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.”

Bottom of the Page

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.