ve seen in the past, the new MagSafe Car Vent Mount arrives with the same iPhone 12 focus and an integrated cable holder.


Apple Pushes Staff To Get Vaccinated After FDA Approvals Begin, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

While this campaign marks the biggest push yet to get staff vaccinated, Apple is still not requiring employees to do so -- unlike companies like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. Internally, Apple has cited employees’ privacy as its reason. The company also has offices in both red and blue states, and mandating vaccines could be difficult in some regions for political reasons.

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Apple is a proud company. They do what they believe is right, not what other tell them to do. Apple didn't do a DOS-compatible PC. Apple didn't get out of the hardware business. Apple never made Java a first-class citizen on it's platforms. And Apple remembered when they did do what other people tell them to do that one time and licensed Mac OS to other hardware manufacturers, things didn't end well.

I think it is safe to say Apple is working hard behind the scene to prepare for the day when Apple did have to make concessions. But I don't think it is what we are expecting it will do.


Thanks for reading.

The Outside-Payment Edition Friday, August 27, 2021

Apple’s $100 Million Settlement Agreement Changes A Key App Store Rule For Developers, by Jay Peters, Sean Hollister, and Richard Lawler, The Verge

A proposed agreement between Apple and a class-action lawsuit representing US app developers includes a $100 million payout from Apple. The settlement agreement also has Apple “clarifying” its policies to explain that iOS developers can contact their customers, with permission, using information collected inside their apps to tell them about payment options outside the App Store. The change is a shift to the anti-steering policy that has been a big point of contention between Apple and its critics for years.

The change, while potentially important for developers, isn’t quite as significant as it may seem. In an update to the App Store Guidelines in June, Apple already changed its rules to allow developers to communicate with customers outside of their apps, but at that time, they weren’t allowed to contact users about alternate payment options using information obtained inside the app — they would have had to figure out how to obtain their contact info another way.

Apple Loosens Rules For Developers In Major Concession Amid Antitrust Pressure, by Rachel Lerman, Cat Zakrzewski and Heather Kelly, Washington Post

Some lawmakers offered tentative praise for the move. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), chair of the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, said that Apple has significant control over apps, particularly as the world goes more mobile.

“This power raises serious competition concerns and impacts consumers and app developers alike,” she said in a statement. “This new action by Apple is a good first step towards addressing some of these competition concerns, but more must be done to ensure an open, competitive mobile app marketplace, including common sense legislation to set rules of the road for dominant app stores.

Apple's App Store Changes Are The Least It Could Have Done – Literally, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Before, developers couldn’t even email app users to let them know about alternative payment options. Now they can – but that’s it.

Developers still can’t provide a link within the app to an alternative payment platform. Indeed, the company confirmed to us that developers aren’t even allowed to mention alternative payment methods inside the app.

Apple Will Halve Its Cut Of In-App Purchases For Publishers That Also Participate In Apple News, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The Apple News Partner Program means that if a publisher has a significant presence inside of the Apple News app, including adopting of Apple’s custom Apple News Format for generating articles, that publisher will get a discount on the commission on subscriptions taken out inside their native iPhone and iPad app.

This program represents a halving of the standard 30% commission for In-App Purchases, and means that participating news apps will collect 85% of the revenue from in-app subscriptions from day one.


How I Remixed Lady Gaga Like A Pro DJ With My iPad And GarageBand, by Tamara Palmer, Macworld

The latest GarageBand update for iOS and iPadOS includes two Remix Sessions that allow you to create new versions of songs by pop stars Lady Gaga and Dua Lipa. Using GarageBand’s Live Loops feature, you can manipulate and record sounds from their tracks as well as hundreds more to be found in the app. The sound loops are represented visually as circular waveforms that you can touch or click to start and stop. You can also tinker with sound levels, effects such as echo and reverb, tempo and key, as well as connect external instruments or add our voice to jam along.

Apple Promoting Olivia Rodrigo's Latest Music Video As It Was 'Made On iPad', by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Apple partnered with singer and actress Olivia Rodrigo earlier this month to promote her new song “Brutal” with various digital masks created on the iPad with Procreate and Apple Pencil. Now that the “Brutal” music video is available, Apple made a short clip highlighting that it was “Made with iPad.”

Apple Rolling Out New Firmware Version For AirTag Item Trackers, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

There is also no way to force it to update. Instead, just make sure your AirTag is in range of your iPhone, and it should automatically update.

The 6 Best Goal-setting Apps For Work And Life Outside The Cubicle, by R. Dallon Adams, TechRepublic

During the busy workday or while juggling a loaded personal itinerary, staying on top of a laundry list of to-dos can be challenging. There are a number of goal-setting apps on the market to help people set goals, follow their progress and hold themselves accountable to these targets. From apps with coaching capabilities built in to gamified offerings, here are some of the best goal-setting apps for personal and professional growth.

The Best Apple Watch Bands For Every Style And Budget, by Men's Journal

While the watch itself gets most of the attention (and rightly so, it’s an incredible piece of technology), finding the right band will make the watch more comfortable, functional, and stylish, too.

Classic Mac Game 'Myst' Comes To Apple Silicon, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

As well as being available for both Intel and M1 Macs, the game is now also localized in multiple languages, "for the first time in Myst's history."


How Small Developers Compete With The Defaults On Your Phone, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

The key is standing out: creating a better, richer experience than the more pared-down default apps provide, by offering apps with more advanced, unique, or different features than Apple’s vanilla alternative.

A New Type Of Healing, Supported By Apple, by Apple

SweetBio was founded by sister and brother team Kayla Rodriguez Graff and Isaac Rodriguez, whose family is from Puerto Rico. Their goal is advanced wound care for all, and to achieve this, they’ve harnessed the power of a surprising source: honey. Specifically, Manuka honey, which is derived from bees pollinating the Manuka tree and has been shown to have antibacterial and healing properties, according to some studies.

SweetBio is one of a number of Latinx-founded companies that has received funding from VamosVentures, a venture capital impact fund that invests in diverse, technology-enabled companies across the country.

Tim Cook Receives Over Five Million Shares Of Apple Stock Worth $750 Million, by Kif Leswing, CNBC

Apple CEO Tim Cook received more than five million shares of Apple stock this week, selling most of the stock for more than $750 million, according to an SEC filing posted by Apple on Thursday.

The tranche of stock is the final part of the compensation package that Cook received when he took over as CEO of Apple 10 years ago.

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One of the most memorable Apple advertistment from the iPod days was "Rip Mix Burn." iTunes + iPod had great support for mixing things up, ranging from the plain do-it-yourself playlists, on-the-go playlists, smart playlists, and even playlists that can be created using AppleScripts.

Unfortunately, it seems Apple no longer believe in Rip Mix Burn. Apple Music has poor support for any smartness in playlists. I no longer have any idea how to set up a good podcast playlist in Apple Podcast app. Apple News is not available where I am, but from what I can see, I'd probably still prefer my RSS reader.

Now that we have a 'real' computer in all our pockets, it is disappointing we can no longer Rip Mix Burn with it.


Thanks for reading.

The Disconnect-Asserted Edition Thursday, August 26, 2021

Apple Allows Children To Access Casual-sex And BDSM Apps, Finds Report, by Alex Hern, The Guardian

Apple knowingly lets underage users access apps intended for adults, according to an investigation by the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), despite having asked for and recorded their dates of birth.

The investigation asserts a disconnect between the information Apple knows about a user, which includes their self-declared age, and the ways it polices age restrictions on its App Store.

Apple’s Great Replacement Cycle, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

The pandemic has accelerated existing trends across the enterprise, spurring the adoption of remote work, hybrid workplaces, cloud services and the replacement of PCs in many companies with Macs and iPads.

Apple To Release iOS 15 iCloud Private Relay As A Public Beta, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

In the latest ‌iOS 15‌ and ‌iPadOS 15‌ betas, ‌iCloud‌ Private Relay is now listed as a feature that’s in beta, with Apple providing the following information: “Private Relay is currently in beta. Some websites may have issues, like showing content for the wrong region or requiring extra steps to sign in.”


'Today At Apple' Session Explores Taking Expressive Pet Portraits, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

The playful session encourages participants to use their iPhone at the correct height, tune into the pet’s personality, and take a look at showcase pet portraits for inspiration and top takeaways.

OnMail Adds New 'Inbox Break' Feature To Pause All Incoming Emails, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

OnMail, the new email service from the team by Edison, is releasing a new feature to help give you a reprieve from an ever-growing list of emails that are sent your way. The new “Inbox Break” feature pauses all incoming emails so you can focus on other things.

Front Releases New iOS Apps To Keep Teams In Contact With Their Customers On The Go, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Front might be an email app that you’ve never heard of or used before, but it’s becoming popular among teams that are tasked with handling communications with customers. Front integrates email, SMS, website chat tools, and Twitter into a single platform. Today, the company is unveiling a brand-new iOS app to keep teams in touch with their customers on the go.


Why You Should Start Using An eSIM, by David Nield, Gizmodo

Many newer smartphones support eSIMs as well as the physical SIM cards we’ve all been slotting into our devices for years. If you’re wondering what exactly an eSIM is, and whether or not you should be using one, this guide is for you.

The Stealthy iPhone Hacks That Apple Still Can't Stop, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

These “zero-click” attacks can happen on any platform, but a string of high-profile hacks show that attackers have homed in on weaknesses in Apple's iMessage service to execute them. Security researchers say the company's efforts to resolve the issue haven't been working—and that there are other steps the company could take to protect its most at-risk users.

A Rare Partnership Between Google And Apple Promised To Slow COVID-19 - Newly Revealed Data Shows Why It Flopped In The US, by Rob Price, Business Insider

Problems may include American cultural skepticism towards sharing health data, she said, and the difficulty of creating tools and generating trust in them mid-crisis. "It's really hard to build these things up in the middle of the problem," she said, "without having that more thoughtful partnership before the problem strikes."


The fact that individual states in the US were responsible for launching the apps, rather than the federal government — unlike the UK and other countries — may have also hampered efforts to raise nationwide awareness and encourage users to input their test results, said Ashkan Soltani, a former chief technologist for the FTC who has expressed skepticism about contact-tracing apps.

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On the other hand, age ratings -- whether they are from authorities, producers, or platform owners -- should just be guidelines. I do believe parents should be making decisions on what is allowed or not allowed for their children.

Perhaps, Apple defaults should be set stricter, but allow parents to overwrite them in specific cases?


Thanks for reading.

The Raises-the-Ceiling Edition Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Review: AirPods Max Have Become As Important For Music To Me Now As The iPod In The 2000s, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Everyone’s experience varies, but this is mine. AirPods Max feel as important to me right now as the iPod did in the 2000s. AirPods Pro earbuds are my go-to solution in plenty of situations where wearing headphones wouldn’t be appropriate or possible, but AirPods Max raises the ceiling for me of how audio should sound. Factor in the Apple sauce to create a convenient user experience (wireless, solid connection, new features through software), and I’m totally sold these days.

Chipolo Ahoy! The ONE Spot Find My Network Tracker Arrives, by Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS

Why buy a ONE Spot over an AirTag? If you’d prefer to buy non-Apple gear, want a built-in key-ring hole, or want a tracker that produces a truly astonishing sound when marked as lost, the ONE Spot is your device.

10 Calming Creative Apps For Anxious Minds To De-Stress, by Madeleine Muzdakis, My Modern Met

Many people suffer from anxiety, but luckily there are different ways to deal with it. Sometimes, all you need is a little help to calm your mind and get your creative juices flowing. Modern technology offers a variety of innovative apps for phones, desktops, and tablets to help you do just that. These apps can help with everything from falling asleep to sparking your imagination.

Hands-on: Nomad's New Horween Leather iPhone 12 Skin And Tempered Glass Screen Protector, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Going beyond cases and your average skins, Nomad’s Horween Leather Skins for iPhone 12 offer a premium look and feel without adding bulk at a mere 0.6mm thick.


TestFlight For Mac Beta Now Available To Developers, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Registered developers can download the TestFlight for Mac beta and can use the app to test their own apps and apps from other developers on macOS Monterey beta 5. TestFlight for Mac, like TestFlight for iOS, will make it simple for developers to test beta versions of macOS apps prior to when they are released.


Want To Read A Tech Company's User Agreements? Got 90 Minutes To Spare?, by David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times

The worst of the worst is the e-commerce platform Shopify. According to Reboot, the typical user will have to spend 77 minutes poring over the company’s contract, a.k.a. its terms of service.

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Some day, I will retire. I hope I can still take long walks. I hope I can still read books and listen to podcasts. But, most importantly, I hope I still have my mental health to be able to get out of bed every morning.

Here's wishing you, good health.


Thanks for reading.

The Obvious-Holes Edition Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Balanced Between Sherlocking And Irrelevance, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Given that the word sherlocking is nearly 20 years old (and the concept behind it is even older), this is not a new issue. It’s easy to tell stories about big, bad Apple coming in and destroying the markets for third-party apps by building their best features into the free core of the operating system—because it’s true. But it misses the point.

Apple can’t afford to keep its built-in apps simple and stupid. It does have to try to surf the zeitgeist, but delicately, providing the masses with crowd-pleasing features reminiscent of those found in other apps. App developers that build alternatives to Apple’s products by filling in obvious omissions apps are playing with fire—because Apple will eventually fill those obvious holes.

iPad Pro Used To Create AR Effects In Music Video For Olivia Rodrigo's 'Brutal', by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

The music video for "brutal," which was released on Monday, features custom AR face masks created using Apple's iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. Alongside the music video's debut, Rodrigo also shared a few clips to TikTok and Instagram showing her editing the face masks.

Apple Education Promotes iPad Creativity Challenges For Classrooms, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

Apple has paired up with Apple Distinguished Educators to create three new challenges to encourage classrooms to bring the iPad into their lesson plans.


Work With Text In Images With TextSniper And Photos Search, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

TextSniper, from Andrejs and Valerijs Boguckis, promises to perform optical character recognition (OCR) on anything around which you can draw a rectangle, in essence, letting you copy text from onscreen images of any sort. And Alco Blom’s Photos Search offers both Mac and iOS apps that perform OCR on text found in photos in your Photos library, enabling you to find images by the text they contain and copy that text out. Both work well, within the constraints of OCR engines, and provide welcome features.

Apple Watch Support Arrives For Apple Health-enabled Lumen Metabolic Analyzer, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Lumen arrived last year as an affordable and convenient way to regularly measure your metabolism to help achieve your health and fitness goals. Now the iOS-supported device that fully integrates with Apple Health has gained Apple Watch support for a more seamless experience.

OtterBox Folding Stand For MagSafe Perfectly Angles Your iPhone, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

The OtterBox Folding Stand for MagSafe is a weighted mounting point for the iPhone 12. The stand features a hinge, which allows the attached iPhone to be ideally positioned at the right angle for different applications, such as video calls at a desk or streaming video on a couch.


Apple And Google’s Fight In Seoul Tests Biden In Washington, by Yu Young Jin, New York Times

Washington has a longstanding practice of opposing foreign laws that discriminate against American firms, sometimes even when doing so conflicts with domestic policy debates. But President Biden wants a consistent approach to his concerns about the tech giants’ incredible power over commerce, communications and news. In July he signed an executive order to spur competition in the industry, and his top two antitrust appointees have long been vocal critics of the companies.

The approach the White House chooses may have widespread implications for the industry, and for the shape of the internet around the world. A growing number of countries are pursuing stricter regulations on Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, fragmenting the rules of the global internet.

Apple Has Had A Successful Decade. The Next One Looks Tougher, by The Economist

Given such achievements, Mr Cook could have retired amid gushing tributes around now (and with a spot in the billionaire club). Instead, he is likely to stick around at least until 2025, when his current stock grant will fully vest. This in turn raises the question of how long he can keep Apple on its stratospheric trajectory. The short answer is that it will be much harder than in his first decade. Many of the global tailwinds that have lifted Apple to such dizzying heights are now reversing.

Apple Says It Has Pay Equity, But An Informal Employee Survey Suggests Otherwise, by Zoe Schiffer, The Verge

An early analysis of the informal Apple pay equity survey shows a six percent wage gap between the salaries of men and women, according to software engineer Cher Scarlett. It’s similar to the gender wage gap in San Francisco, which hovers around five percent, but disappointing for a company that claims people of all genders “earn the same when engaging in similar work with comparable experience and performance.”

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Designer: Why don't we add some windowing chrome to iPad apps so that it is easier to add buttons for multi-tasking that can be easily discovered by our users?

Boss: No, that's not what iPadOS wants to be. The content should take over the entire screen. When you are in an e-book app, the iPad should look like a book. When you are in a drawing app, the iPad should look like a drawing paper. No chromes.

Designer: Yeah, but some apps do have chromes. Look at Safari, and all the chrome that is not a web page?

Boss: Hey, now that you mention that, all I see is chrome everywhere. That's not good. Okay, I have a new task for you. Go get rid of all the Safari chrome as much as possible.

And that's how we end up with the Safari design saga in the upcoming release of Apple's operating system.

(Note: Not a true story.)


Thanks for reading.

The Attachments-Scanning Edition Monday, August 23, 2021

Apple Scans iCloud Mail For CSAM, But Not iCloud Photos, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple confirmed to me that it has been scanning outgoing and incoming iCloud Mail for CSAM attachments since 2019. Email is not encrypted, so scanning attachments as mail passes through Apple servers would be a trivial task.

Apple also indicated that it was doing some limited scanning of other data, but would not tell me what that was, except to suggest that it was on a tiny scale. It did tell me that the “other data” does not include iCloud backups.

Apple Is Bringing Client-side Scanning Mainstream And The Genie Is Out Of The Bottle, by Chris Duckett, ZDNet

For the sake of argument, let's give Apple a pass on all of its claims -- perhaps the biggest of the tech giants can resist legislative pressure and the system remains fixated only on CSAM within the United States. However, this will take eternal vigilance from Apple and privacy advocates to ensure it follows through on this.

The bigger problem is the rest of the industry. The slippery slope does exist, and Apple has taken the first step down. Maybe it has boots with ice grips and has tied itself to a tree to make sure it cannot descend any further, but few others do.


Apple Pay-based Apple Store Sales Raise Funds For National Parks Foundation, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Apple is making a donation to the National Park Foundation for Apple Pay purchases made in U.S. Apple Stores and the Apple website, until August 29.

Parallels Desktop 17, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Parallels has released version 17.0 of its Parallels Desktop for Mac virtualization software with support for macOS 12 Monterey and Windows 11. It also boasts optimized performance on M1-based Macs—starting up to 33% faster and providing up to 20% faster disk performance for Windows 10 and 11.


High-End 'M1X' Mac Mini With New Design And Additional Ports Expected To Launch In The 'Next Several Months', by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

In the latest publication of his Power On newsletter, Gurman writes that a new high-end ‌Mac mini‌, which has previously been reported to feature a new design with additional ports, can be expected to replace the current Intel ‌Mac mini‌ in “the next several months.” This presumably means the new ‌Mac mini‌ may launch alongside the redesigned 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros this fall.

How Apple Will (Eventually) Replace The iPhone, by Dan Moren, Macworld

As elegant as the design of the iPhone is, at the end of the day it’s a box that sits in your pocket or that you hold in your hand, and there remains something fundamentally clunky about bestowing all this significance to an oblong solid of glass and steel. And, if there’s one thing that Apple just can’t seem to resist, it’s trying to push our technological devices to become even more elegant.

Bottom of the Page

Oh boy, were the trains crowded today.

(And I am definitely forgetting how trains were so much even more crowded pre-2020.)


Thanks for reading.

The Leading-Edge Edition Sunday, August 22, 2021

Throw Caution To The Wind, by Howard Oakley, Eclectic Light Company

A lot of Mac users like to live well away from the leading edge, and with good reason. As Apple prepares to release macOS 12 Monterey, if you’re still running Catalina, you might be tempted to remain one major release behind, and take this as the time to upgrade to Big Sur. If you do, I think you’re making a serious mistake: anyone ready to go beyond Mojave should now be preparing for Monterey, not Catalina or Big Sur. It’s a matter of balancing the costs and benefits.


How To Direct, Shoot, And Edit Powerful Portraits On iPhone, by Anete Lusina, PetaPixel

With the help of model Yvesmark Chery, Clennon shares his three main steps for achieving a striking portrait just using a smartphone, that can be repeated by any photographer who wants to add something different to their shots.

How To Create Fun Videos On Your iPhone With Apple's Clips App, by Grace Wu, MakeUseOf

Have you ever scrolled through your photo library and wanted to put those memories together in a fun video? Are you looking for a quick and easy way to edit videos, but don't have the time to try third-party apps? The solution could be right at your fingertips with Apple's native app, Clips.

11 Hiking Apps To Download Before You Hit The Trail, by Cecily Mauran, Mashable

Whether gathering supplies for a day hike or setting up camp for a while, these days savvy hikers are sure to pack their digital backpacks with apps to bring out the best in their treks.

Mous MagSafe-compatible Gear Review: A Whole Ecosystem Of Magnetic Accessories, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

MagSafe is coming to more and more accessories and cases these days. The Mous Limitless 4.0 lineup of cases, mounts, and wallets provide several attractive and premium options for users to adorn their iPhone 12 with that all support Apple's magnetic mounting system.

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Tomorrow, I'm going back to office, as I resume a partial back-to-office life. I hope the public transport commute will not be crowded, but that is probably unlikely. This is a small city with a large population.

In one week's time, a new subway line will open up near where I stay. I will be switching to the new line for my commute to office. I really hope this subway line will not be crowded.


Thanks for reading.

The Burden-Throwing Edition Saturday, August 21, 2021

Your Devices And Your Employer, by rachelbythebay

I wrote the other day about how I went out and bought a second cell phone just because I wanted it to take the burden of all of the crap my new employer was about to throw at me. I didn't get into the reasoning behind this, or some of my experiences, and figured it's probably worth some explanation.

How The Apple Lobbying Machine Took On Georgia, And Won, by Emily Birnbaum, Politco

Apple’s aggressive lobbying efforts in Georgia, the extent of which were previously unreported, highlight a pattern that has played out with little national attention across the country this year: State lawmakers introduce bills that would force Apple and its fellow tech giant Google to give up some control over their mobile phone app stores. Then Apple, in particular, exerts intense pressure on lawmakers with promises of economic investment or threats to pull its money, and the legislation stalls.

Now That Machines Can Learn, Can They Unlearn?, by Tom Simonite, Wired

A nascent area of computer science dubbed machine unlearning seeks ways to induce selective amnesia in artificial intelligence software. The goal is to remove all trace of a particular person or data point from a machine learning system, without affecting its performance.

If made practical, the concept could give people more control over their data and the value derived from it. Although users can already ask some companies to delete personal data, they are generally in the dark about what algorithms their information helped tune or train. Machine unlearning could make it possible for a person to withdraw both their data and a company’s ability to profit from it.


Comparing MagSafe Battery Packs: Not A Simple Choice, by Julio Ojeda-Zapata, TidBITS

Many who buy one of the iPhone 12 models at an Apple Store may reflexively snatch the MagSafe Battery Pack off the shelf—it’s easy, it’s Apple, why buy anything else? Indeed, the Apple battery pack has distinct—if not decisive—advantages over its rivals. But those searching for value might find it wanting.

17 Clever Ways Your Smart Watch Can Make Your Life Easier, According To Chefs, Dietitians, Gym Instructors, And More, by Sarah Everett, Apartment Therapy

An Apple Watch has many great functions right out of the box: It can send you reminders, track your steps, read and send messages, take phone calls from your wrist, and, of course, tell time (to name a few). But there are functions you might be overlooking or that you just haven’t downloaded yet that can help you in your day-to-day life, from your kitchen to your yoga mat to your bed and beyond.

Pixelmator Pro 2.1.3, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The new PSD engine can now open shape layers in PSD files, supports more advanced text features (including symbol sizes and capitalization), adds support for very large PSD files (in PSB format), improves rendering effects, and preserves certain adjustment layers such as Hue/Saturation, Exposure, and Channel Mixer.

'Magic' Is A Free Mac App That Lets You Draw Anything With The Trackpad, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Although Apple offers some options for users to sign documents using just the trackpad, there’s no feature to draw anything you want. But if you still want to have some fun with your Mac’s trackpad, “Magic” will give you just that.

Anker Refreshes Its Popular MagSafe 5K Power Bank With Four New Colors, by Blair Altland, 9to5Toys

Arriving to bring a pop of color to your iPhone 12, there are a total of four new offerings joining the lineup, ranging from green to purple.

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So many books, so many televisions, so many podcasts, so little weekends.


Thanks for reading.

The Life-Improvement Edition Friday, August 20, 2021

Why Tim Cook Thinks Australia Is A Perfect Tech Breeding Ground, by Matthew Drummond, Financial Review

Fresh from this win, which attracted global attention, the ACCC in April began targeting Apple and Google over how they run their respective app stores. Is the ACCC on Cook’s radar? “Of course,” he replies. “Anywhere in the world that we’re being inspected is on my radar, at least that we’re aware of, and it’s incumbent on us to tell our story and to say why we do what we do.”

In the case of the controls over the App Store, they are there for security, privacy and safety, he says. “Any kind of regulation should be justified by being great for the user. [Regulation] needs to improve someone’s life. Just like an invention or a technology needs to improve someone’s life.“

Apple Exec Talks Entrepreneur Camp Program, The Need For More Women And Black Developers, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Apple’s senior director thinks Apple Entrepreneur Camps are crucial for women and Black people to join the developer community. “They bring other realities, expressing their communities. We want to create apps for all people so we need to make sure that everybody is capable of creating an app. We need to make sure that coding is accessible to all people.”

Apple's Alisha Johnson Discusses Climate-focused 'Impact Accelerator' Program, by AppleInsider

Johnson goes on to say that Apple is helping the 15 selected companies meet their environmental goals by pairing them with experts and mentors, and is providing an opportunity to learn how to become an Apple supplier.

Gambling with Security and Privacy

We Built A System Like Apple’s To Flag Child Sexual Abuse Material — And Concluded The Tech Was Dangerous, by Jonathan Mayer and Anunay Kulshrestha , Washington Post

The company’s latest defense of its system is that there are technical safeguards against misuse, which outsiders can independently audit. But Apple has a record of obstructing security research. And its vague proposal for verifying the content-matching database would flunk an introductory security course.


We hope it succeeds in both protecting children and affirming incentives for broader adoption of encryption. But make no mistake that Apple is gambling with security, privacy and free speech worldwide.

Apple Photo-scanning Plan Faces Global Backlash From 90 Rights Groups, by Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) announced the letter, with CDT Security & Surveillance Project Co-Director Sharon Bradford Franklin saying, "We can expect governments will take advantage of the surveillance capability Apple is building into iPhones, iPads, and computers. They will demand that Apple scan for and block images of human rights abuses, political protests, and other content that should be protected as free expression, which forms the backbone of a free and democratic society."

The open letter was signed by groups from six continents (Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America). Some of the US-based signers are the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, the LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute, New America's Open Technology Institute, STOP (Surveillance Technology Oversight Project), and the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center. Signers also include groups from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Senegal, Spain, Tanzania, and the UK.

The Illusion Of Privacy Is Getting Harder To Sell, by Greg Bensinger, New York Times

It’s a good indication that things are headed in the wrong direction when your company’s anti-child pornography initiative gets panned.


Apple says, relentlessly, that privacy is the central feature of its iPhones. But as the photo scanning demonstrates, that’s true only until Apple changes its mind about its policies.

Getting Back To Normal

Apple Shuts Store After More Than 20 Employees Exposed To Covid, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. closed its store in Charleston, South Carolina, after more than 20 staff members were exposed to Covid-19, underscoring the company’s challenges getting its retail operations back to normal.


Some other Apple retail stores across the U.S. have shortened their operating hours, partly because of Covid but also due to the tight labor market.

Apple Delays Mandatory Return To Office Until January 2022, Citing COVID-19 Surge, by Zoe Schiffer, The Verge

In an internal email sent this evening, Deirdre O’Brien, senior vice president of people and retail, encouraged employees to get vaccinated and noted that Apple retail stores remain open.

Dirty Laundry

The Best Emails From The Apple Vs. Epic Trial, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

We’ve also been digging through these companies’ dirty laundry, reading scores of internal emails and confidential presentations unearthed during the legal discovery process. It’s fascinating stuff.

In fact, we found dirt on a variety of other companies as well: Microsoft, Sony, Google, Nintendo, Valve, Netflix, Hulu, and many others were caught up in discovery, and many details of their businesses, strategies, and conversations with Apple and Epic are now out in the open, publicly released by the courts.

Steve Jobs Email Confirms Apple Was Working On An ‘iPhone Nano’, by Jay Peters, The Verge

Unfortunately, Jobs’ October 2010 email, which is an agenda for a strategy meeting, doesn’t reveal much about the device.


Fantastic Astronomy App Sky Guide Receives Big Update With New Features, by Brent Dirks, AppAdvice

The sky appearance has also been improved with more realistic shading to represent day, twilight, dusk, and night. The improvement uses physics-based computation called atmospheric multiple scattering.

Plex Launches A Build Your Own UI Experience Including New 'Modern Layout' For Apple TV App, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Along with a new “Modern Layout” option, the UI can be customized with options for the app/home background and details background.

Review: Grid Studio Turns Apple's History Into Beautiful Home Decoration, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Grid Studio, whose tagline is “Every classic deserves to be framed,” takes Apple products and breaks them down component-by-component, placing them in gorgeously labeled, neat, and organized frames for your home or office that beautifully respect the devices’ intricate designs.


Apple Podcasts Affiliate Program Launches Special Offer For 100% Bounty To Boost Paid Subscriptions, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

As part of the launch, Apple will now boost the rate of its bounty from 50% to 100% from now through the end of November.

Apple Launches A New iOS App, ‘Siri Speech Study,’ To Gather Feedback For Siri Improvements, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Reached for comment, Apple told TechCrunch the app is only being used for Siri product improvements, by offering a way for participants to share feedback directly with Apple. The company also explained people have to be invited to the study — there’s not a way for consumers to sign up to join.

Apple Is Scaling Back A Key Health Project That Grew Out Of Its Care Clinics, And Some Workers Could Lose Their Jobs, by Blake Dodge, Business Insider

Apple is scaling back a key project in its health division, four people familiar with the matter told Insider.

It's an app called HealthHabit that Apple employees can use to log fitness goals, manage hypertension , and talk to clinicians and coaches at AC Wellness, the doctors' group that Apple works with.

Bottom of the Page

I am feeling less frustrated when I hear so many people on so many podcasts said that SwiftUI is really not ready, especially on macOS.


Thanks for reading.

The Arduous-Task Edition Thursday, August 19, 2021

Apple’s Attempt At Podcast Subscriptions Is Off To A Messy Start, by Ashley Carman, The Verge

But in the months since Apple Podcasts’ announcement, podcasters say the platform has failed them in various ways. For a company that prides itself on functionality, design, and ease of use, the new backend’s bungled launch is a mess. Podcasters say Apple Podcasts Connect, which they’re required to use in order to take advantage of subscriptions, has a confusing interface that often leads to user error scenarios that have them pinging Apple at all hours of the day in a panic — one podcaster’s entire show was seemingly archived until Apple stepped in to help and explain what happened.


The promise of RSS was a centralized place to publish to all podcasting platforms; however, with this new subscription product, as well as other platforms, podcasters now have to publish in a variety of places and manage various backends — a particularly arduous task for small teams.

Apple Defends Its Anti-Child Abuse Imagery Tech After Claims Of ‘Hash Collisions’, by Joseph Cox, Motherboard

Researchers claim they have probed a particular part of Apple's new system to detect and flag child sexual abuse material, or CSAM, and were able to trick it into saying two images that were clearly different shared the same cryptographic fingerprint. But Apple says this part of its system is not supposed to be secret, that the overall system is designed to account for this to happen in general, and that the analyzed code is not the final implementation that will be used with the CSAM system itself and is instead a generic version.

Apple Walks Back Controversial Safari Changes With iOS 15 Beta 6 Update, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

With the latest release of iOS 15 beta 6, Apple is responding to user feedback and complaints with the introduction of yet another design that now shows the bottom tab bar below the page content, offering a more standardized experience for those who would have otherwise liked the update. More importantly, perhaps, Apple is no longer forcing the bottom tab bar on users.


Apple Debuts 'Play, Pause, Delete' Game Show On YouTube, First Episode With Coi Leray, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Apple has launched a fun new game show series on its YouTube channel today called “Play, Pause, Delete.” It features popular artists sharing about themselves when it comes to their perspective on music, culture, and “everything inbetween.”

'McClockface' App Offers The Best Clock Widgets For Your iPhone And iPad, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

There are some apps that really take advantage of SwiftUI and resemble something that Apple would do but with its own touch. “McClockface” iPhone and iPad app is one of those apps, serving as clock widget but with tons of customization.

Netflix Now Rolling Out Spatial Audio Support On iPhone And iPad, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Netflix has confirmed that it is now rolling out Spatial Audio support to its iPhone and iPad applications. This enables an immersive experience using directional audio filters, and it has been a long time coming to Netflix users.


Apple Backs Biden's Proposal To Eliminate Greenhouse Gases From Power Plants By 2035, by Kif Leswing, Deirdre Bosa, CNBC

Apple supports a clean energy standard proposed by the Biden administration that would eliminate greenhouse gases from power plants by 2035, said Lisa Jackson, Apple's VP of environment, policy, and social initiatives.

Apple’s Been Playing It Too MagSafe, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

But crucially, the company only announced that it would be offering the modules on June 22nd, almost nine months after the iPhone 12 launched. Hardware developers were only then able to apply to get their hands on samples and apply to get true MagSafe products approved (which will presumably take even more time), followed by actually manufacturing and shipping those accessories, which could take months by itself.

Apple Censors Engraving Service, Report Claims, by BBC

"As with everything at Apple, the process for engraving is led by our values," chief privacy officer Jane Horvath wrote in a letter provided to CitizenLab in advance of the publication of its report.


But CitizenLab accuses Apple of having "thoughtlessly and inconsistently curated keyword lists".

Apple’s Double Agent, by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Motherboard

Andrey Shumeyko, also known as YRH04E and JVHResearch online, decided to share his story because he felt that Apple took advantage of him and should have compensated him for providing the company this information.

"Me coming forward is mostly me finally realizing that that relationship never took into consideration my side and me as a person," ​​Shumeyko told Motherboard. Shumeyko shared several pieces of evidence to back up his claims, including texts and an email thread between him and an Apple email address for the company's Global Security team.

In-Depth: The Original Apple Watch, by Danny Milton, Hodinkee

So here was the incentive. If you bought System 7.5, you would get – at no extra cost – your choice of either a piece of software called Conflict Catcher 3 (meant to help alleviate issues with third party applications running on the Macintosh), or … an Apple Watch – but not the one you're thinking of.

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My iPhone was at almost 100% charge last night when I go to bed. This morning, the battery level dropped to an unusual low of 51%. The culprit, according to the Settings app: Find My.

Maybe one of my devices sneaked out in the middle of the night, and the app was desperately searching for it…

(I've rebooted my iPhone since. Let's hope this doesn't happen again tonight.)


Thanks for reading.

The Delaying-Play Edition Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Apple Says SharePlay Won't Be Included In The Initial iOS 15 Release This Fall, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has made the decision to delay the launch of its new SharePlay feature in iOS 15. The new feature will be available in a later update to iOS 15, Apple says, and will not be included in the initial public release of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, and macOS Monterey.

Pushing Health App Data To Doctors: A Burden Or An Asset?, by Sarah Kwon, Kaiser Health News

Previous Apple moves to get more data into the hands of doctors have been announced with great fanfare, but questions remain as to how many health care providers are using the data and to what effect, and whether success stories are the norm or outliers. To date, rigorous studies showing clear health benefits from monitoring these types of data remain limited.

Apple Appeals Against Security Research Firm While Touting Researchers, by Joseph Menn, Reuters

Apple Inc on Tuesday appealed a copyright case it lost against security startup Corellium, which helps researchers examine programs like Apple's planned new method for detecting child sex abuse images.


The appeal came as a surprise because Apple had just settled other claims with Corellium relating to the Digitial Milennium Copyright Act, avoiding a trial.

Apple Says Researchers Can Vet Its Child Safety Features. It’s Suing A Startup That Does Just That., by Patrick Howell O'Neill, MIT Technology Review

Realistically, however, all of those options have at least one major problem in common: They don’t allow you to look at the code running live on an up-to-date iPhone to see how it actually works in the wild. Instead, these methods still rely on trust not merely that Apple is being open and honest, but also that it has written the code without any significant errors and oversights.

Another option would be to grant access to the system to members of Apple’s security research device program in order to verify the company’s statements. But that group, made up of researchers outside of Apple, is a highly exclusive, constrained program with so many rules on what researchers can say or do that it doesn’t necessarily solve the problem of trust.


Next Apple Watch Activity Challenge Scheduled For August 28 To Celebrate National Parks, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has set its next Apple Watch Activity Challenge for August 28 to “appreciate the beauty of national parks all over the world.” Apple Watch users can earn the achievement by completing a hike, walk, wheelchair workout, or run at least one mile.

Apple's Carpool Karaoke Series Renewed For Fifth Season, Now Branded As An Apple TV+ Original, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Up to now, the series has been branded as hailing from Apple Music video department and made available via the Apple Music and Apple TV apps. Starting with season five, it will now be branded as an Apple TV+ original series and appear alongside Apple’s other flagship premium titles.


Apple To Increase Covid Testing Of Staff As Delta Spreads, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

This week, the iPhone maker informed staff participating in the company’s at-home testing program with Quest Diagnostics Inc. that they will now receive testing kits twice per week instead of weekly.


Apple also informed staff that it is reversing course on its move to bring back in-person classes at its retail stores in some regions later this month. The company told staff in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil and Canada that it is pausing that plan, which was reported on by Bloomberg News Monday.

COVID Slows Apple And Google Production Shift Away From China, by Cheng Ting-Fang and Lauly Li, Nikkei Asia

Apple [...] will start mass-producing its latest AirPods earphones in China instead of in Vietnam as previously planned, two people familiar with the situation said. The company still hopes to move around 20% of new AirPods production to Vietnam later, they said.


Apple's plan to bring some MacBook and iPad production to Vietnam has also been put on hold due to a lack of engineering resources, an incomplete notebook computer supply chain and the dynamic COVID situation, one of the people said.

Bottom of the Page

Did Apple has to pull engineers from SharePlay to work on Safari?



Thanks for reading.

The In-Person Edition Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Apple Aims To Bring Back In-Store Classes As It Tiptoes Toward Normalcy, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. told U.S. and European retail staff it plans to bring back in-person classes at its stores on Aug. 30, but that plan could be delayed in some areas given a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Apple opened its reservation portal for in-store classes on Monday, allowing consumers to sign up for the courses in advance.

Corellium Launching New Initiative To Hold Apple Accountable Over CSAM Detection Security And Privacy Claims, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Security research firm Corellium this week announced it is launching a new initiative that will “support independent public research into the security and privacy of mobile applications,” and one of the initiative’s first projects will be Apple’s recently announced CSAM detection plans.

Apple Selects 15 Black- And Brown-owned Businesses To Join Its Impact Accelerator Program, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has announced this morning that it has selected 15 Black- and Brown-owned businesses for a “first-of-its-kind Impact Accelerator.” This program is part of Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, and it will help “combat systemic barriers to opportunity, while also advancing innovative solutions for communities most impacted by climate change.”


Apple Releases iCloud 12.5 For Windows With iCloud Keychain Password Manager App, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

With the new password management option, those who are running Windows can access their ‌iCloud‌ Keychain passwords and can add, edit, copy and paste, delete, and look up usernames or passwords.

Mela: An Elegant And Innovative Recipe And Cooking App For iPhone, iPad, And Mac, by John Voorhees, MacStories

I can’t point to any one feature of Mela as the thing that sets it apart from other recipe and cooking apps. Part of it is the innovative use of RSS, the carefully thought-out, focused cooking mode, and the reliability of table stakes features like recipe parsing. It’s more than that, though. Like Reeder, Rizzi’s RSS client, the app also succeeds by virtue of its careful attention to the interface and user interaction details that vary from platform to platform, making the most of each device.

FlickType Pulling Apple Watch Keyboard App After Continued Rejection Issues, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

An update to FlickType with bug fixes and VoiceOver improvements was submitted last week. Though it added no new features, Apple rejected the app and said that it wouldn’t work without full access, an issue that Eleftheriou says was addressed three years ago.


U.S. Lawmakers Take A Direct Shot At Apple And Google App Stores, by Brad Stone, Bloomberg

But the open secret behind such laws is that they are just as likely to simply shift the balance of power between existing giants as they are to empower a new generation of entrepreneurship and competition.

Bottom of the Page

I'm wondering what sort of settlements Apple made with Corellium.


Thanks for reading.

The Summer-Days Edition Monday, August 16, 2021

Turn A Lunch Spot Into An Art Gallery? There's An App For That, by Mark Hayward, New Hampshire Union Leader

On these summer days, tech-loving millennials who work in the Manchester Millyard often turn to the Arms Park(ing lot), to take a break from creating the next world-saving invention.

They sit on a bench, walk above the Merrimack River or lounge on the tiny lawn. They nibble on their DoorDash delivered sandwich. The rush of this summer’s rain-swollen river provides relaxing white noise.

And from now until October, they can use their iPhone to convert their outdoor getaway into an art gallery.


Apple Teams Up With Kurt Fearnley For ‘Time To Walk Or Push’ Episode, by Brett Wadelton and Hamish Goodall, 7News

In the episode, which went live on Monday for Apple Fitness+ users, Fearnley talks about the first time he imagined a different kind of future for himself and why a gruelling journey took on unexpected meaning.

HoverBar Duo Stand Can Make Your iPad Even More Versatile, by Stephen Fenech, Tech Guide

Having the HoverBar Duo means you don’t have to hold the iPad in your hands and that it’s not pointing up your nose like it would if it was in a regular case stand.


Apple Committed To Donating Money To Haiti After Earthquake, Tim Cook Tweets, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Haiti is facing another crisis after being struck by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Saturday killing at least 300 people and injuring over 1,800. Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted today that Apple will donate money to the country.

Apple Is As Big As A Country, And So Are The Threats To Its Existence, by Dan Moren, Macworld

So when Apple has reached a point—where, by some accounts, it is worth more than about 96 percent of the world—are those existential threats, if there are any, coming from? As it turns out, when you’ve reached the size of a country, those threats—perhaps unsurprisingly—often come from countries themselves. And those happen to be several of the biggest threats that Apple is facing at this very moment.

Bottom of the Page

I'll probably be going back to office -- at least partially -- soon.

Oh, but didn't I just do this, like earlier this year?

Of course, this time round, many of us are vaccinated.

But, I'm now hearing of booster shots requirements, and low vaccination rates around the world, and the looming gloom of further variants.

It must be pretty hard to be an optimist these days. (I'm not.)


Mankind can do a lot of wonderful things, but many men are horrible.


Thanks for reading.

The Machine-Fairness Edition Sunday, August 15, 2021

How The Law Got It Wrong With Apple Card, by Liz O'Sullivan, TechCrunch

The field of machine learning fairness has matured quickly, with new techniques discovered every year and myriad tools to help. The field is only now reaching a point where this can be prescribed with some degree of automation. Standards bodies have stepped in to provide guidance to lower the frequency and severity of these issues, even if American law is slow to adopt.

Because whether discrimination by algorithm is intentional, it is illegal. So, anyone using advanced analytics for applications relating to healthcare, housing, hiring, financial services, education or government are likely breaking these laws without knowing it.

Apple Says Fix Planned For 'You Do Not Have Permission To Open The Application' Error When Using A Scanner On Mac, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

When attempting to use a scanner with a Mac, Apple said users might get an error message indicating they do not have permission to open the application, followed by the name of the scanner driver.


Inside HBO Max’s Scramble To Fix Its Glitchy App, by Josef Adalian, Vulture

While it hasn’t been publicly announced yet, “We’re going to replace every single connected TV app in the next four or five months,” the WarnerMedia exec tells me. Woebegone Roku users will be first in line to get the new Max app along with PlayStation customers. Apple TV customers will likely have to wait until the end of the year, while an overhaul of the mobile and web-based apps is penciled in for early 2022.

How To Create Unique iPhone Videos Without Breaking The Bank, by Bob Levitus, Houston Chronicle

I love shooting videos with my iPhone. And although I could edit video on my phone with iMovie for free, I often use one or more third-party apps to enhance my videos in ways iMovie cannot. I mostly rely on two iPhone/iPad apps — Action Movie FX (free) and LumaFX ($1.99) — to create jaw-dropping videos entirely on my iPhone.

Nomad Leather Keychain Review: A Better AirTag Keyring, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

It entirely protects your AirTag so it doesn't get scuffed and has a refined classic look. It looks so unassuming like a sleek leather keychain you'd buy simply for the look. Let alone the fact a reliable object tracker hides within.

Bottom of the Page

I keep forgetting things that I have tried in SwiftUI that didn't work as well as I wished it had. A few months later, there I am again, trying the same thing, thinking surely this has to be simpler that what I've actually done.

(No, I haven't try all the new stuff from this year's WWDC yet.)


Thanks for reading.

The Auditability-System Edition Saturday, August 14, 2021

Apple Details The Ways Its CSAM Detection System Is Designed To Prevent Misuse, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has published a new document today that offers additional detail on its recently-announced child safety features. The company is addressing concerns about the potential for the new CSAM detection capability to turn into a backdoor, with specifics on the threshold it is using and more.

One of the more notable announcements by Apple today is that the system will be able to be audited by third-parties. Apple explains that it will publish a Knowledge Base article with the root hash of the encrypted CSAM hash database. Apple will also allow users to inspect the root hash database on their device and compare against the database in the Knowledge Base article.

Survivors Laud Apple's New Tool To Spot Child Sex Abuse But The Backlash Is Growing, by Bobby Allyn, NPR

"I know that my child's images have been identified hundreds of thousands of times, so there's quite a widespread number of them out there," she said.

Each time the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children finds an image, it notifies Ann.

And to this day, Ann said, "It can be very overwhelming."

New CSAM Detection Details Emerge Following Craig Federighi Interview, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

This was the first time that Apple mentioned auditability within the CSAM detection system, much less multiple levels of it. Federighi also revealed that 30 images must be matched during upload to iCloud Photos before Apple can decrypt the matching images through the corresponding “safety vouchers.” Most people probably also didn’t realize that Apple ships the same version of each of its operating systems across every market. But that’s all that was said about auditability in the video interview.


It now appears that Apple is asking us instead to “Trust, but verify” [...]. We’ll see how security and privacy experts respond to these new revelations, but at least Apple now seems to be trying harder to share all the relevant details.

Apple Defends iPhone Photo Scanning, Calls It An “Advancement” In Privacy, by Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

Federighi said that critics have misunderstood what Apple is doing. "It's really clear a lot of messages got jumbled pretty badly in terms of how things were understood," Federighi told The Wall Street Journal. "We wish that this would've come out a little more clearly for everyone because we feel very positive and strongly about what we're doing."

Apple Races To Temper Outcry Over Child-Porn Tracking System, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The tech giant is coaching employees on how to handle questions from concerned consumers, and it’s enlisting an independent auditor to oversee the new measures, which attempt to root out so-called CSAM, or child sexual abuse material.


Augmented Reality Has Already Arrived—In Our Ears, by Lauren Goode, Wired

Wegener thinks there’s an emerging market for apps that take advantage of a huge platform of tiny earbuds. Specifically, apps that augment the real-world environment, the way AR app makers are building layers or “lenses” for phone screens and smart glasses.

The Best Writing Apps For 2021, by Jill Duffy, PC Magazine

Writing apps are different from word-processing apps in that they have spaces where you can organize and access your notes, outlines, previous drafts, and references while your work. The exact set of features varies depending on what you’re writing. Apps that support novelists, for example, have dedicated sections where you list and describe your characters, summarize the plot, and keep notes about what must happen in each chapter. Apps for screenwriters have different tools that help you keep track of each scene’s setting and tally up the number of dialogue lines for each character. A few writing apps work for several genres; they offer templates and stylesheets for novels, graphic novels, dissertations, and even radio plays.

Not Important Enough: 1Password Abandons Its Native Mac App, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

And yet as a longtime Mac user, I find AgileBits’s decision-making process incredibly sad. Because as Fey’s post makes clear, at no point did the company consider keeping the Mac-only version of 1Password alive. AgileBits, once a major Mac developer, decided (for legitimate business reasons, of course) that the Mac’s not a platform that deserves its own bespoke app.


A Year Later, We Can Still Only Change The Default Email And Browser On iOS, by Christine Chan, iMore

iOS 15 is looming just over the horizon, and we've yet to hear anything else about more options for changing default apps. For many of us, we'd like the option of not using the native Apple apps, so this is something that Apple should address sooner rather than later.

Apple-backed Matter Smart Home Standard Delayed Until 2022, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

Matter is an ambitious project seeking to unify smart home devices under a single protocol and was expected to launch later in 2021. However, it has been delayed until the second half of 2022 due to issues surrounding COVID-19 and implementing the universal standard.

Apple To Address Homeless Encampment On San Jose Property, by Louis Hansen, San Jose Mercury News

Apple will spend millions of dollars on outreach and relocation for residents of a homeless encampment on the tech giant’s property in North San Jose, seeking to address one part of Silicon Valley’s growing, impoverished community that now squats on land owned by the world’s most valuable company.

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Watching a Christams episode on television in August is special.


Thanks for reading.

The Volume-and-Duration Edition Friday, August 13, 2021

Apple's Child Protection Features Spark Concern Within Its Own Ranks -Sources, by Joseph Menn and Julia Love, Reuters

Apple employees have flooded an Apple internal Slack channel with more than 800 messages on the plan announced a week ago, workers who asked not to be identified told Reuters. Many expressed worries that the feature could be exploited by repressive governments looking to find other material for censorship or arrests, according to workers who saw the days-long thread.

Past security changes at Apple have also prompted concern among employees, but the volume and duration of the new debate is surprising, the workers said. Some posters worried that Apple is damaging its leading reputation for protecting privacy.

Why I Support Apple’s Sex Abuse Image Scanning, by Larry Magid, San Jose Mercury News

I think it’s appropriate for privacy and human rights groups to question Apple about this move. It is not without risks, but — like other appropriate remedies, the benefits outweigh the risks as long as Apple is very careful to avoid slip-ups and does not expand the use of this technology beyond its narrow scope.

The Deceptive PR Behind Apple’s “Expanded Protections For Children”, by Piotr Kaźmierczak, Sound & Complete

[D]ue to the intrinsically technical nature of the problem, [...] I believe the public will buy it, and during the next public Apple event Tim Cook will triumphantly announce some privacy-enhancing features, like protecting your personal data against cross-app tracking or offering VPN-like, anonymized connection for Safari or Apple Mail. All this, while there’s a backdoor installed on your phone, and you can do nothing about it.

On Security

This Mac Malware Breaks Through Apple's Defenses — What You Need To Do, by Paul Wagenseil, Tom's Guide

Many of the new strains evade the protections provided by Apple's Gatekeeper verification screener because the malware is "signed" with an Apple developer certificate.

They also dodge Apple's XProtect malware scanner, because many of the AdLoad strains don't match the malware profiles in XProtect's database. Some are also "notarized" to get past Apple's newest layer of defenses.

Apple Services

Apple Releases Ted Lasso Sticker Pack For iMessage And Clips, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The Apple TV+ comedy series Ted Lasso now has its own iMessage Sticker Pack to easily share the Lasso spirit with friends. Animated stickers are also now available to download inside of the Clips app.

Billie Eilish And Apple Music Promote Spatial Audio With Short Film, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The video begins with Eilish singing Getting Older a cappella in front of a vanity mirror, transitions into a performance of GOLDWING. As Eilish sings, mirrors multiply her reflection, creating a visual metaphor for Spatial Audio.

Apple Changes Eddy Cue's Job Title To Emphasize Growing Focus On Services, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

According to a recent change to Apple’s Leadership webpage, Eddy Cue’s title is now: Senior Vice President of Services. “Internet Software,” no more, apparently.


Beats Flex Review: Cheap Connected Wireless Earbuds Made For Apple Users, by Yasmine Crossland, T3

To sum up this Beats Flex review: you won’t find cheaper Beats headphones than this point-blank - they're a steal. The audio quality may not be top-tier and the battery life is quite average but these are packed full of features, they come with four different sizes of silicone ear tips and the neckband means you won't lose them.

Why AirTags Are A Must-have School Supply This Year, by Jacob Krol, CNN

We can’t tell you the number of times we ended up locked out of our dorm or unable to get a meal due to forgetting our keys or ID cards. The AirTag would have delivered a notification to let us know that we left something behind. It’s pretty clutch and can save you a walk back across campus to grab whatever you left behind.

CCleaner Review: A Flexible Mac Utility For Clearing Clutter, by Chris Barylick, Macworld

CCleaner achieves what it sets out to do: help clean up gigabytes of cache files, internet history files, and locate and purge large files on your Mac, all with an impressive level of control.

Plex’s New Feature Matches Your ‘Sonically Similar’ Music To Make Playlists, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Today, the company is upgrading the app with a new feature called Super Sonic, which offers new ways to mix up your playlists — including by matching songs that are “sonically” similar, instead of by metadata alone — like matching based on musical genre, for example.

Satechi Unveils New USB-C Clamp Hub That Adds 5 Ports To The Front Of Your M1 iMac, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Satechi has unveiled its latest Apple accessory today, a handy USB-C Clamp Hub designed for the 2021 M1 iMac. The Clamp Hub adds 5 ports to the front of the new all-in-one Mac for easy access and a more organized setup.

WaterField AirTags, by David Sparks, MacSparky

There is, in my mind, a certain aesthetic to WaterField Design products that I think of as rugged honesty. Everything put together in a way that you can see exactly how they did it, and exactly how they expect it to last. I dig it.


New Apple Research Shows How AirPods Could Be Used To Monitor Respiratory Rate, Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple explains that respiratory rate is a clinical metric that is used to assess overall health and fitness. It can change based on a variety of factors, including exercise and chronic acute illness. Traditionally, patients are required to visit their healthcare provider for respiratory rate tests and analysis, but the research from Apple and Cornell University aims to discover a way to remotely estimate the metric.

Smartphones Won. We Can Ignore Them., by Shira Ovide, New York Times

The latest phones will be lighter, faster, better and maybe more expensive than the old ones. The cool new features will be there when you’re ready. You don’t have to care until then.

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It's Friday night over here in Singapore. Time for my appointment TV this week.


Thanks for reading.

The Only-Fixes Edition Thursday, August 12, 2021

Apple Ships Mysterious macOS 11.5.2 Update, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

The release notes mention only “bug fixes.” There are no security notes. What does it fix? We don’t know!

What Has Changed In macOS 11.5.2?, by Howard Oakley, Eclectic Light Company

It appears that the bugs which this fixes in Safari and those frameworks were deemed significant enough to merit a ‘patch’ update before Big Sur goes into security-only maintenance on the release of Monterey.


'Today At Apple' Session Explores How To Create Looping Videos In The Clips App, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Apple today shared a new “Today at Apple” session on YouTube, exploring how to shoot and edit looping videos in the Clips app, with the help of director Romain Laurent and Jahmyra from Today at Apple.

Things Adds Extensive Markdown Support And Search For Extended Notes Attached To Tasks, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Adding a note to a task isn’t new to Things, but the latest update expands the feature significantly. Using Markdown syntax, you can now create headings, make text bold or italic, and add bulleted and numbered lists, links, code blocks, and highlight text. The formatting is rendered inline, providing a sense of structure and style to notes.

Darkroom For iOS And Mac Gets Overhauled Image Loading/generation, UI Improvements, More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Headlining the release is a number of improvements to image loading and generation, the ability to set a default format for loading images, crop and transform enhancements, UI improvements, and more.

First Impressions Of Glass, The New Photo Sharing App, by Shawn Blanc, The Sweet Setup

It’s like Flickr in that it has a strong emphasis on community and quality and a little bit of photog nerdery. And it’s like Instagram in that it’s an easy-to-use, photo sharing iPhone app.

Firefox 91 For macOS Brings Enhanced Cookie Clearing Feature, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

With Firefox 91, when the user decides to forget about a website, the browser will automatically throw away all cookies, supercookies, and other data stored in that website’s “cookie jar.” This “Enhanced Cookie Clearing” makes it easy to delete all traces of a website in your browser without the possibility of sneaky third-party cookies sticking around.


Bipartisan Bill Targets Apple And Google's Ability To Profit From App Stores, by Lauren Feiner, CNBC

The bill targets, in part, the in-app payment systems for companies that own app stores with more than 50 million users in the U.S. Under the bill, companies like Apple and Google would not be allowed to condition distribution of an app on their app stores on whether the developers use their in-app payment system.

They also would be prohibited from keeping developers from communicating with app users about "legitimate business offers," or from punishing developers for using different pricing terms through another system.

A Fourth Globalisation, by Marc Levinson, Aeon

When a US manufacturer sends old designs abroad to be converted into modern technical drawings, US tariffs apply only if the drawings are used to make imported merchandise; if the foreign drafting firm simply emails the drawings back to the US, no tariffs apply. If ‘offshoring’ this work eliminates similar engineering jobs in the US, there will be no record that imports were involved. The displaced engineers will have no claim to the sort of government assistance that often goes to displaced factory workers. Preserving jobs, or perhaps an entire workplace, by raising tariffs or slapping a quota on imports of engineering drawings is not a practical option.

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When is a good time for an app to prompt users that there is a new version to update? There are apps on my Mac that prompt me to upgrade when I start up the apps, just when I need to do things (such as upload a file to an SFTP server) urgently. There are also apps that prompt me to upgrade when I quit the app, such as at the end of the work-day when I am shutting down everything to go for dinner, and I really don't want to stay in front of the computer.


Thanks for reading.

The Hoops-Jumping Edition Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Interview: Apple’s Head Of Privacy Details Child Abuse Detection And Messages Safety Features, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

But even in the case where we’re talking about some attempt to change the system, it has a number of protections built in that make it not very useful for trying to identify individuals holding specifically objectionable images. The hash list is built into the operating system, we have one global operating system and don’t have the ability to target updates to individual users and so hash lists will be shared by all users when the system is enabled. And secondly, the system requires the threshold of images to be exceeded so trying to seek out even a single image from a person’s device or set of people’s devices won’t work because the system simply does not provide any knowledge to Apple for single photos stored in our service. And then, thirdly, the system has built into it a stage of manual review where, if an account is flagged with a collection of illegal CSAM material, an Apple team will review that to make sure that it is a correct match of illegal CSAM material prior to making any referral to any external entity. And so the hypothetical requires jumping over a lot of hoops, including having Apple change its internal process to refer material that is not illegal, like known CSAM and that we don’t believe that there’s a basis on which people will be able to make that request in the US. And the last point that I would just add is that it does still preserve user choice, if a user does not like this kind of functionality, they can choose not to use iCloud Photos and if iCloud Photos is not enabled no part of the system is functional.

There's A Small Crack In The iPhone Foundation But It Could Get A Lot Worse, by Jason Snell, Macworld

With its on-device CSAM scanner, Apple has built a tool carefully calibrated to protect user privacy. If building this tool enabled Apple to finally offer broader encryption of iCloud data, it might even be a net increase in user privacy.

But tools are neither good nor evil. Apple has built this tool for a good purpose, but every time a new tool is built, all of us need to imagine how it might be misused. Apple seems to have very carefully designed this feature to make it more difficult to subvert, but that’s not always enough.

Coming Soon

iOS 15 To Link AirPods With Your Apple ID As Part Of Find My Network, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Similar to AirTags, iOS 15 will use Bluetooth technology to precisely locate AirPods when you’re near them but don’t know exactly where the earphones are located. This feature will be available for both AirPods Pro and AirPods Max and will also show the current AirPods location on the map even when they’re not connected to your iPhone or iPad.


Apple And Olivia Rodrigo Encourage iPad Creativity On TikTok, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Inspired by Olivia Rodrigo’s track “Brutal,” TikTok followers are encouraged to create their own #BrutalMasks. Apple worked with artists including Braeden O’Brien, Designical, and fiona_art to create tutorials.

CleanShot X For Mac Updated With Support For Combining Multiple Screenshots Into One, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

With CleanShot X 3.9, the app is adding an option to combine multiple screenshots into one in Annotate.

The Lesson To Learn From Apple’s Tool To Flag Child Sex Abuse, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

Over the last few years, I’ve embraced a hybrid approach of storing copies of my data online and offline so I can reap the benefits of the cloud but also retain independent ownership of my data. My efforts culminated in creating an online server at home, which is essentially a private cloud.

Here’s how I did that, along with other approaches to a hybrid approach for storing your data.


What’s The Point Of Apple TV Hardware?, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

An alternative response to Gurman’s “What’s the point of Apple TV?” question is just one word: privacy.

Apple Drops Intellectual Property Lawsuit Against Maker Of Security Tools, by Reed Albergotti, Washington Post

The terms of the settlement were confidential. An email from the Corellium sales team confirmed the company was still selling its virtual iOS devices.

Corellium co-founder Christopher Wade declined to comment for this story. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Part of my morning routine involves starting the electric kettle, adding the three-in-one coffee powder into my cup, putting a spoon into my cup, waiting for water to boil, and, finally, pouring water into cup.

This morning, I happily did all the above, but forgot to add coffee powder into my cup.

I hope this is not an omen for things to come. :-)


I listen to a lot of podcasts from the BBC, and it seems all BBC podcasts share the same three introduction clips, and almost all of the episodes have the same single advertisement at the end.

But: this is really not a complain. I don't pay UK's TV and Radio licensing fee, and I get to hear a whole ton of wonderful stuff from BBC. It's really a bargain, if you ask me.


Thanks for reading.

The Designed-to-Prevent Edition Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Apple Open To Expanding New Child Safety Features To Third-Party Apps, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple said that while it does not have anything to share today in terms of an announcement, expanding the child safety features to third parties so that users are even more broadly protected would be a desirable goal. Apple did not provide any specific examples, but one possibility could be the Communication Safety feature being made available to apps like Snapchat, Instagram, or WhatsApp so that sexually explicit photos received by a child are blurred.

Another possibility is that Apple's known CSAM detection system could be expanded to third-party apps that upload photos elsewhere than iCloud Photos.

Apple Says It Will Refuse Gov’t Demands To Expand Photo-scanning Beyond CSAM, by Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

None of this means that Apple lacks the ability to expand the technology's uses, of course. Answering the question of whether its photo-scanning system can be used to detect things other than CSAM, Apple said that it "is designed to prevent that from happening."

Apple’s Mistake, by Ben Thompson, Stratechery

It’s truly disappointing that Apple got so hung up on its particular vision of privacy that it ended up betraying the fulcrum of user control: being able to trust that your device is truly yours.

Apple Publishes FAQ For Their New Child Safety Features (PDF), by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

I think it’s a genuine “we’ll soon find out” mystery how many iCloud Photo users are going to be accurately flagged for exceeding the threshold for CSAM matches when this goes live. If the number is large, it seems like one innocent needle in a veritable haystack of actual CSAM collections might be harder for Apple’s human reviewers to notice.

Coming Soon?

Apple Readies New iPhones With Pro-Focused Camera, Video Updates, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The new handsets will include a video version of the phone’s Portrait mode feature, the ability to record video in a higher-quality format called ProRes, and a new filters-like system that improves the look and colors of photos, according to people familiar with the matter.


For this year, the company will retain the same 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch regular sizes and 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro screen dimensions, as well as their designs.


Onyx Review: A Must-have Utility For Your Mac Software Toolbox, by Chris Barylick, Macworld

There’s a reason Onyx has been among the tools of choice for Mac techies for almost two decades now, the final program you ran on a client’s computer to clean things up before you wrapped things up. And while it may take a little research and some care before using, it’s worth trying out and perhaps adding to your selection of tools the next time you’re fixing a Mac.

How To Use Running Apps To Hit The Road, by Suzie Glassman, Wired

There are four basic types of runs all the running apps offer, though each may call them something different. They focus on one of three variables: duration, frequency, and intensity. While your training program should include a mix of all three, only focus on improving one variable at a time. Trying to do too much can cause burnout or injury.

Parallels 17 Brings Enhanced Windows Gaming Experience, The First macOS Monterey Virtual Machine Running On Apple Silicon, More, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Headlining this release is an enhanced Windows gaming experience, the ability to run macOS Monterey betas in a virtual machine on Apple Silicon, and a virtual TPM chip for Windows.

Alfred 4.5, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Running with Crayons has published Alfred 4.5 with the new Universal Actions feature for Powerpack users, enabling you to take any text, URLs, or files and perform actions on them from anywhere on your Mac using the Universal Action hotkey.

Art Text 4.1, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The release adds new vector drawing tools for improved logo design, bundles new badge and logo design templates plus 300 new vector icons and shapes.


The Apple Store Gets Its Tab Back, by Ken Segall

There is a well-established pattern on The tabs mostly have generic names (Watch, TV, Music), and when you click a tab you are greeted with the full product name on the product page.

But click on the Store tab and all you see is … Store. Inexplicable.

Apple Keeps Shutting Down Employee-run Surveys On Pay Equity — And Labor Lawyers Say It’s Illegal, by Zoe Schiffer, The Verge

Apple insists it does not have a problem with pay inequality. Skeptical Apple employees have been trying to verify that claim by sending out informal surveys on how much people make, particularly as it relates to women and underrepresented minorities. But the company has shut down three of those surveys, citing stringent rules on how employees can collect data. Now, multiple labor lawyers tell The Verge the company may be violating worker protections: the surveys can be considered a form of labor organizing — under US law, employees have the right to discuss pay.

Big Tech Call Center Workers Face Pressure To Accept Home Surveillance, by Olivia Solon, NBC News

The worker said that she signed the contract, a copy of which NBC News has reviewed, because she feared losing her job. She said that she was told by her supervisor that she would be moved off the Apple account if she refused to sign the document. She said the additional surveillance technology has not yet been installed.


Apple spokesperson Nick Leahy said that the company “prohibits the use of video or photographic monitoring by our suppliers and have confirmed Teleperformance does not use video monitoring for any of their teams working with Apple.” Leahy said that Apple had audited Teleperformance in Colombia this year and did not find any “core violations of our strict standards.”

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Realistically, if some governments want to force Apple to install some backdoor code into the devices Apple is selling, there is really no need to wait for Apple to implement some backdoor-like scanning-and-or-hashing code into the devices before starting to enact laws. It is not like all these governments are waiting to see if Apple has the technical capabilities to add some scanning-and-or-hashing algorithms before enacting laws for Apple.


Thanks for reading.

The Frequently-Asked Edition Monday, August 9, 2021

Apple Publishes FAQ To Address CSAM Detection And Messages Scanning Concerns, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Some discussions have blurred the distinction between the two features, and Apple takes great pains in the document to differentiate them, explaining that communication safety in Messages “only works on images sent or received in the Messages app for child accounts set up in Family Sharing,” while CSAM detection in ‌iCloud Photos‌ “only impacts users who have chosen to use ‌iCloud Photos‌ to store their photos… There is no impact to any other on-device data.”

'CODA' Breaks New Ground For Deaf Movie Theater-goers, by Jill Serjeant, Reuters

Going to the movies isn't much fun for deaf people. Screenings in theaters with captions are limited and the special glasses and equipment needed to read them are often broken or unavailable.

"CODA," a coming-of-age story about the only hearing member of a deaf family, will change that when it is screened with open captions that need no special equipment in all U.S. and U.K. movie theaters and showtimes, starting Friday.

Apps Are Helping People Avoid Air Pollution Amid Record Wildfires, Rising Temperatures, by Lora Kolodny, CNBC

These apps use a mix of data from government-operated satellites, or weather, fire and ambient air quality stations, as well as sensors and systems run by private sector entities. Some are even crowdsourced from relatively affordable air quality sensors sold by companies such as PurpleAir and IQAir.

Apple’s TV Box Is Now Mostly Pointless. Will That Change?, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

If Apple wants to truly be effective, it could just cut the price of its box, make a cheap “stick” version with 4K or add features that actually make it worthwhile. But as of now, it’s hard to believe that will happen soon, especially with Apple engineers telling me that the company doesn’t have a strong living room hardware strategy and that there isn’t much internal optimism.

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Either Apple can do a low-cost Apple TV, or it can significantly increase its efforts and make Apple TV really worth the price.

(The same thing can probably be said of the price of the App Stores for developers.)


Thanks for reading.

The By-Design Edition Sunday, August 8, 2021

FAQ About Apple's Expanded Protections For Children, by Glenn Fleishman, Rich Mogull, TidBITS

Our best guess is the company has been under pressure from governments and law enforcement around the world to engage more in government-led efforts to protect children, even though this deployment is only in the United States. Word has it that Apple, far from being the first company to implement such measures, is one of the last of the big firms to do so. Other large companies keep more data in the cloud, where it’s protected only by the company’s encryption keys, making it more readily accessible to analysis and warrants. Also, the engineering effort behind these technologies undoubtedly took years and cost many millions of dollars, so the motivation must have been significant.


There’s no transparency anywhere in this entire system. That’s by design, in order to protect already-exploited children from being further victimized. Politicians and children’s advocates tend to brush off any concerns about how efforts to detect CSAM and identify those receiving or distributing it may have large-scale privacy implications.

Apple Takes A Step Towards Opening The Back Door, by Financial Times

Privacy campaigners warn that by allowing such pattern-matching in encrypted photos on iPhones, Apple is opening itself and others to pressure from governments to do the same for other types of content, such as imagery of opposition protests. Companies could refuse, but might face legislative moves to compel it. Disclosures about the thousands apparently targeted by Pegasus spyware from Israel’s NSO have shown plenty of governments are happy to use backdoor mechanisms.

Apple may hope that by co-operating with US authorities in countering one of the most morally vile activities that exploits digital encryption it can fend off legislation forcing it to go further. The US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada have called on tech companies to include mechanisms that would enable governments — with appropriate legal authority — to gain access to data. The danger is that Apple will simply whet appetites. Some rivals are privately furious, feeling the Cupertino-based company has broken ranks and conceded an important principle.

How The Apple Watch 6 Blood Oxygen App Helps Me Monitor My Health Every Day, by Jennifer Allen, TechRadar

With plenty of things that now need monitoring by both medical professionals and me alike, things have changed pretty rapidly in my daily life. In typical technology journalist style, I've found a silver lining in the Apple Watch Series 6 making me feel a bit better mentally if not physically.

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I can't help thinking that perhaps Apple is missing an ingredient here: to allow customers to choose a different online photo-syncing system from other third-parties, so that customers can choose which company they trust to scan-and-or-hash their photos when storing online. More like the Files app, perhaps.


Thanks for reading.

The End-to-End Edition Saturday, August 7, 2021

Apple Defends Its New Anti-child Abuse Tech Against Privacy Concerns, by Patrick Howell O'Neill, MIT Technology Review

Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, and other big cloud services already scan material stored on their servers for child abuse material so the general premise is not new. The difference here is that some of Apple’s scans will occur on the iPhone itself—and Apple argues that this is the defining pro-privacy feature of the new technology.


Following this week’s announcement, some experts think Apple will soon announce that iCloud will be encrypted. If iCloud is encrypted but the company can still identify child abuse material, pass evidence along to law enforcement, and suspend the offender, that may relieve some of the political pressure on Apple executives.

Apple’s New ‘Child Safety’ Initiatives, And The Slippery Slope, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

This fingerprint matching for CSAM could pave the way for a middle ground, if Apple unveils end-to-end encryption for iCloud photos and backups in the future. In such a scenario, Apple would have no cryptographic ability to turn your backups or entire photo library over to anyone, but they would be able to flag and report iCloud accounts whose photo libraries exceed the threshold for CSAM database fingerprint matches, including the “visual derivatives” of the matching photos — all without Apple ever seeing or being able to see your original photos on iCloud.

It’s also possible Apple has simply permanently shelved plans to use end-to-end encryption for all iCloud data. No surprise: they’re not saying. But it feels very plausible to me that Apple views this privacy-protecting CSAM detection as a necessary first step to broadening the use of end-to-end encryption.

In Internal Memo, Apple Addresses Concerns Around New Photo Scanning Features, Doubles Down On The Need To Protect Children, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Marineau-Mes writes that while Apple has seen “many positive responses” to these new features, it is aware that “some people have misunderstandings” about how the features will work, and “more than a few are worried about the implications.” Nonetheless, Marineau-Mes doubles down on Apple’s belief that these are necessary features to “protect children” while also maintaining Apple’s “deep commitment to user privacy.”


A New Telescope To Put Stars In Your iPhone, by Jonathan Margolis, Financial Times

Firstly, the software will compensate for light pollution from human sources, or from the Moon, which, when big and boisterous, can mess with the view from more distant objects. This is a huge plus. Secondly, from the accompanying app, you can point the motorised telescope at any one of 5,400 pre-programmed celestial bodies. Just touch where you want to go, and it obligingly whirs into the exact position, as well as giving you information on what you are observing.

Spotify Calls Off Plans To Support AirPlay 2, Frustrating iPhone Users, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

iPhone users have been asking for Spotify to add AirPlay 2 support for ages, but yesterday Spotify told users they shouldn't expect the feature to be added any time soon.


The Smart Home Is Flailing As A Concept—because It Sucks, by Jared Newman, Fast Company

The CTA says its stagnant forecast is merely a function of competition, as an influx of device makers drive down the cost of hardware. But as someone who’s been living with various smart home gadgets for several years now, I have a different theory: They’re just not worth a big investment unless you have a limitless supply of time and patience.

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I am in no hurry. I've also lost any appetite to hurry. Maybe when the masking-up requirement is finally dropped -- next year? -- I'll do a little celebration then.

In the meantime, I will have to figure out if I do happen to dine out again -- starting next week -- how I can show my vaccination status.


Thanks for reading.

The Hash-Match Edition Friday, August 6, 2021

Apple Confirms It Will Begin Scanning iCloud Photos For Child Abuse Images , by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

Before an image is uploaded to iCloud Photos, those hashes are matched on the device against a database of known hashes of child abuse imagery, provided by child protection organizations like the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and others. NeuralHash uses a cryptographic technique called private set intersection to detect a hash match without revealing what the image is or alerting the user.

New Apple Technology Will Warn Parents And Children About Sexually Explicit Photos In Messages, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Through a software update rolling out later this year, Messages will be able to use on-device machine learning to analyze image attachments and determine if a photo being shared is sexually explicit. This technology does not require Apple to access or read the child’s private communications, as all the processing happens on the device. Nothing is passed back to Apple’s servers in the cloud.

Apple's Plan To "Think Different" About Encryption Opens A Backdoor To Your Private Life, by India McKinney and Erica Portnoy, EFF

Child exploitation is a serious problem, and Apple isn't the first tech company to bend its privacy-protective stance in an attempt to combat it. But that choice will come at a high price for overall user privacy. Apple can explain at length how its technical implementation will preserve privacy and security in its proposed backdoor, but at the end of the day, even a thoroughly documented, carefully thought-out, and narrowly-scoped backdoor is still a backdoor.

To say that we are disappointed by Apple’s plans is an understatement. Apple has historically been a champion of end-to-end encryption, for all of the same reasons that EFF has articulated time and time again. Apple’s compromise on end-to-end encryption may appease government agencies in the U.S. and abroad, but it is a shocking about-face for users who have relied on the company’s leadership in privacy and security.

Should Apple Scan Our Phones For Abuse Imagery?, by Lance Ulanoff, OneZero

Once we learn that Apple can decrypt your photo data and share it with authorities, and authorities learn this, I don’t see what’s to stop them from asking for access to other kinds of potentially illegal data or even just data that would be considered concerning by some parties. Again, I don’t know if I even have a problem with using access to such data to find, for instance, white nationalists before they march on The Capitol again. On the other hand, these tools in the hands of authoritarian societies could be used to stamp out activism that doesn’t align with the current regime.

Security Researchers Express Alarm Over Apple's Plans To Scan iCloud Images, But Practice Already Widespread, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

In a series of tweets, Johns Hopkins cryptography researcher Matthew Green said that CSAM scanning is a “really bad idea” because in the future, it could expand to scanning end-to-end encrypted photos rather than just content that’s uploaded to ‌iCloud‌. For children, Apple is implementing a separate scanning feature that looks for sexually explicit content directly in iMessages, which are end-to-end encrypted.

On Security

Apple Can't Protect Your Privacy. But You Can, by Firmin Debrabander, Los Angeles Times

Be responsible in what you do and say, to whom, and how. Reflect, slow down, and think about what you share. Assume that someone is always listening.

Apple could remind us to protect ourselves by dropping the pretense of privacy.

Messaging Apps Have An Eavesdropping Problem, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

In early 2019, an eavesdropping bug in group FaceTime calls would have let attackers activate the microphone, and even the camera, of the iPhone they were calling and eavesdrop before the recipient did anything at all. The implications were so severe that Apple invoked a nuclear option, cutting off access to the group calling feature entirely until the company could issue a fix. The vulnerability—and the fact that it required no taps or clicks at all on the part of the victim—captivated Natalie Silvanovich.

“The idea that you could find a bug where the impact is you can cause a call to be answered without any interaction—that's surprising,” says Silvanovich, a researcher in Google's Project Zero bug-hunting team. "I went on a bit of a tear and tried to find these vulnerabilities in other applications. And I ended up finding quite a few.”

On App Stores

Apple Accused Of Promoting Scam 'Slime Relaxation' Apps In App Store, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Scam apps have made their way onto both Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store before, with some making millions of dollars. Now, however, Apple is being accused of actively promoting apps that reportedly do little or nothing, and yet can charge users up to $500 (AU$676) per year.


Apple Music Artists Can Now Share Milestones With Fans, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today announced a new Apple Music for Artists feature called Shareable Milestones, which is designed to allow ‌Apple Music‌ artists to share key milestones and successes with their fans on social media.

iTunes Match Users Frustratingly Report Widespread Issues, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Over the last few weeks, an ever-increasing number of Apple users have been frustratingly sharing issues they’re experiencing with iTunes Match, Apple’s service that allows users to upload songs to iCloud from other sources, such as CDs.

Apple Shares Compatibility Details For Mac Pro's New Radeon Pro W6000 Graphics, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The support documents walk through the many different display setups that can be used with the GPUs and how to use AMD’s Infinity Fabric Link technology for increased performance and faster data transfer between the modules.

Twelve South ActionSleeve 2 Review: Great For The Fitness-focused, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

If you work out regularly and want something to free up your wrist, the ActionSleeve 2 is a great choice.

Zenkit Debuts 'Projects' – A New Task Management Tool For Enterprise Customers, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Projects provide teams and workplaces with a complete set of features that help manage and save time, meet deadlines, and delegate and track tasks to stay on schedule with projects.

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The optimistic me is looking forward to the day after tomorrow. The pessimsitic me is waiting to see what happens tomorrow before planning for the day after tomorrow.

And that's why I am probably not to buy the MagSafe battery pack just yet.



Thanks for reading.

The Remember-the-Loss Edition Thursday, August 5, 2021

My Phone Doesn’t Realize My Mother Is Dead, by Karolina Waclawiak, BuzzFeed News

Forgetting isn’t the answer; that feels just as painful. It’s why I keep those live photos of my mother in my phone. Why I’ve held onto seconds of her voice. When I want to feel pain, to remember the loss of her, on my own terms, I have the catalysts at the ready. Because there are moments when I am gripped with fear that I will forget my mother’s voice altogether. Forget her.

The feeling is so acute that I refused to upgrade my phone for an entire year — even as it urgently reminded me that my memory was full and my apps kept crashing — because I was irrationally worried that I would lose the two voicemails from my mother that I do have. I called Apple tech support a few times to find out how safe the upgrade process was. Even after I emailed myself copies of the audio files and the transfer occurred without issue, I was still worried that I would do something to erase them forever. I was already living with the guilt of erasing my mother from my phone for years, trying to free up space for other photos I don’t even remember taking.


Apple Now Promoting Its Services With 'Exclusive Offers' For Apple Card Users, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Users have been noticing a new section in the Wallet app that offers special deals related to Apple’s own services for Apple credit card holders.

DaisyDisk 4 Review: An Elegant And Fun Way To Free Up Storage Space, by Chris Barylick, Macworld

No one ever said tracking down and eliminating all the stuff that was devouring space on your Mac would be pleasant, but DaisyDisk succeeds in making it pretty simple and actually somewhat fun.

iOS Admin App iMazing Offers Free Tool That Can Detect Pegasus Spyware, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

In version 2.14 of iMazing, the company has added a new "Spyware Detector" tool that's inspired by the Mobile Verification Toolkit created by Amnesty International.

3 Essential Accessories For Your New Apple Watch, by Alistair Charlton, T3

Just bought yourself a new Apple Watch? Well it’s time to pick up some accessories too. Apple itself sells a wide range of straps and other accessories like chargers, while for those looking for even more choice – or want to spend a little less – the third-party market is huge.


Apple Places Female Engineering Program Manager On Administrative Leave After Tweeting About Sexism In The Office, by Zoe Schiffer, The Verge

Apple has placed senior engineering program manager Ashley Gjøvik on indefinite administrative leave after she tweeted about sexism in the office. The company is currently investigating claims Gjøvik made about a hostile work environment.

Apple's Store Update Takes Retail To The Metaverse, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

The bottom line is that Apple now has a metaverse-friendly online store experience to provide a multi-device, and (via the web) multi-platform portal to the unique, customer-focused experiences its retail outlets are already famous for: tutorials, training, advice, and more.

The Subscription Buffet May Be Over, by Shira Ovide, New York Times

There are signs, however, that the all-you-can-eat digital subscriptions are becoming more nuanced. Some companies including Disney and Whole Foods, the grocery chain that is owned by Amazon, are charging subscribers more for compelling extras. Others including Spotify and YouTube are experimenting with subscriptions that cost less but come with compromises. Both strategies may show that the endless digital buffet is changing for good.

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We are probably the generation who started to have so many moments of our life documented, but we are also the generation who will have to figure out when we can start erasing these documentations.


Thanks for reading.

The Quick-Links Edition Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Apple Redesigns Online Store And Brings Back Dedicated 'Store' Tab, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

The new design starts with a simple carousel of product categories that you can choose from and offers quick links to shop with a specialist or find an Apple store nearby.

Apple Updates Intel Mac Pro With Three New Graphics Card Modules, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has rolled out three new graphics card modules for the Intel-powered Mac Pro today. The new graphics card modules include the Radeon Pro W6800X MPX Module, the Radeon Pro W6800X Duo MPX Module, and the Radeon Pro W6900X MPX Module.

Apple SG Turns Pet Photos Into High Art Portraits In OOH Stunt, by Marketing Interactive

Done in collaboration with photographer Jason Nocito, the campaign aims to introduce how photographic features previously reserved for professionals are now in everybody’s hands. Pets were used as they are one of the most popular subjects for amateur photographers.


New Unread Update Gives The RSS App Linked List-reading Super Powers, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

Linked list posts are the ones you find on sites like John Gruber's Daring Fireball, a link to another site with a quote and commentary. Those linked lists and the way they link out to the original content can cause RSS apps some confusion — and users sometimes don't know whether they're reading the linked post, or the content it's linking out to. Unread 2.7 fixes that.

Hands-on: Nomad Launches New MagSafe Mount Stand With Simplistic All-metal Design, by Blair Altland, 9to5Toys

The Nomad Mount Stand solves my main issue with Apple’s MagSafe charger not staying in place on its own, and brings some extra functionality into the mix, thanks to its vertical design. And it still sports about as simple and clean of a look as you’ll find from a charging accessory.


Apple's Ad Business Is Bigger Than You Think. It Could Get Bigger Still., by Eric J. Savitz, Barron's

Sacconaghi notes that most of Apple’s ad business is centered on search ads in the App Store. He says growth drivers in the business include the June addition of search ads in China, higher ad loads, and the introduction of banner ads to the store in May.

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Apple's new Store tab is the opposite of simple.


Thanks for reading.

The Recovery-Management Edition Tuesday, August 3, 2021

With Apple's Backing, Can An App Help Heart Attack Patients Recover?, by Mario Aguilar, STAT

Corrie is designed to make everything that’s hard about managing recovery after a heart attack far easier for patients — and, in turn, keep them out of the hospital. Once home, the app helps track their vital signs and activity data with the help of an Apple Watch and a Bluetooth blood pressure cuff. It sends reminders when a patient needs to take a pill or head in for a follow-up appointment, and also serves as a hub of critical health information, including guidance on diet and exercise, that’s often lost in the chaos of a hospital discharge.


The app and its development are exactly the kind of work Apple set out to make possible when it launched CareKit, the patient care framework Corrie is built on. The Corrie team’s work has kept the attention of Apple, which paraded the app at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June as a sterling example of how its tools could improve patient care.

Apple Now Selling Standalone Magic Keyboard With Touch ID Starting At $149, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

However, Apple isn’t offering the same colors for the new Magic Keyboard with Touch ID when purchased separately, just silver and white is available.

Two New Macs, 'Apple Watch Series 7' Pop Up In Regulatory Filings, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Apple devices have to be registered in the EEC regulatory database before they can be sold in that territory, so a listing there is always an early sign of a release. It is not a certainty, nor is there a typical timescale between listing and launch.


Scan, Pay, Go: App Clip Self-checkout Comes To The Apple Store App, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple is making it faster and easier than ever to buy accessories and cases at Apple Stores with a new self-checkout App Clip powered by the Apple Store app and Apple Pay. App Clips are small parts of apps that load quickly in the moments you need them.

Apple Stores Float New Portless MagSafe Dock Design, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

The new design elevates iPhones from the table, making the devices appear to float when viewed from the front. Each iPhone is easier to pick up and replace, and MagSafe accommodates a more accessible viewing angle when docked.

Apple Arcade Two Years Later: A Value That Keeps On Growing, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

The majority of Apple Arcade titles fit the "mobile" description, while only a handful creep into "console" territory. Rather than recreate the experience of a PlayStation Portable or Nintendo Switch, Apple has leaned heavily into the existing App Store demographic.

Ulysses Gains Enhanced Blog Publishing And Session History Features, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Popular writing app Ulysses today reached version 23, and this update improves its blog publishing features as well as the way session histories and writing goals are calculated.

Journaling App Day One Gains Concealed Journals For Added Privacy, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

Concealed Journals allow users to ensure their content can't be seen by anyone — even when the app is open and unlocked.

Sun And Moon Tracker Sundial Adds Two Home Screen Widgets, New Apple Watch Complications, by Brent Dirks, AppAdvice

Sundial is a comprehensive way to keep track of the sun and moon at your location, or anywhere else in the world on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

Logitech Combo Touch Review: Four-mode iPad Pro Keyboard Review, by Matthew Miller, ZDNet

In addition to a lower price, the Logitech Combo Touch keyboard offers a kickstand case for your iPad, dedicated row of function keys, no battery to charge up, and a larger trackpad. There is a lot to like here and unless you must have an Apple-branded product the Logitech Combo Touch seems like the better choice in almost every way.


Will We Ever Get A Shared Family iCloud Photo Library?, by Adam Oram, iMore

Take a picture on your iPhone and it will appear on your iPad in seconds. Edit a photo on your Mac and those changes are reflected on your other devices straight away, too. But iCloud Photo Library, even after the announcements last month at WWDC, is still missing a huge feature: proper family iCloud photo sharing support.

The Voices Of Women In Tech Are Still Being Erased, by Mar Hicks, MIT Technology Review

When we think of women in computing, we often think about how, both literally and figuratively, they have been silenced more often than they’ve been listened to. Women's voices and bodies can be found all throughout the history of computing—from being heard in launch countdowns to being visible in photographs—but only relatively recently have historians written these women back into the narrative by explaining what they did. For a long time, women were mistakenly thought to be peripheral to computing history, even though they were often the ones who programmed the computers.

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Books that I've enjoyed in the first half of this year, in reverse order of reading:

The Hidden Palace, by Helene Wecker
The Plot, by Jean Hanff Korelitz
The Devil and the Dark Water, by Stuart Turton
If You Should Fail: A Book of Solace, by Joe Moran
The Cat and The City, by Nick Bradley
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, by V.E. Schwab
The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
Monogamy, by Sue Miller

Here's wishing you have some good books to escape, too.

(Yes, time is weird in these strange days. My definition of 'first half of this year' runs from Jan to end July. Sosumi.)


Thanks for reading.

The Institutional-Memory Edition Monday, August 2, 2021

Vaccines, Reopenings, And Worker Revolts: Big Tech’s Contentious Return To The Office, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Some tech leaders (like Twitter’s Jack Dorsey) agreed, or at least they saw the writing on the wall. They enacted permanent or semipermanent changes to their companies’ policies to make partial or even full-time remote work the norm. Others (like Apple’s Tim Cook) are working hard to find a way to get everyone back in their assigned seats as soon as is practical, despite organized resistance.

In either case, the work cultures at tech companies that make everything from the iPhone to Google search are facing a major wave of transformation.

From M1X To 5G: How Apple's Careful Control Will Bring Even Bigger Things, by Dan Moren, Macworld

Apple’s institutional memory is long and the company still remembers what it was like to be on the brink of disaster in the mid-1990s. One element that put Apple in danger in that era was that it relied on an external provider for its most crucial component, processors, and that supplier’s technology had been significantly outpaced by competitors. That fear is part of what drove the company to make its operating system more flexible, running on first Intel processors and then its own silicon.


Titanium Apple Watch Series 6 Models Currently Widely Unavailable, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Models of the Apple Watch Series 6 with titanium cases part of the “Apple Watch Edition” collection is currently widely unavailable for pick-up in several of Apple’s retail stores in the United States and is unavailable entirely for delivery in major markets.

‘Laundry Lens’ For iOS Reminds You There’s An App For Everything, Including Doing Your Laundry, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Just point your camera to the tag on the clothes you want to wash and it will say whether you should take some caution when using the washing machine, iron, or drying it clean.


It’s Time For Apple To Fix Its Confusing Device Charger Strategy, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Believe it or not, if you’re lucky enough to have an iPhone, iPad Pro, Apple Watch and, soon, a next-generation Mac laptop with the new MagSafe connector, you’ll be using four different charging cables to juice up your Apple devices. For a company that prides itself on simplicity and making all of its technology work seamlessly together, that is an anomaly.

Tim Cook's Apple Is Facing The Unthinkable: Cracks In Its Perfect Image, by Jason Aten, Inc

Right now, however, Apple is giving the impression that its primary goal isn't the customer experience, or even protecting privacy, but protecting the company's bottom line. That goes against what people love the most about Apple, and it's a real problem--even if the reality is far more nuanced. When it comes to trust, perception is everything.

Why Right To Repair Matters – According To A Farmer, A Medical Worker, A Computer Store Owner, by Kari Paul, The Guardian

“I don’t feel bad at all – this is something that used to be natural,” he said. “For over 100 years, if something breaks on your car or on your air conditioner or washing machine, repair people are able to get access to what is needed to fix it. It is only in recent years and on computers that doing repairs has become like buying cocaine or something.”

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There are a few products that Apple doesn't seem to pay too much attention. They are not exactly abandonware, but Apple doesn't seem to want to make them to be the best they can be.

Two examples: Apple Books, and iWork.

I often wonder if Apple still keep them around just as an insurance against third-party developers pulling out of Apple's platforms?

(At this point, I would classify iPod Touch as abandonware.)


Thanks for reading.

The Enough-Hours Edition Sunday, August 1, 2021

As Life Gets Busier, It May Be Even More Important To Capture Every Minute, by Jan Risher, Acadiana Advocate

Closing the rings became routine until the world started opening back up again and I had obligations beyond my home. While I had made sure to check the rings, get the exercise and close the circles, one day earlier this year, I realized that life had gotten away from me. By early evening that day, my exercise, movement and standing rings were low. Almost frantically, I started exercising and moving. The problem was, there weren’t enough hours left in the day for me to hit the standing mark.


The Best Productivity Apps To Organise Your Life, by Adam Speight, Wired

For much of the past 18 months even our humble Google Calendar has been mostly bare. Now, though, might be just the time to get super organised to avoid any potential overwhelm. Maybe you're preparing to return to the office, maybe you're readjusting to having actual social plans again, or maybe you're just in limbo and want to use sorting your lives out – both digital and real – to get a handle on the second half of the year.

These are the apps, sites and platforms the WIRED team is using to sort out our social lives, get work done, order our ideas and notes and keep our homes running relatively smoothly. Most of the options on this list are completely free, with some offering added features in premium tiers.

Native Union Rise Dock Review: A Modern Throne For Your MagSafe Charger, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

It doesn't charge any different than the puck on its own, but the ability to prop up your iPhone and use it in landscape orientation is a great benefit for any desk or nightstand.

This MagSafe-compatible Desk Stand Keeps Your iPhone Ready To Go, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

A stand like this is a huge improvement over a charging cable stretched across your desk. It’s easier to use and doesn’t look untidy.


Anti-Vax App Squares Off With Google, Apple Over Misinformation, by Jackie Davalos, Bloomberg

Apple requires all apps related to Covid-19 provide credible health and safety information and only come from recognized entities including government organizations, health-focused non-profits and medical or educational institutions.

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This week's episodes of both Ted Lasso and Schmigadoon! are so much fun. I wish Apple TV+ will continue to invest in comedies; I sure appreciate some cheering up and forgetfulness every week.


Thanks for reading.