Archive for September 2021

The Removed-Features Edition Thursday, September 30, 2021

Recent Siri Changes Remove Call, Email, And Voicemail Features Used By Low Vision And Blind Users, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

With the recent release of iOS 15, Apple appears to have made some changes to Siri functionality that have removed features relied on by low vision and blind iPhone users.

Several ‌Siri‌ commands that provide details on phone calls, voicemails, and sending emails no longer appear to be working.

Researchers Find Apple Pay, Visa Contactless Hack, by BBC

The problem, researchers say, applies to Visa cards set up in 'Express Transit' mode in an iPhone's wallet.

"Express Transit" is an Apple Pay feature which enables commuters to make quick contactless payments without unlocking their phone, for example touching-in and touching-out at a London Underground ticket barrier.


Apple's Time To Walk Has Totally Leveled Up My WFH Life, by Rachel Lapidos, Bustle

Listening to Time to Walk has operated as a makeshift afternoon stroll with a friend. Comparatively, podcasts feel more like a show that’s speaking not directly to you but to a massive audience.

AudioFix 2 Brings New Features For iPhone Users And A New macOS App, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

AudioFix 2.0 is able to not only boost, mute, and de-noise, but also extract audio from video sequences. The app enables users to clean up audio removing wind, hiss, and boosting low-volume video sequences by applying a filter with just a tap.

iStat Menus Review: A Dashboard Smorgasbord For The macOS Menu Bar, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

iStat Menus 6 gives you access at a glance to a dashboard’s worth of statistics, graphs, states, and speeds of your Mac’s CPU, disks, network, battery, and memory—as well as throwing in the kitchen sink, offering clocks and the current and forecast weather—through dropdown menu bar items. If you need or want to know what’s going in any nook and cranny on your Mac, or what time (and day) it is in, say, Auckland, New Zealand, for example, the app has you covered.


Apple Reminds Developers About Changes To Subscription Payment System In India, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Apple today notified developers about a change that will impact apps with renewable subscriptions or other recurring transactions in India. Due to a new directive from the Reserve Bank of India, some in-app transactions made with credit and debit cards may be declined by banks or card issuers.


Apple Now Lets You Share How Much You Love Or Hate Built-in Apps Via App Store Reviews, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

For the longest time, the App Store did not allow users to rate or review Apple’s built-in iPhone and iPad apps, like Mail, Music, News, Stocks and Calculator. However, seemingly since the release of iOS 15 earlier this month, Apple has now lifted that restriction. It is now open season for App Store feedback on Apple’s stock apps.

Why James Bond Doesn’t Use An iPhone, by Adam Speight, Wired

What if Bond was using a bleeding-edge technology then, the very latest? Well, an iPhone would not be a good option for 007. “Untraceable phones with anti-surveillance, anti-interception and location spoofing functionality are a must for James Bond. An iPhone, however formatted, just wouldn’t be able to offer this ability to ensure tracking isn’t an option," says Moore. "The security of an iPhone is impressive enough for the normal user, but with threats such as Pegasus around periodically it makes it difficult for a spy to use one securely and confidently.”

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I didn't sleep well, again, last night.

And my strategy, after lying in bed for a while without any signs of sleepiness, is to put on earphones, set a sleep timer, and listen to BBC radio.

Except that this strategy failed last night.

Still awake after re-starting the sleep timer for quite a few times, I gave up.


There are certain things I shouldn't be worried about, because I can tolerate the worst case scenario. There are other things I shouldn't be worried about, because I can't neither control nor influence the outcome.

I still worry though.


Thanks for reading.

The Identifying-Rides Edition Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Apple’s Wearable Update Is One For Cyclists To Watch, by Alice Clarke, Sydney Morning Herald

Julz Arney, director of fitness for health technologies at Apple, is an avid cyclist herself, and said that knowing when to start and stop a cycling workout wasn’t just a matter of copy-pasting the code from the similar running feature.

“Advanced algorithms analyse data from the GPS, heart rate, accelerometer and gyroscope to identify when you’re riding a bike,” she said.

How Apple Made The iPhone 13 Camera For TikTok Obsessives And Oscar Winners, by Robert Leedham, GQ

In practice, little about the iPhone’s camera is supposed to be esoteric, with almost all the behind-the-scenes trickery being done for you with a press of its shutter button. “Collect your iPhone, take the photo and don’t get lost in questions like ‘Is there enough light?’ or ‘Do I need to go into settings?’” says McCormack.

Apple Says The iPad Mini’s Jelly Scrolling Isn’t A Problem That Needs To Be Fixed, by Mitchell Clark, The Verge

Apple is correct in stating this effect is common in LCD displays. It’s very possible that the screen you’re reading this on right now would display the same effect if you loaded up a webpage that tests for it — my laptop shows it quite strongly. The reason it sticks out on the iPad Mini, though, is that it’s frequently used in alignments where the problem is most apparent — it’s not likely to be an issue on a landscape display where you’re scrolling vertically.

On Security

Apple Airtag Bug Enables ‘Good Samaritan’ Attack, by Krebs on Security

The new $30 Airtag tracking device from Apple has a feature that allows anyone who finds one of these tiny location beacons to scan it with a mobile phone and discover its owner’s phone number if the Airtag has been set to lost mode. But according to new research, this same feature can be abused to redirect the Good Samaritan to an iCloud phishing page — or to any other malicious website.

AirTags Can Be Weaponized By Injecting Code; Apple Says Fix On The Way, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple says that it does plan a fix, but no date is known, so for now, this vulnerability remains. If you do find an AirTag, note that no login is required to report it.

Coming Soon

Latest macOS Monterey Beta Shows Apple Still Working On ‘High Power’ Mode To Boost MacBook Performance, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

9to5Mac has now found references to a new “High Power Mode” added to macOS Monterey beta 8, which was released to developers earlier today. While “Low Power Mode” already exists and reduces the performance of Mac laptops to save battery life, “High Power Mode” is expected to do the opposite by letting users run apps at full performance even when the Mac is not connected to the power.


Apple Updates Pages, Numbers, And Keynote With New Features For iOS 15 And macOS Monterey, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple says Keynote now offers an option to show a live camera view of the presenter directly in slides across the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. In addition, Pages now automatically displays text and images in a single-column flow that is optimized for the iPhone, and Numbers introduces pivot tables for data analytics across the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Some iPhone 13 Users Reporting Intermittent Touch Issues, Older Models Also Affected After Updating To iOS 15, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Some new iPhone 13 users are reporting intermittent touch issues on their new devices, a phenomenon where the iPhone does not respond to touch inputs by the user, sometimes requiring an entire device force restart to solve, or in other cases, repeated taps to trigger the system to react.

The Best Drawing Apps For Every Kind Of iPad Artist, by Jess Grey, Wired

There's just something uniquely intuitive about the pairing of the Pencil and Pro that makes me want to draw, sketch, paint, and take handwritten notes. And I'm not alone. The app ecosystem that sprung up around the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro is growing fast as more and more professional graphic artists ditch Wacom and Windows for Apple and iPadOS. If you're an aspiring digital artist, or a seasoned pro looking to make the leap, here are the apps you should try.

CARROT Weather 5.4: XL Widgets, Time Sensitive Notifications, Complication Customization, Themes, Icons, And More, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The update takes advantage of new iOS and iPadOS 15 features and continues to put more control in the hands of users with new customization options, themes, and icons.

CapCut, by Jordan Minor, PC Magazine

This free video editing app lets you create surprisingly robust little movies on your mobile device. It’s great for when 30 seconds just isn’t enough for your online filmmaking dreams.


I Tried Using A Time-Tracking App To Work Less, by Mia Armstrong, Slate

My time-tracker app is a personal intervention, not a systemic one. At first, I felt it incentivizing me to work more, to push my already work-obsessed tendencies to their limit. But as I’ve continued to use it, I’ve started to see it less as an enemy and more as a yardstick—what it’s meant to be, I suppose. Sometimes, I find within it permission to take a break. Other times I don’t. Time ticks on.


Apple, Google Asked To Turn In S.Korea Compliance Plans By mid-October, by Joyce Lee, Reuters

Apple and Alphabet's Google have been asked to turn in by mid-October compliance plans for a new South Korean law that bans major app store operators from forcing software developers to use their payment systems, a regulatory official said on Wednesday.

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Maybe I lower my expectation on everything, including myself, maybe I will feel less tired? Maybe I should just let go?

If things work out, great. If things doesn't work out, fine. If things turn bad, maybe I'll only panic then?


Thanks for reading.

The Still-Investigating Edition Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Apple 'Still Investigating' Unpatched And Public iPhone Vulnerabilities, by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Motherboard

"We saw your blog post regarding this issue and your other reports. We apologize for the delay in responding to you," an Apple employee wrote. "We want to let you know that we are still investigating these issues and how we can address them to protect customers. Thank you again for taking the time to report these issues to us, we appreciate your assistance. Please let us know if you have any questions."


But the way Apple handled this whole process, given that its bug bounty program is more than five years old, "is not normal and should not be considered normal," according to Katie Moussouris, a cybersecurity expert who essentially invented the concept of bug bounties more than 10 years ago while she was at Microsoft.

iPad Mini 2021 Review: A Little Different, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

The iPad Mini is not just a small iPad. Even though the change in screen size doesn’t change how the software works (to its detriment), it does change how you use the software. That’s why it’s great for me — and it’s why my advice to anybody considering one is to think about whether or not it would truly be great for them.

iPad Mini 6 Has A Neat Orientation Trick For Those Relocated Volume Buttons, by Zac Hall , 9to5Mac

Volume buttons are no longer mapped to increasing and decreasing volume. Instead, volume up is triggered by whichever volume button is on top of the other and vice versa. That’s a clever trick for a full-screen tablet that can be used correctly in any orientation.


Apple Teams With A-Cold-Wall On Gorgeous Beats Studio3 Headphones, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

Apple on Monday revealed a new partnership with fashion company A-Cold-Wall* in the form of new Beats Studio3 Wireless Limited Edition headphones. Beats by Dr. Dre, the Apple-own company behind Beats gear, has partnered with the streetwear company to produce the Studio3 headphone in a special colorway.

Apple Increases Price Of Beats Flex Headphones From $50 To $70, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today increased the price of its Beats Flex headphones from $49.99 to $69.99, a pricing shift that is likely due to chip shortages and supply chain constraints that have raised the costs of components like the W1 chip.

Safari Extensions For iOS And iPadOS 15: A Roundup Of Our Favorites, by John Voorhees, MacStories

With the introduction of iOS and iPadOS 15, Apple has created an entirely new class of utility app on the App Store: Safari web extensions. Mac users have enjoyed extensions for years. However, for iPhone and iPad users, they’re brand new and promise to make Safari more useful than ever by opening up new power-user functionality that extends Safari in ways that Apple hasn’t.

How You Can Lose A File Despite Three Layers Of Backup (And How To Avoid It), by Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS

So how did I manage to lose data despite these three backup systems? My colleague shared the file with me by adding it to a shared Dropbox folder. It was properly synced across in Dropbox since it was copied to my computer. But then I edited it right away, causing both Backblaze and Time Machine to back up only the version I had edited heavily, not the original.


Apple Reminds Developers To Update Their Apps For The New iPad Mini’s Display, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Following the official launch of the iPad mini 6 last Friday, Apple is today reminding developers to get their apps ready for the new iPad mini’s 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display. Due to the new size and resolution, some apps may not run in full screen until they are updated.


Why Does The iPhone Still Use Lightning?, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

But, if the iPhones 13 had switched to USB-C, you know who would have complained? Hundreds of millions of existing iPhone users who have no interest in replacing the Lightning cables and docks they already own.

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I think I realize my problem with figuring how to set my Focus modes. I'm still thinking of two different modes: one mode where I am in currently, where I work from home, and seldom goes out. The other mode is where life is 'normal', where I go to office and eat lunches outside. The problem I've had is how to create the different Focuses for the two different modes.

And then I realize maybe I should just focus on the current mode. With all the tick-tocking between we-are-reopening-soon! to let's-do-one-small-u-turn-for-now, I don't think I even know what next month will be like. So I'm going to ignore that... for now.


Thanks for reading.

The Pause-and-Breathe Edition Monday, September 27, 2021

Fitness+ Gains Pilates And Guided Meditation Workouts, Including New 'Workouts To Get Ready For Snow Season', by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Apple today added Guided Meditations and Pilates to Apple Fitness+, expanding the existing catalog of workout types already available on the service ahead of a significant expansion of 15+ additional countries later this year.

New To Meditation? Let Apple Fitness+ Guide Your Wellness Journey, by Jessica Campbell, Australian Women's Health

Meditation might once have been relegated to the periphery, a practice adored by man bun-sporting individuals and those tapped into the trajectory of their rising moon astrological phase, but in recent years it’s since come to dominate the world of wellness - and for good reason. Where in the past we placed greater emphasis on workouts that promised a physical transformation, our priorities have since shifted. Now, we understand that wellness isn’t just the consideration of the external; that to truly embody the word we need to be finely attuned with our mind. Just like we exercise our bodies, the daily ritual of mindful meditation has become a staple for so many around the world and in our fast-paced lives that grant such little opportunity to take stock of the present moment, pause and breathe deeply, meditation has become a salve - not just for lockdown, but for times of stress and uncertainty. Now, Apple Fitness+ are bringing the benefits of meditation to you.

My Love-hate Relationship With The Apple Watch Is Turning To Hate, by Lisa Schmeiser, Tom's Guide

To give the infernal application-plus-watch duo some credit: it is good for developing a habit. The issue I have is that it's terrible for maintaining habits. The Fitness app is designed around rewarding a few core behaviors that do not, in any way, reflect the complicated realities of people who live in actual human bodies.


Apple To Fix Issue Preventing iPhone 13 Users From Unlocking With Apple Watch In Upcoming Software Update, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

In a support document, Apple said affected users can turn off Unlock with Apple Watch and use their passcode to unlock their iPhone 13 until the software update is released. The feature, which is designed to let you unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask or ski goggles, can be toggled off in the Settings app under Face ID & Passcode.

Face ID Stops Working If You Replace The iPhone 13 Screen With Third-party Repair, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Phone Repair Guru shows in a new video that although it’s easier to replace some screen components, once the user needs to get a new screen, they’ll probably need to go to Apple or an authorized center to get the iPhone fixed.

Spotify Overheats iPhones On iOS 15, Rapidly Drains Battery, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Music streaming service Spotify has confirmed iPhone user complaints that its app drains around 30% battery per hour of streaming.

Exceptionally high battery drain, also making iPhones run hot, are being reported by Spotify users who have upgrade from iOS 14.8 to iOS 15. The company says it is investigating.


I Just Don’t Want To Be Busy Anymore, by Elena Salaks, Medium

Once I accepted that yes, maybe I really am feeling this burnout thing everyone is talking about; I knew I had to be intentional in making a change around things that were giving me chronic stress.

Here’s what I did.


Many Apple, Tesla Suppliers Halt Production In China Amid Power Pinch, by Kanishka Singh, Ben Blanchard and Yimou Lee, Retuers

The temporary stop to production by the companies puts supply-chain continuity at risk during a peak season for electronics goods including the latest iPhones.

Think Different: Apple's Alisha Johnson, by Mia Uzzell, Grazia

While government leadership wrestles with the natural ebb and flow of policy perspective, Johnson says businesses are now arising as major stalwarts in mobilizing the execution of policy initiatives. “You need businesses that are proactive, that are continuing to push forward, and really view it as a priority—not just as a PR statement but in the execution of their work,” she explains. Johnson’s transition from the federal and private sector to Apple was more than a longitudinal move for her career. For her, the tech giant’s nonperformative commitment to equity cemented the shift.

Apple To Open Developer Academy In South Korea To Avoid KFTC Fine, by Cho Mu-Hyun, ZDNet

Cupertino will open the academy at Pohang University of Science and Technology next year in Spring. The company has opened 12 such academies so far, with the first one being opened in Brazil back in 2013.

Apple will also open its first manufacturing R&D support centre at the institute, which will also start operating next year.

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As we move on towards the third year, are there bucket lists being emptied out and replaced with simplier stuff? Are we downsizing to smaller but even more personal bucket sizes?

Will we be recognized as a pandemic generation? Can others tell? Are our scars obvious?


Thanks for reading.

The Phone-on-a-Break Edition Sunday, September 26, 2021

If You’ve Got 15 Minutes, Here Are 6 More Productive Ways To Spend Time On Your Phone, by Elisa Silverman—Zapier, Fast Company

When I would take a proper break, too often I found myself doomscrolling through news or social media on my phone. Hardly the most energizing or invigorating experience.

We don’t need to hide our phones during a break. We just need mobile break options that improve our state of mind—not bring us down. With a lot of personal trial and error, I’ve found six different ways to use my phone on a break, each one that refreshes me, clears my head, and re-energizes me.

How To Easily Automate Your Tasks: 5 Useful Tools, by Sadaf Tanzeem, MakeUseOf

You spend hours doing everyday tasks at your workplace. You think that's the part of your job. But what if it could be done on its own, and you could invest your essential time in creative thinking or solving other major problems? Wouldn't that be great?


iPad Mini 6 Exhibits 'Jelly Scrolling' Display Refresh Issue, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Colloquially referred to as ‘jelly scrolling’, it seems that one side of the iPad mini display is refreshing slower than the other side, which appears as a noticeable wobble effect down the middle of the screen when content is moving quickly — like scrolling a web page.

The Best Siri Easter Eggs: How Apple’s Voice Assistant Can Entertain You, by Carrie Marshall, TechRadar

Sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of fun, and Siri can help here too. There are lots of Easter eggs in Siri’s code that are there for no other reason than to make you smile. Here are some of our favorites, although there are plenty more for you to discover.


Apple Tells Developers How To Use 120Hz ProMotion For iPhone 13 Pro, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

The page explains that developers can set animations to work at higher or lower refresh rates, and how to do it. While some framework animation features can handle frame pacing for developers, such as UIKit and SpriteKit, developers can take advantage of CADisplayLink to specify the timing for an animation.

As part of the documentation, it also confirms there is a greater array of refresh rates available o the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, compared to the iPad Pro.

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It is encouraging that there is still a iPad mini and a Mac mini. I'm disappionted that there isn't a MacBook mini and, if the rumors are true, soon there will not be an iPhone mini either.


Thanks for reading.

The Innovation-and-Collaboration Edition Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Real Stakes Of Apple’s Battle Over Remote Work, by Shirin Ghaffary and Rani Molla, Vox

For now, despite a year and a half forced experiment of working from home, we don’t know how remote work will affect things like innovation and collaboration in the long term. Companies are still trying to quantify the full impacts of remote work and trying different approaches to make it better. It’s an ongoing challenge, and how Apple responds — either by trying to bring its creativity to bear on remote work or by rejecting it outright — could have lasting influence on what remote work ends up looking like for everyone else.

Apple Says An Issue Is Preventing Some Animations From Using High Refresh Rates On The iPhone 13 Pros, by Jay Peters, The Verge

One reason is that developers will need to update their apps to declare that they use the higher refresh rate. This can be done by adding an entry to the app’s plist, Apple tells The Verge, and the company says it plans to share documentation about the entry you need to add soon. But in some cases, animations built with the company’s Core Animation technology are also affected by an issue that will be fixed in an upcoming software update, Apple says.

Three iOS 0-days Revealed By Researcher Frustrated With Apple’s Bug Bounty, by Jim Salter, Ars Technica

Yesterday, a security researcher who goes by illusionofchaos dropped public notice of three zero-day vulnerabilities in Apple's iOS mobile operating system. The vulnerability disclosures are mixed in with the researcher's frustration with Apple's Security Bounty program, which illusionofchaos says chose to cover up an earlier-reported bug without giving them credit.


As More Workers Go Solo, The Software Stack Is The New Firm, by Seema Amble, D’Arcy Coolican, and Alex Rampell, Future

Creator economy is a buzzy, often catchall term used to describe independent contractors. But in reality, most of the innovation has revolved around passion-project content (Substack for writing, Teachable for courses, etc.) and niche side projects. To date, “creator” tools have largely been quasi-horizontal, designed to serve broad categories of largely creative pursuits: writing, podcasting, course creation, and the like.

Lost in all this talk of digital nomads and side gigs, however, are the masses of independent professionals who are working on their own and making a living, but not necessarily pursuing their creative passions. Not everyone’s talents lay in the creator class. A lawyer, a recruiter, or even a venture capitalist may not recognize themselves in this new creator economy, but since the onset of the pandemic they are “going solo” — performing the work of existing professions without the infrastructure of a firm — at an astounding clip.


Apple Claimed It Had Less Than 20 Million TV+ Subscribers In July, Showbiz Union Says, by Kif Leswing, CNBC

Apple claimed its TV+ service had less than 20 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada as of July, allowing it to pay behind-the-scenes production crew lower rates than streamers with more subscriptions, according to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a union that represents TV and movie workers who perform jobs like operating cameras and building sets.

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After upgrading to iOS 15, I have to give permission to every one of my shortcuts again before my iPhone decides to run them.


"You live, you die, you're done. Good night."

Thanks for reading.

The Cinematography-Techniques Edition Friday, September 24, 2021

Apple Stores Start Selling New iPhones, iPads Worldwide, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

The first preorders for the iPhone 13 range, the iPad mini 6, and the new ninth-generation iPad, are being delivered to customers today. At the same time, Apple Stores around the world have stocks, in some cases including ones of models like the iPhone 13 Pro Max which are now backordered online.

How Apple Built The iPhone 13 Pro’s Cinematic Mode, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

Drance says that before development began, Apple’s design team spent time researching cinematography techniques for realistic focus transitions and optical characteristics.

“When you look at the design process,” says Manzari, “we begin with a deep reverence and respect for image and filmmaking through history. We’re fascinated with questions like what principles of image and filmmaking are timeless? What craft has endured culturally and why?”

iPadOS 15 Ruined My iPad’s Homescreen, by Chris Welch, The Verge

For me, widgets aren’t worth the homescreen looking different based on how I’m holding my iPad.

On Privacy

When You ‘Ask App Not To Track,’ Some iPhone Apps Keep Snooping Anyway, by Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post

But something curious happens after you ask not to be tracked, according to an investigation by researchers at privacy software maker Lockdown and The Washington Post. Subway Surfers starts sending an outside ad company called Chartboost 29 very specific data points about your iPhone, including your Internet address, your free storage, your current volume level (to 3 decimal points) and even your battery level (to 15 decimal points). It’s the kind of unique data that could be used by advertisers to identify your iPhone, possibly letting them know what other apps you use or how to target you.

In other words, it’s sidestepping your request to be left alone. You can’t stop it. And your privacy is worse off for it.


Apple Releases iOS 12.5.5 And Security Update 2021-006 For Catalina To Block Exploited Vulnerabilities, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

If you’re still running either of these older operating systems, you should update immediately.

Apple Warns That Restoring From Backup Can Cause Apple Music Bug On New iPads And iPhone 13 Models, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

To fix this issue, Apple says that the devices must be updated, which can be done by going to Settings > General > Software Update.

iOS 15 Breaks Siri AirPods Pro Controls, Fix Coming In iOS 15.1, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

A bug in iOS 15 is preventing some AirPods Pro owners from using Siri to control the Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency features, but it appears to be fixed in the iOS 15.1 beta.

Center Stage Keeps You In The Video Chat Frame, by Julio Ojeda-Zapata, TidBITS

iPads, for all their power, have long been subpar video chat devices, and lack of auto framing is one reason. There are others, and I’ll get to those later.

Apple has now leveled the playing field when it comes to auto framing, and then some, with a feature called Center Stage.


Upcoming 14-Inch And 16-Inch MacBook Pro Display Resolutions Likely Revealed In Latest macOS Monterey Beta, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

The two new display resolutions are listed as “3456 x 2234 Retina” and “3024 x 1964 Retina” and do not correspond to resolutions of the built-in displays on any current or previous Apple products.

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I have updated to iOS 15 on my iPhone. So far, so good. No devices have been bricked yet. :-)

I still haven't figure out what kind of Focus I want. The part that I tripped over myself when thinking about this is that my brain is still thinking of apps to exclude from notification, whereas Apple's Focus feature works by thinking of apps to include.

And I also want to make sure I still get notified if my servers start to melt down.


Here in Singapore, we have another u-turn again: Group size for dining out and social interactions have been reduced from 5 down to 2.


Thanks for reading.

The Small-Hands-and-Good-Eyesight Edition Thursday, September 23, 2021

iPad Mini (2021) Review: Small Packages, by Jason Snell, six Colors

Why does the iPad mini exist? Let me count the ways. It’s for kids, people with small hands and good eyesight, people who want a pocketable(-ish) iOS device that doesn’t compromise on features, claustrophobic spaces, readers… in fact, I probably can’t count as high as there are uses for the iPad mini. Like its edge-case cousin, the Mac mini, it serves a multitude of purposes because it just fits them better—figuratively or literally.

Also like the Mac mini, the iPad mini tends to go a few years between revisions, so it’s vital that Apple not skip on features when it’s time for an upgrade. I’m happy to report that the 2021 iPad mini is thoroughly a modern iPad, more advanced than the 2020 iPad Air, which itself is basically a smaller iPad Pro. The iPad mini is not for everyone, but for everyone who loves it, this new model is pretty much everything they’d ever want it to be.

Apple's iPad Mini Proves That One Size Doesn't Fit All, by Brenda Stolyar, Wired

That's not to say the sixth-generation iPad Mini isn't excellent—it is—but for $499, it’s more expensive than any Mini that came before. I strongly suggest evaluating how this Mini will fit into your life before it ends up as yet another screen in your household. It has the potential to do anything and everything, but it's probably not going to replace your phone, laptop, heck, even your notebook just yet.

Thousands of Micro Improvements

iPhone 13 Pro Camera Review: Tanzania, by Austin Mann

This photo is among my favorites from this project for a few reasons. For starters, this male adult leopard was laying in the baobob tree for two hours before he started moving around and by the time he finally stood up the light was waning and had shifted making the scene much more challenging to shoot.


To me, this image beautifully illustrates the hundreds if not thousands of micro improvements in the iPhone camera system over the years… some obvious ones like extended 77mm focal length, HDR light balancing and the larger sensor but also more subtle advancements like semantic rendering, Deep Fusion and Focus Pixels.

iPhone 13 Cinematic Mode Video Shot On The Street With No Extra Equipment, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Videographer Jonathan Morrison took a very different approach when he created a music video for singer Julia Wolf. It was shot on the street using the iPhone 13 Pro – and absolutely nothing else, not even a gimbal.

Where You Saw It Last

Inside The iPhone Leather Wallet (Second Generation), by Jason Snell, Six Colors

No, it doesn’t make the wallet into an AirTag—if your wallet falls off your phone and then someone comes and picks it up, you can’t locate it. But it will warn you if your wallet comes detached, and it will tell you the most important thing you need to know when you need to find a lost object: where you (or your iPhone) saw it last.

Where Reading Is Going

Spotify For Readers: How Tech Is Inventing Better Ways To Read The Internet, by David Pierce, Protocol

But if you really want to understand where reading is going, you have to talk about Spotify. The big green music app is the analog nearly everyone in the space seems to turn to for guidance. Springwater mentioned Spotify early and often in our conversations. So did Jeroen Seghers, the founder of an app called Upnext that aims to offer this kind of experience for articles as well as podcasts and videos.

After all, what does Spotify do? It takes a corpus of stuff (music) and finds endless new ways to show it to users. Users can save the stuff they know they like (a library), explore things curated by other users (playlists) or turn to the app's machine-learning tools for ultra-personalized recommendations (Discover Weekly and the like).

So now imagine a reading app.

On App Stores

Apple Bans Fortnite Until Appeals Are Exhausted In Lawsuit, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple sent a letter to Epic Tuesday saying that it “will not consider any further requests for reinstatement until the district court’s judgment becomes final and nonappealable.” The letter, sent to Epic’s lawyers from a firm representing Apple, was published on Twitter by Epic Chief Executive Officer Tim Sweeney. That process could take five years, he said.

Epic’s Sum Of Apple’s Fears, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish

“Wait a minute, that $2.5T company won’t let the game developer back in the App Store even after they lost the lawsuit, paid the fine, and agreed to their demands?!” Apple will take issue with the latter point, but it doesn’t matter. That’s too in the weeds. The headlines are already saying exactly what Epic might want them to say, if you believe Epic is playing the game I believe Epic may be playing.

Apple Will Not Reinstate Epic’s Fortnite Developer Account, But Epic’s Other Developer Accounts Remain Active, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

My understanding is that none of those accounts are affected by Apple’s decision not to reinstate the Fortnite developer account. Those accounts have been operational throughout this legal dispute, and I believe will continue to be — by Apple’s choice.


The A15 Is Plenty Fast, But Its True Power Is Versatility, by Jason Snell, MacWorld

Apple is making one chip but using it in three different ways, and while some aspects of the A15 upgrade aren’t particularly exciting, others are quite impressive.

In A Setback For Apple, The European Union Seeks A Common Charger For All Phones., by Elian Peltier, New York Times

The move would mostly affect Apple products, which use a different port for its iPhones.

The new legislation is likely to come into effect in 2024 because it first needs to be approved by the European Parliament and then adopted by manufacturers. Besides phones, it would apply to cameras, headphones, portable speakers and video game consoles.

Tim Cook Says Employees Who Leak Memos Do Not Belong At Apple, According To Leaked Memo, by Zoe Schiffer, The Verge

Tim Cook sent an email to Apple employees Tuesday evening about an all-hands meeting that leaked to The Verge last week. He said the company is doing “everything in our power to identify those who leaked” and noted that “people who leak confidential information do not belong” at Apple.

Apple Store Workers To Get Bonuses Of Up To $1,000 In Rare Move, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The bonuses were presented to retail workers as a recognition of the difficulty working through the pandemic. Since Covid-19 struck in 2020, Apple stores around the world closed and reopened multiple times -- and thousands of workers were given online sales roles while physical locations were shuttered. Retail employees were still paid as normal when stores were closed.

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Within the span of an hour, my Mac temporarily lost all Bluetooth connections while I was on a Teams meeting, and then later, my iPhone temporarily lost all Bluetooth connection while I was listening to my Favorites playlist.

I hope this is not some kind of omen, seeing that Apple is poised to introduce AirPods 3. (On both incidents, I was listening via my AirPods 2.)


Thanks for reading.

The Battery-Life-and-Camera Edition Wednesday, September 22, 2021

iPhone 13 Review: Yep, Bigger Batteries Are Better, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

I think it’s all too easy to look at the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini and not think much of the updates this year. Cameras get better every year and every company promises good battery life, after all. And compared to the massive changes we saw on the iPhone last year, the 13 looks iterative, more like an iPhone 12S than truly new models.

I won’t pretend that reading is totally wrong, but I also think it misses the point. Fancy new features are fun, but the fundamentals of battery life and camera are more important. Because if you focus on the fundamentals, your whole game gets better. And the iPhone 13 has got some good game.

iPhone 13 And 13 Mini Review: Time To Upgrade, by Lauren Goode, Wired

Some critics have said that this is an iterative year for the iPhone, and they’re not wrong. But this is what we expect from flagship smartphones now: support for 5G, super responsive displays, better battery life, desktop-grade processors, and cameras that put point-and-shoots to shame. The question for consumers is more about where they are in the upgrade cycle, and what kind of technology they can get in their pockets for a certain price. The iPhone 13 feels like a response to that question—and a good one, at that.

iPhone 13 Pro Review: A Better Display, The Best Camera, And Incredible Battery Life, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

The iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max are phones designed for people who care about the details. The improvements over last year’s iPhones are significant but not obvious at first glance.


Upgrading the battery, camera, and screen sounds like an iterative, yearly update; they sound like the so-called “S” updates that Apple used to do for iPhones before its naming schemes became unpredictable. And it is true that the design is virtually identical to that of last year’s iPhone 12 Pros. But those assumptions — those words — don’t quite do justice to how big the changes really are.

Apple's iPhone 13 Pro Is Oddly Light On Pro Features, by Julian Chokkattu, Wired

Slightly better gaming performance, a smoother and brighter display, along with more and better cameras: those are all valid reasons to jump for the Pro. Just know that, more than ever before, you're getting quite a bit with the non-Pro iPhones. And if that means saving a few hundred bucks you can spend on the more important things in life, especially in these difficult times, I'd say that's a win.

The iPhone 13 Pro Goes To Disneyland , by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

In my testing, most of Apple’s improvements actually had a visible impact on the quality of life of my trip, though in some cases not massive. Screen brightness, the longer telephoto and battery life were all bright spots.

Apple Says It Will Update iPhone 13 With Option To Disable Automatic Macro Photography Switching, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

The problem is if you just want to get close to a subject with your iPhone 13 but don’t want to activate macro photography, this is not possible as of right now.

iOS 15 Removes Do Not Disturb Option That Silenced Notifications Only When iPhone Was Locked, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

There is no equivalent setting in Focus Mode, so there’s no longer an option to receive notifications when the ‌iPhone‌ is unlocked and silence them when it’s not in use. With Focus Mode, it’s an all or nothing experience - notifications are being received, or they’re silenced in all situations.

Also Updated

watchOS 8: The MacStories Review, by Alex Guyot, MacStories

watchOS 8 has plenty of small iterative improvements, making it the best watchOS update to date. While I’m pleased that I can say that, I still wish I could shower it with praises for some bigger, more interesting new features. While it may be a mostly mature operating system, I still think it’s far from done. Time will tell, but hopefully Apple agrees.

Apple TV Gets 16 New Nature Themed Aerial Screen Savers With tvOS 15, by AppleInsider

Like past updates, the latest Aerials includes imagery of scenic landscapes, presented in dramatic high-resolution glory motion for maximum effect.

On Security

New macOS Zero-day Bug Lets Attackers Run Commands Remotely, by Sergiu Gatlan, BleepingComputer

The bug, found by independent security researcher Park Minchan, is due to the way macOS processes inetloc files which inadvertently causes it to run any commands embedded by an attacker inside without any warnings or prompts.


Apple's Claris Launches Smart Pack To Help K-12 Schools And Libraries Reduce Administrative Demands, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Apple subsidiary Claris has announced the release of CF Records Manager. It’s an app created to help K-12 schools and libraries meet the requirements of a new $7 billion federal program to support remote learning.

Bluebird Brings Together A Focus Timer And To-Do App To Help You Accomplish More, by Brent Dirks, AppAdvice

Combining a focus timer and to-do app, you’ll start by entering the app’s focus timer in one of three ways. You can set a timer and name the task you want to accomplish. When finished, the task will appear on a to-do list which celebrates the effort and makes it easy to start the same task again.

Google Apps Gain New Focus Mode On iOS 15, by Satsuki Then, SlashGear

With Focus mode, when users are trying to work using Google apps, notifications are made as relevant and timely as possible, meaning some notifications are muted. One example is when navigating using Google Maps. Google promises that Focus mode will still offer users notifications when they need to turn or if a change has occurred along the route.

Safari Keyword Search Hits 2.0, Comes To iOS, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

Safari Keyword Search is a little tool that allows you to define shortcuts for searching specific sites. For example, you could type “imdb George Clooney” to be taken directly to the IMDb search results for George Clooney, or “w iPhone 13” to go straight to the Wikipedia page for the iPhone 13.


Apple Is Working On iPhone Features To Help Detect Depression, Cognitive Decline, by Rolfe Winkler, Wall Street Journal

While prior academic studies have shown some evidence that people with certain mental-health conditions use their digital devices differently than others, it remains to be seen if reliable algorithms can be created to detect the conditions, according to researchers.

Proper diagnosis of mental-health conditions and brain disorders typically requires close observation by specialists, but many people have no access to such specialists. Researchers working with Apple hope their work leads to a widely available alternative.

Leaked Apple Training Videos Show How It Undermines Third- Party Repair, by Matthew Gault, Motherboard

iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens said the training videos marked a distinct change in how Apple handles independent repair. “It sounds to me like they’re coming to grips with reality,” Wiens told Motherboard. “This strikes me as the kind of thing they should have been doing all along—educating their technicians that there is competition in the market and that they need to compete on the quality and merit of their repair rather than the monopoly practices they’ve been using.”

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I didn't install any of the Apple's beta operating systems during the beta period, but I did keep up in reading about the whole Safari's redesign saga.

Then, today, I installed Safari 15 on my Big-Sur Mac.

Oh boy.

I don't know perhaps it's the newness (to me), but if Apple's goal is to reduce the chrome and make the web content stand out more, then it failed. My eyes kept being drawn to the tab-bar the entire day today.


Thanks for reading.

The Hodgepodge-of-Ideas Edition Tuesday, September 21, 2021

iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, And tvOS 15 Now Available, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Today is the day. Apple has released iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15. Apple’s servers will probably be slammed with all the traffic, and there may be first-day bugs. If you’re the sort who installs new operating systems right away, go ahead—the betas have been pretty stable—but we recommend that most people wait at least a week or two. If you’re particularly upgrade-shy, Apple for the first time is allowing users to stick with iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, which will continue to receive security updates. Nevertheless, we always recommend upgrading eventually, when it’s convenient and sensible for you.

Review: iOS 15 Does A Lot With A Little, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

So it is with iOS 15, a release that appears with at least one of its most touted features, SharePlay, delayed until later this year, and another impressive piece of functionality—Universal Control—demoed but never even present in the betas. What’s left is a hodgepodge of interesting ideas and occasionally misguided attempts to prescribe how people should use their mobile devices. It’s an update that’s got a lot to recommend it, but that’s simultaneously tough to recommend, if only because it’s difficult to point to a single big feature that will make a huge difference in the life of the average user.

iOS 15 And iPadOS 15 Review: Foundational Fixes, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

As the saying goes, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, and 15 versions in, there’s not a lot left in iOS that needs to be fixed. There’s almost certainly going to be bigger iOS updates in the future, massive platform changes like iOS 7 or macOS High Sierra that rethink what the iPhone looks like and works like.

But those inflection points are few and far between, and the future of iOS updates will probably look more like iOS 15: smaller and subtler.

iOS And iPadOS 15: The MacStories Review, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

I don’t begrudge Apple for shipping OS updates that are smaller in scope and focused on quality-of-life improvements.

The time for big, bold new versions of iOS and iPadOS will come again. Until then, let’s cherish what we have; iOS and iPadOS 15 are solid, stable updates I recommend installing today.

iPadOS 15: A Closer Look, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

I’ll take my Quick Notes window, my Globe-key shortcuts, and my multitasking indicator, and I’ll like them. But I want more, and iPadOS is just not ready to deliver it.


Apple Has Updated Safari To Version 15.0 For Big Sur And Catalina, by Howard Oakley, Eclectic Light Company

Apple has released an update for Safari in Big Sur and Catalina, bringing it to version 15.0. This brings some of the new features coming in Monterey, including tab groups, redesigned tabs, a compact tab bar option, and automatic switching from HTTP connections to HTTPS where they’re available.

Apple's iMovie And Clips Updated With Support For Cinematic Mode, ProRes, by AppleInsider

With today's update, iMovie nets support for importing and editing video captured in Cinematic mode on iPhone 13. Users can add, adjust and delete focus points in Cinematic mode footage to change the depth of field effect created by the feature.

1Password Releases Safari Extension For iOS 15 And iPadOS 15, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

With iOS and ‌iPadOS 15‌, Apple allows Safari extensions developers to release their previously exclusive Safari for Mac extensions to the ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌, allowing users to use extensions on all of their devices. 1Password was one of the first to tease support earlier in June, and with its latest App Store update today, it’s bringing it to all users.

Carrot Weather Ready For iOS 15 With XL iPad Widgets, Themes, And Much More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Headlining the release are themes and SF icon sets to further customize your experience, XL iPad widgets including forecast and maps, time-sensitive and critical Notifications, and much more.

Popular DJing App Djay Becomes One Of First Apps To Integrate Shazam On iOS 15, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Once a song has been identified, djay instantly loads it onto the virtual decks and plays the audio in sync with the external music source. The app’s Automix feature can then create a mix with similar tracks. djay also saves previously identified songs to users’ Shazam history in Control Center on iOS 15.

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I've installed iPadOS 15 on my iPad. The iPad is still working. No first-day bugs that bricked my device or anything. Everything is fine.

I was surprised to find the little "x" close button moved from the left to the right in Safari. Even though, yes, I've read about it already.


Thanks for reading.

The Later-This-Fall Edition Monday, September 20, 2021

Apple Highlights Additional iOS 15 Features, Such As Dual-SIM Phone Number Switching In iMessage Conversations, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple said iOS 15 allows users to seamlessly switch between phone numbers in the middle of an iMessage conversation on an iPhone with Dual SIM support, including the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, and newer.

Apple Says Find My Network Support For AirPods Delayed Until Later This Fall, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple recently updated its iOS 15 features page to indicate that Find My network support for AirPods Pro and AirPods Max has been delayed until “later this fall,” implying that the feature will not be available with the initial release of iOS 15.

On Health

Can Apps Manage Our Chronic Health Conditions?, by Maddy Savage, BBC

From stumbling slowly out of bed, to doing active weights classes at the gym, Ewa-Lena Rasmusson's mobility has transformed during the pandemic.

The 55-year-old, from Stockholm, says it's all thanks to a Swedish app that uses artificial intelligence to create bespoke exercise plans designed to help alleviate joint pain.


The Best Hiking Apps To Keep From Getting Lost, by Arielle Pardes, Wired

Ah, the great outdoors. The flora, the fauna, the welcome mystery of the open trail stretched before you. You’ve left it all behind, until … Wait. Where’s the map? Did you mean to turn left back at that fork? What direction is the campsite anyway? Is it starting to get dark? Don't lose yourself out there. Download one of these trail-mapping hiking apps to make sure you can always find your way, whether you have cell service or not.

Belkin SoundForm Connect Can Add Apple AirPlay To Any Audio Device, by Mark Sparrow, Forbes

Despite the low output levels, the sound quality from the Belkin SoundForm Connect is great, even when using the analog output.

Ikea's $40 Hidden Wireless Charger Will Recharge Your iPhone Through Your Desk, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Ikea has introduced Sjomarke, a Qi-compatible charger that can turn desks and shelves into a wireless charging point, by being secretly installed underneath the surface.


Apple Joins Streaming Elite, Netflix Crosses Milestone With Emmy Wins, by Lisa Richwine, Reuters

The honors give the streaming services new bragging rights they can use to promote their offerings in the hard-fought battle for audiences who are ditching traditional TV and searching for quality entertainment online.

"Ted Lasso" won seven awards overall for Apple TV+, the streaming service that the iPhone maker launched two years ago. Jason Sudeikis took home best comedy actor for his starring role as an upbeat American coach trying to rally a struggling soccer team in Britain.

How The Old Products Apple Keeps Around Are Crucial To Its Success, by Dan Moren, Macworld

Apple’s sales performance has been staggering in the last decade, and while we don’t know how these older devices impact the bottom line, they remain an important part of the company’s sales strategy nonetheless.

Tech Giants Quietly Buy Up Dozens Of Companies A Year. The Biden Administration Is Finally Noticing., by Gerrit De Vynck and Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post

While big acquisitions, like Amazon’s plans to purchase MGM, are the subject of press scrutiny and regulatory attention, hundreds of other purchases fly under the radar because of financial market guidelines and antitrust laws, which only require companies to disclose their largest deals. As they seek to take on tech titans’ power, regulators are increasingly paying attention to how tech companies gobble up smaller potential competitors before they have a chance to develop enough to provide consumers with serious alternatives.

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Here's my plan. I know I will give in to the temptation, so I'm going to install the new operating system for my iPad first, maybe on one of the upcoming weeknights. Partly I don't use my iPad for any 'essential services', so I can afford the risks of being one of the early adopters. Partly also because Apple's operating system updates had been quite uneventful lately -- no accidental erasure of hard disk or bricking of devices.

Then, if nothing goes wrong, I will find some time to install iOS 15 on my iPhone early this weekend, after I figure out what my initial Focus settings should be.


Thanks for reading.

The Wisdom-and-Judgement Edition Sunday, September 19, 2021

Apple CEO Tim Cook On What Technology Excites Him Most, by John Simons, Time

Cook played a starring role in App Store courtroom proceedings, defending the company on the witness stand, in part by arguing that Apple excludes rival app stores from the iPhone not to garner additional revenue, but to ensure user security. “We’re not thinking about the money at all, we’re thinking about the user,” he told the judge in an Oakland, Calif., courtroom in May.

Those words—“…not thinking about the money”—would surely illicit groans and eye-rolls coming from any other millionaire CEO, but uttered by Cook, with a good dose of serene Southern charm, they have potential to melt anyone’s icy skepticism. In our 2021 TIME100 issue, Phil Knight, co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike, confirms that the Cook we see in public is the same man behind boardroom doors. Knight praises Cook’s wisdom and good judgement, writing: “What separates the good from the great are intangibles such as character, compassion, courage—adjectives that apply to Tim.”

I Finally Signing Up For Apple Fitness Plus Because Of This One New Feature, by Katie Mortram, Tom's Guide

Meditation is something I try to find time for everyday. We live in a hectic world and with the constant speed and pressure that comes with it, we all need to take time out to pause and calm ourselves. It’s arguably as important as exercise considering it improves your overall well-being, and it’s great to see Apple has recognized that.

BirdNET App Is A Game-changer For Bird Research, by Sneed B. Collard III, BirdWatching

I pull out my phone, punch a couple of buttons, and record a short snippet of sound. Then I press “Analyze.” After a delay of several seconds, two species’ names appear. The first is Cedar Waxwing. That doesn’t surprise me since I can look up and see six of them perched in a tree. The second name does surprise me: Yellow-rumped Warbler. I haven’t been able to detect that one, but now that I’m alerted to its presence, I listen specifically for it and — shazam — its sweet spring song quickly penetrates my awareness. The discovery puts a bounce in my step, and not just because I’ve heard the warbler. It’s because I feel myself standing at the threshold of dramatically new birding possibilities.

Castlevania Composer On Returning To Her ‘Masterpiece’ With New Apple Arcade Game, by Andrew Webster, The Verge

Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls isn’t just the long-awaited return of the vampire-whipping series. It also marks the return of some big names, including character designer Ayami Kojima and composer Michiru Yamane, who left Konami in 2008.


iPad Mini 6 Shipping Estimates Begin Slipping Into October And November, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

The iPad mini 6 pre-orders opened just after the “California Streaming” event, with the first orders arriving on September 24. If you waited until today to try to pre-order one by next week, you’ll probably need to wait at least the second half October to receive it from the Apple Online Store.

How To Use Taptic Time On The Apple Watch, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

A relatively underused feature of the Apple Watch, Taptic Time enables you to actually feel what the time is at that moment. Instead of noise or using the display, it instead employs the Taptic Engine of the Apple Watch to vibrate on your wrist.

Take Your iPhone Movies To The Next Level With The Shiftcam ProGrip, by Alistair Campbell, Digital Camera World

The minimalistic but thoroughly thought-out design of the new ProGrip by Shiftcam will have you instantly feeling like a pro shooter the next time you're creating movies with you iPhone, and better still; you'll now never run our of juice with its built in powerbank which will wirelessly charge your phone leaving you to concentrate on great content creation.


Why You Need A Personal Laptop, by Monica Chin, The Verge

The prospect of using your work laptop as your only laptop — not just for work, but also for Netflixing, group chat messaging, reading fanfiction, paying bills, and emailing recipes to your mom — is understandably tempting, especially for folks who work from home. Keeping work tasks and personal tasks in one place may feel like an easy way to simplify your life, and it might save space on your desk. Most of all, it may seem like a good cost-saving measure.

But I’m here to be the bearer of bad news: Don’t do that. Please, I’m begging you, don’t do that.

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What I am looking forward in the new operating systems:

Focus: I have no idea how I want to configure my devices yet, but I really hope this will make the notification system better for my mental health.

Shortcuts on Mac: Currently, I am mostly using Shortcuts on iPhone to launch apps and play audio, but I think I will be able to do more things on my Mac with Shortcuts. And, who knows, maybe I can also start getting more of the things I do available on my iPhone and iPad too.

Widgets and App Library on iPad: Finally!


Thanks for reading.

The Slip-into-October Edition Saturday, September 18, 2021

Where Apple Sees The Future Of Streaming, by Mihir Sharma, Bloomberg

Classical music is demanding on both reproduction and search. But that’s why classical music fans are who you should seek out if you want to figure out the future, as Apple has just done. Streaming, both audio and video, is going to come down to competition over metadata, quality (are all your movies available in 4K?) and discovery, not breadth of catalog or cost.

iPhone 13 Pro Shipping Estimates Slip Into October For Pre-orders, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

iPhone 13 pre-orders officially kicked off this morning, with some buyers faring better than others due to bugs affecting Apple Card, Apple Pay, and the iPhone Upgrade Program. Now, the availability of certain iPhone 13 models has started to slip into October.

Dealing with Regimes

Apple And Google Go Further Than Ever To Appease Russia, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

The human rights implications of tech companies' actions reverberate around the world. But there have been few easy answers about how to proceed in dealing with authoritarian regimes. And it seems unlikely that international companies will withdraw from established markets in protest of restrictive laws.

Apple Shut Down A Voting App In Russia. That Should Worry Everyone., by Rebecca Heilweil, Vox

Apple’s ambiguous commitment to protect its users’ civil liberties is especially concerning because the company still insists that it should control large swaths of the software available on the iPhone. While developers like Epic Games have been pushing back against this “walled garden” approach, Apple still manages to maintain wide-ranging discretion over what programs and apps run on its devices. But as recent events in Russia make clear, Apple’s tight control over its App Store can be abused by authoritarian governments.


Why The iPad 9 Is Still A Great Deal Despite Its Classic Design, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Now in its ninth generation, the regular iPad still doesn’t look like its more expensive siblings, but it has enough features for it to be the best option for some users.

Soulver Smart Calculator App For Mac Adds Support For Publishing To The Web, Stock Price Data, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

This week’s update to Soulver adds support for publishing sheets via the web, integration with live and historical stock rates and currencies, and much more.

3 Easy iPhone Photography Apps To Help Beginner Photographers, by Tina Bailey, MakeUseOf

Whether you need to change the focal point, master night photography, or take the perfect selfie, you'll find the tools you need in this list.

Overcast For iOS Adds Home Screen Widgets, CarPlay Upgrades, And More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Overcast’s widgets show an impressive amount of information, including episode cover art, titles, release date, and length. You can tap on any of the podcasts in the widgets to jump to that show and resume or begin playback.

Epic Ride Weather Review: One Of The Handiest Cycling Apps Just Got Better, by Ben Delaney, Velonews

The Epic Ride Weather app does just one thing, and it does it very well: it gives you detailed weather information for every point on your ride, including wind direction and wind speed.

These HomeKit Light Strips Feature A Unique ‘Paint Mode’ For Custom Lighting Options, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Different areas of the light strip can display their own color, brightness, and saturation. The Onvis app includes some presets like Music, Painting, and Twinkle, but you can create your own, so you have the perfect scene for any particular holiday or occasion.


Tim Cook Faces Surprising Employee Unrest At Apple, by Jack Nicas and Kellen Browning, New York Times

A common theme is that Apple’s secrecy has created a culture that discourages employees from speaking out about their workplace concerns — not with co-workers, not with the press and not on social media. Complaints about problematic managers or colleagues are frequently dismissed, and workers are afraid to criticize how the company does business, the employees who spoke to The Times said.

“Apple has this culture of secrecy that is toxic,” said Christine Dehus, who worked at Apple for five years and left in August. “On one hand, yes, I understand the secrecy piece is important for product security, to surprise and delight customers. But it bleeds into other areas of the culture where it is prohibitive and damaging.”

‘Button’: A Clothing Fastener Becomes A Virtual Trigger, by Ben ZImmer, Wall Street Journal

For now, “button” will keep doing semantic double-duty. But as Apple’s litigation continues, courts may seek to define the venerable old word for a new generation of button-pushers.

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I've had a dream last night that I was meeting someone at a hotel lobby and I was late and I can't find the hotel and I was running up and down the street... and I suddenly thought to myself: it didn't matter since this was only a dream. And then I woke up.


I've picked up where I left off in Xcode. Of course, I am so tempted to rewrite so many of the classes and structs.


Thanks for reading.

The Available-Memory Edition Friday, September 17, 2021

iPadOS 15 Allows Apps To Use Up To 12GB Of RAM On High-End iPad Pro, Up From Just 5GB, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

The new details were shared by the developers behind the graphic design app Artstudio Pro, and according to their findings, on the highest-end ‌M1‌ ‌iPad Pro‌, which features 16GB of RAM, apps can request through the entitlement to use up to 12GB of that available memory. On the other ‌M1‌ ‌iPad Pro‌ models, which feature only 8GB of RAM, apps can request up to 6GB.

This Is How Apple Is Removing The Plastic Wrap From iPhone 13 Box, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

The photo tweeted by Apple leaker DuanRui shows an adhesive paper tab from the end of the box to the bottom, with a tear-off strip to open it. In that way, there is no way for the lid to come off the box until it is opened.

The Bitter Lawsuit Hanging Over The Apple Watch’s New Swipe Keyboard, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

The company says it now realizes the keyboard does in fact comply with its guidelines, has explained that to Eleftheriou several times, and has repeatedly encouraged him to submit the app again. Apple would prefer that he doesn’t take it away.


Apple Watch SE Ships With New USB-C Charging Cable, by AppleInsider

Apple's entry-level Apple Watch SE now ships with the company's Magnetic Fast Charger, a USB-C cable designed to accommodate the enhanced charging capabilities of Apple Watch Series 7.

Apple Releases New Marketing Tools For Developers, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

The new marketing tool generates images using four templates, three colors, and different image sizes. Simply select the platform and search for any app to make multiple social media-friendly images.


Apple Subsidiary Claris Announces New Partnership To Improve Tech Diversity, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple subsidiary Claris has announced a new entrepreneur training program today, in partnership with EonXI. The goal of the new partnership is to improve tech diversity through new low code initiatives.

In Internal Memo, Apple Says It Is Monitoring Legal Challenges To Texas Abortion Law, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

In a message posted on an internal employee message board today, Apple said that it was monitoring the legal challenges to what it refers to as the “uniquely restrictive abortion law” that was recently passed in Texas. Apple confirmed the authenticity of the message to TechCrunch.

Apple Hit By Another NLRB Charge For Firing Senior Manager Who Complained Of Harassment, by Kali Hays, Business Insider

Ashley Gjøvik, a senior engineering program manager at Apple for six years, first filed claims of work retaliation with the NLRB in late August, setting off an investigation by the government agency. She said she experienced sexual harassment at work and that her complaint was revealed to the alleged harasser. Gjøvik has also said Apple retaliated against her for the NLRB complaint and for earlier raising concerns about the office she and others worked in, as it sits on a Superfund site.

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I'm getting back to my Xcode hobby stuff this weekend... I promise myself. Work-hobby-life balance -- that's what I want... I think.


Thanks for reading.

The Different-Paths Edition Thursday, September 16, 2021

The Battle For Digital Privacy Is Reshaping The Internet, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

If personal information is no longer the currency that people give for online content and services, something else must take its place. Media publishers, app makers and e-commerce shops are now exploring different paths to surviving a privacy-conscious internet, in some cases overturning their business models. Many are choosing to make people pay for what they get online by levying subscription fees and other charges instead of using their personal data.

Apple Refutes FlickType Developer's Account Of App Store Issues, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Now, says Apple, there are multiple Apple Watch keyboard apps available on the App Store. And FlickType itself was highlighted in a Top Apps of 2020 promotion on the store.

Kosta Eleftheriou's lawsuit had already been filed when Apple unveiled QuickPath. Apple says it has told Eleftheriou that following further explanation from him, it now believes that the app's accessibility keyboard complies with App Store rules.


Apple Store App Trying To Get You The iPad You Want With 'Similar Options' Prompt, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

If an Apple item is backordered, or on preorder, the online Apple Store now prompts buyers with a list of "similar options" that can be delivered sooner.

Bookends 14.0, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Sonny Software has released Bookends 14, a major upgrade to its full-featured bibliography, reference, and information management system for students and professionals.


Smartphones May Be Too Good, by Shira Ovide, New York Times

Technologists are now imagining what could be the next big thing. But there may never be anything else like the smartphone, the first and perhaps last mass market and globally transformative computer.

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I don't have much to say about the new Apple devices. They are all fine. They all serve their purposes well.

I can't say the same thing about myself.


Thanks for reading.

The Midnight-Starlight Edition Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Apple Announces iPhone 13 In 4 Flavors: Mini, Regular, Pro, And Pro Max, by Samuel Axon and Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica

A new "cinematic" mode for video features a rack-focus effect and will allow the camera to smoothly change focus from a foreground object to a background object during a video. You can tap the screen to lock focus on two different objects and switch between them. Of course, a phone doesn't have the lens to do this for real—it's an AI effect, like a dual-object portrait mode.

Apple says the whole phone has been rearchitected to make room for "new technology" while also fitting a bigger battery. Apple wouldn't give exact sizes, but it says the iPhone Mini's battery life is up 1.5 hours compared to last year, and the base-model iPhone is up 2.5 hours.

The iPhone 13’s New Camera Tricks Include Cinematic Video And Macro Photography, by Chris Welch, The Verge

The iPhone 13 smoothly transitions between forefront and background focus based on what’s occurring in the frame. The system is intelligent enough to change focus when a subject looks away from the phone. You can also manually tap to change or lock focus on your preferred subject.

iPhone 13 Models Are Heavier And Thicker Than iPhone 12 Models, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

All of the ‌iPhone 13‌ models are heavier than their ‌iPhone 12‌ counterparts, likely due to the larger batteries that are inside and the thickness increase.

Apple’s New MagSafe Wallet Works With ‘Find My’ App For When It Goes Missing, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The MagSafe leather wallet will notify users of the last known location where the wallet was separated from the phone. It will not, however, provide real-time tracking.

Apple Refreshes MagSafe Case Collection With New Colors And Designs For iPhone 13, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

The new versions of the silicone and leather cases predictably have updated camera cutouts as well. This means that there are now separate cases for the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro, rather than a single interchangeable one.

Apple Releasing iOS 15 And iPadOS 15 On September 20, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

One of the most notable changes is something called Focus, which allows you to set custom preferences for notifications and home screens.

Apple Letting Customers 'Get Ready' For iPhone 13 Launch With Pre-Order Setup, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

With this setup process, all customers who go through the “Get Ready” steps will be able to pre-order their devices with the tap of a button on launch day.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Gets A Slight Visual Upgrade With The Series 7, by Corey Gaskin, Ars Technica

Apple says the screen is the most durable "crack resistant" display on an Apple Watch thanks to "stronger geometry." The Series 7 is also IPX6 dust resistant, a first for Apple Watches, in addition to being water-resistant up to 50 meters. Apple says the bigger display area facilitated the introduction of a full QWERTY keyboard that can be typed or swiped through to enter text.

Apple Watch Will Now Detect Biking Workouts, Falls From Bike When Riding , by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Announced during today’s Apple iPhone press event, the company says that Apple Watch will now begin to detect when users begin a bike ride to remind you to start a workout. And similar to other workouts, Apple Watch will also automatically pause and resume as you take breaks during your ride. And, perhaps most importantly, it will gain a new fall-detection feature, as well.

Apple Watch Series 7 Features Exclusive Watch Faces Including Modular Max, World Timer, Continuum, And More, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Amongst the new faces are Modular Max, World Timer, Contour Face, and Nike Bounce, the latter of which is exclusive to the Series 7 Nike edition.

Apple Now Selling USB-C Magnetic Charger For Fast Charging Apple Watch Series 7 Models, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The Apple Watch Magnetic Fast Charger to USB-C cable can charge an Apple Watch Series 7 33 percent faster than the standard Apple Watch charging puck, reaching an 80 percent charge in 45 minutes.

Apple Releases All-new Watch Band Collection In A Wide Variety Of Colors For Series 7, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

There are new colors and designs all across the board, including new striped sport loop bands. The new bands continue to work with previous Apple Watch generations and old bands will work with the Series 7.

watchOS 8 For Apple Watch Officially Launching On September 20, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The new watchOS upgrade introduces new features and watch faces including better always-on display support, an updated Mindfulness app, more workouts, and other app changes and improvements.


The Redesigned $499 iPad Mini Finally Catches Up With The Times, by Samuel Axon and Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

After years of being stuck with the same look and features, Apple's iPad mini will finally get a major redesign akin to last year's iPad Air update, the company announced today. The tablet's screen size gets a bump from 7.9 to 8.3 inches and includes a new A15 Bionic processor that Apple says is "up to 80% faster" than the A12 chip in the old iPad mini 4.

Apple Refreshes Entry-level $329 iPad With Faster Chip, 64GB Of Storage, by Samuel Axon and Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Apple is also bringing a handful of iPad Pro features down to the cheapest iPad. Its new 12MP front-facing camera supports the "Center Stage" feature that can shift the camera's perspective as you move around.

Apple Confirms Universal Control Won't Arrive At iPadOS 15 Launch, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

An update to the iPadOS 15 page on Apple's website shows Universal Control won't be available until later in the fall. The feature was teased at WWDC, but it never officially showed up in any of the beta tests for iPadOS 15 or macOS Monterey.


AppleCare+ Reduces Service Fee For iPhone Back Glass Damage, by AppleInsider

Apple on Tuesday updated its AppleCare+ service product by adding coverage for back glass damage, significantly lowering the price of some repairs for iPhone 12 and the just-announced iPhone 13.

Apple Updates AirTag Accessories With New Colors And Designs, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

Apple’s leather key ring for AirTag is now available in wisteria, golden brown, and midnight.

Apple Fitness+ Expanding To 15 More Countries, Adding Group Workouts With SharePlay, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Later this fall, Apple Fitness+ will bring Group Workouts with SharePlay where users can work out with up to 32 people at once to keep each other motivated.


Developers Can Now Submit iOS 15 And iPadOS 15 Compatible Apps To The App Store, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 bring new APIs such as Safari extensions, Shazam integration, deepened Focus mode support, and more. Developers who have new apps or updates with iOS 15 features can now submit them to the App Store ahead of the official release of iOS 15 on Monday.


Apple Dials Up A Clever Pricing Move, by Dan Gallagher, Wall Street Journal

Apple Inc. seems to have figured out how to deliver a price increase only to customers who choose it. Many probably will.


Not all iPhone buyers will pay up—the most expensive version of the Pro Max now sits at nearly $1,600. But Apple’s customer base includes many who prefer the best and biggest.

Ousted Developer Furious Over New Apple Watch Series 7 Feature, by Stephen Warwick, iMore

A developer of a keyboard app for the Apple Watch is absolutely furious following the addition of a new feature to Apple Watch Series 7 that looks awfully familiar to his own work that was recently booted from the App Store.

Apple Fined $1,000 For Hosting Social Gathering With More Than 50 People At Orchard Store, by Tay Hong Yi, Straits Times

Apple was fined $1,000 for holding a social workplace event at its Orchard Road store on June 18.

"Staff had gathered at the event to celebrate an employee's final day at the establishment," the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) told The Straits Times on Wednesday.

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I'm looking forward to the Mac event. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Maliciously-Crafted Edition Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Apple Fixes Security Vulnerabilities In New Versions Of iOS, macOS, And watchOS, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Specifically, two main issues have been addressed across Apple's platforms, one with Core Graphics and the other with WebKit. In both cases, maliciously crafted content (PDFs or web content) could be used for arbitrary code execution. Apple also says these updates fix an issue that allowed attackers to bypass Apple protections intended to stop code execution via Messages.

Apple Must Decide How Badly It Wants 30% Fee After Court Ruling, by Mark Gurman and Olga Kharif, Bloomberg

The judge’s 185-page decision following a May trial in a lawsuit by Epic Games Inc. left enough wiggle room for Apple to try to keep its App Store revenue stream largely intact, lawyers and analysts say, but doing so risks logistical hurdles and political blowback.

Apple Hasn’t Decided Whether To Appeal The Epic V. Apple Ruling, by Adi Robertson, The Verge

In a call with reporters, a representative said Apple was still evaluating its legal options and had not made a decision about its next steps. The position contrasts sharply with Epic, which announced yesterday that it intends to appeal.


Apple Announces Shazam Has Been Used More Than 1 Billion Times From Control Center, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple said the most Shazamed track was “Talking to the Moon” by Bruno Mars, followed by “Astronaut in the Ocean” by Masked Wolf.

5 Completely Free Meditation Apps To Help Center Your Mind, by Maggie Seaver, Real Simple

But might we suggest you start your mental wellness journey with a totally and completely free meditation app? It's the best no-strings-attached way to dip your toe into everything from meditation basics to mindfulness-based breathing techniques, guided sessions to emotional check-ins.

Tempo Announces New Apple Watch Integration, by Colin Jenkins, Connect The Watts

The Tempo Studio uses 3D sensors with on-demand and live classes to track reps and provide real-time feedback. With their new Apple partnership, Tempo members can now use the Apple Watch to track their heart rate, pause and resume workouts, view the leaderboard, and more.


Hacking CloudKit - How I Accidentally Deleted Your Apple Shortcuts, by Frans Rosén, Detectify


People Protest Against CSAM On iOS Outside Multiple Apple Stores In The US, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

The report comes from Fight For The Future, which shows photos of people outside Apple Stores protesting the CSAM system. People there have posters with messages asking for “No spyware on our phones, ever.” The protests are being held hours before Apple announces the next generation iPhone and Apple Watch on Tuesday.

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Good night, everyone. Have a wonderful iPhone day.

With love, from UTC+8 land.

The AR-Good Edition Monday, September 13, 2021

A Short History Of Every Time Apple CEO Tim Cook Praised Augmented Reality, by Kim Lyons, The Verge

But if you’ve been following Apple for a minute, you’ve probably heard Cook talk about the game-changing potential of augmented reality. While he once said it was hard to see the appeal of Google Glass, the AR wearable that proved unpopular with consumers, he’s held a consistently positive opinion on AR since at least 2016. While most of the industry was putting all its eggs in the VR basket, Cook repeatedly expressed support for what he views as the far superior AR. This would become a running theme: AR good, VR not so good.

App Developers Must Know That Any Alleged Ambiguity In The Epic Games V. Apple Injunction Favors Apple, Not Them: There Won't Be IAP Alternatives, Not Even In WebView, by Florian Mueller, FOSS Patents

The question is not whether a developer's interpretation of the injunction is somewhat reasonable. It's whether Apple's interpretation is so unreasonable as to constitute disobedience to a specific and definite court order.

That threshold is very high.

Epic Has Appealed Friday’s Ruling In The Epic V. Apple Case, by Kim Lyons, The Verge

Epic Games has filed an appeal to a Friday’s ruling in its lawsuit against Apple, calling on a higher court to reexamine the case and overturn the judge’s ruling.

How To Make Podcasts Better For People With Hearing Loss, by Zoe Pickburn, Wired

[T]here are some things that podcasters and other audio content creators can do to make their content more accessible for hearing impaired listeners or those with auditory processing disorder, and even more luckily, many of those adjustments will make the experience better for all listeners.

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Ever since I switched from Sublime Text to try out Visual Studio Code, it always amuses me that I now launch my text editor using Spotlight by typing 'vi'.

(Yes, I am easily amused.)

And while we are on the subject of launching apps via Spotlight: another Microsoft app that I use often is Microsoft Edge, which I launch by typing 'ed'. However, approximately once a week, my Mac decided that I don't really mean that when I type 'ed', and launch BBEdit instead. I will then have to teach Spotlight all over again that when I type 'ed', I meant Edge.

Today, I finally gave up. I've now switched to typing in 'mi'.

I hope I will not be surprised next week.


Thanks for reading.

The Lines-of-Communications Edition Sunday, September 12, 2021

What Does It All Mean?: A Look At Judge Gonzalez Rogers’ Decision In The Epic Versus Apple Trial, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The Court seems focused on simply opening up lines of communications between developers and users about pricing on other platforms, not creating parallel app stores or offering new payment schemes inside Apple’s App Store. Still, unlike the settlement with the Japan Fair Trade Commission, which is very narrow in its application, Judge Gonzalez Rogers’ injunction has the potential to make something like an in-app Kindle bookstore that links to Amazon’s website for purchases of thousands of books possible.

No, The Epic V. Apple Injunction Absolutely Positively DOESN'T Allow Developers To Incorporate 'Buttons' For Alternative IN-APP Payment Mechanisms, by Florian Mueller, FOSS Patents

[T]he court made it unmistakably clear that the injunction it ordered is meant to be narrower than the permission of alternative IAP systems that Epic sought, and leaves no doubt that developers shall merely be allowed to provide users with information about prices on other platforms (WWW, Android, PCs, consoles...) to have at least a minimal competitive constraint on Apple. Just transparency. That's it.

Apple Ruling Poses Hurdles For Biden’s Vow To Tackle Tech Giants, by David McLaughlin, Bloomberg

One of the challenges for the Justice Department, according to lawyers, is that Gonzalez Rogers said Apple’s restrictions imposed on developers are justified in order to protect security. She also said the market is two-sided, which presents courts with the difficulty of weighing harms on one side and benefits on the other, a framework established in a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

“The biggest thing that scares me about this opinion is the two-sided market complexity,” said John Newman, who teaches antitrust law at the University of Miami School of Law. “If this is a two-sided market, you can’t prove harm to just developers or harm to just consumers. You have to somehow prove net harm across all the different groups that interact through the platform.”

A Nick To Apple’s Profits Could Be A Windfall For App Developers, by Kellen Browning, New York Times

The ruling, in Apple’s yearlong legal fight with Epic Games, the maker of the popular video game Fortnite, set off celebrations among app developers. From one-person start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, they have long complained about paying hefty cuts of their businesses to Apple.

The impact of the decision will be most felt by the smallest developers like Mr. Shakked. He said the change could save him hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, which would allow him to hire more employees.


After Seven Years, An Apple Car Is Still On The Horizon, by Patrick McGee, Financial Times

But the 19,000 “autonomous miles” that Apple’s cars drove last year is just a fraction of the 630,000 miles completed by Alphabet’s Waymo car project in California. The number is also shrinking; it is just a quarter of the total in 2018. Waymo also states its vehicles travelled approximately 30,000 miles on average between interventions by its test drivers, compared to 145 miles for Apple.

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It certainly seems to me that a 'real' self-driving car -- where steering wheels are not necessary -- is not going to be introduced anytime soon. And if Apple is not pursuing a self-driving car, what the heck are they working on that the company seems to be willing to pour tons and tons of money on it?

At least when the iPhone was rumored, Apple was already making the iPod successfully, and we 'knew' Apple was good at consumer electronics. I can't think of a good reason why Apple is good at making a car.

On the other hand, Tim Cook said this back in 2019: "My view is there will be a day in the future that we look back and Apple's greatest contribution will be to people's health."

So, putting two and two together, here's my prediction: a self-driving wheel-chair / personal-mobility-device.


No, I haven't been watching Wall-E lately.


Thanks for reading.

The Button-and-Link Edition Saturday, September 11, 2021

Injunction: Apple Must Open Up App Store Payments In 90 Days, by Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica

On Friday, the Northern California judge handling the massive Epic Games v. Apple court case turned in a ruling that, in many ways, works out in Apple's favor—but with one huge, App Store-changing exception.

The ruling from US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers includes a single-page permanent injunction demanding that Apple open up payment options for any software sellers on the App Store. In other words, Epic Games' effort to add Epic-specific payment links inside the free-to-play game Fortnite, and thus duck out of paying Apple's 30-percent fee on in-app transactions, can now happen.

Epic’s Win Over Apple Is Actually An Apple Victory, by Sara Morrison, Vox

Gonzalez Rogers ruled that the App Store is not a monopoly and that Apple should not be punished for its success. And while the court is forcing Apple to allow developers to tell app users about alternative ways they can pay for subscriptions and in-app purchases — which may seem like (and in some cases, was initially reported as) a win for Epic — Apple will be allowed to continue most of the App Store practices Epic was fighting to get it to stop.

The Future Of The App Store Depends On The Difference Between A ‘Button’ And An ‘External Link’, by Nilay Patel, The Verge

I am confident a lot of developers are going to test this language in aggressive ways, and that Apple will find itself developing new rules to protect its lucrative in-app purchasing system from competition. And I’m confident Apple will try to say that “button” just means what something looks like, while developers will say that “button” means how something works.

Apple Bests Epic, But Change Is Coming To The App Store, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

The real question is, will the ruling allow apps to directly embed purchase options, or will it be a more of a redirection to the web for an alternate out-of-app payment program?


Apple Warns Vibrations Like Those From High-Power Motorcycle Engines Can Harm iPhone Cameras, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Due to this risk, Apple recommends that users not attach their iPhones directly to the chassis or handlebars of such motorcycles, as direct transmission of vibrations can be intense. Apple even recommends that users mounting their devices to lower-powered devices like mopeds and electric scooters at least use a vibration-dampening mount to minimize the chances of any damage.

Apple To Start Selling All 24-Inch iMac Colors In Retail Stores, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

After the September 14 event, Apple retail stores will begin selling the 24-inch iMac in all colors, which will mean all seven colors will be able to be purchased in store.

The Joy Of Multiple Monitors, by Bob Levitus, Houston Chronicle

If you’ve never tried a Mac with two (or more) displays, you’re in for a treat.

These Apps Saved My Sanity (And Probably My Marriage), by Salina Jivani, Wired

If you’re new to the concept of using a family app to stay organized, having everything captured in the frame of your phone—that everyone else in your family can have captured in theirs too—is a game changer. In our home, there’s no more fear of missed communications or conflict of events. With organization apps very much a part of our daily routine, adding things to the to-do list, grocery list, or even the family calendar are second nature.

Merlin Project 8.0, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

ProjectWizards has released Merlin Project 8.0, a major upgrade to the powerful project management app that adds a Dynamic Help feature that explains views, columns, fields, and controls via an interface that hearkens back to the Balloon Help of the classic Macintosh System 7.

Elago’s New Airpods Pro Case Is Shaped Like A Camera And Holds An Apple AirTag Inside Its ‘Camera Lens’, by Sarang Sheth, Yanko Design

The Snapshot case for the AirPods Pro comes with a camera-shaped design that neatly houses an AirTag inside the faux camera lens.


Epic V. Apple Judge Rules Fortnite’s Peely Can Appear Naked In Court, by Jon Porter, The Verge

Apple suggested Peely ought to wear clothes in federal court and showed him in a tuxedo; Epic argued the suit was unnecessary. And you better believe the judge’s ruling, released today, has come to a final conclusion.

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Tim Cook said this during the Epic Games v. Apple trial: "The bulk of the apps on the App Store are free, so you’re right that there is some sort of subsidy there. [...] We have 150,000 APIs that we create and maintain, and numerous developer tools, and the customer service piece of dealing with all these transactions."

The App Store, it definitely seems, will be changed, and some of the existing revenue is going elsewhere.

Apple has never claimed that the full 15 to 30% is used for the payment gateway. Will Apple start nickel-and-diming developers for app reviews, 'marketing', and APIs, especially for the apps that use non-Apple payment gateway?

Or will Apple start levying a fee on all free apps?


Thanks for reading.

The Royalties-Division Edition Friday, September 10, 2021

Apple Music Is Using Shazam To Solve The Streaming Industry’s Problem With DJ Mixes, by Amanda Silberling, TechCrunch

Apple Music announced today that it’s created a process to properly identify and compensate all of the individual creators involved in making a DJ mix. Using technology from the audio-recognition app Shazam, which Apple acquired in 2018 for $400 million, Apple Music is working with major and independent labels to devise a fair way to divide streaming royalties among DJs, labels, and artists who appear in the mixes.

Apple’s Effort To Court ‘Ethical’ Hackers Draws Poor Reviews, by Reed Albergotti, Washington Post

But many who are familiar with the program say Apple is slow to fix reported bugs and does not always pay hackers what they believe they’re owed. Ultimately, they say, Apple’s insular culture has hurt the program and created a blind spot on security.

“It’s a bug bounty program where the house always wins,” said Katie Moussouris, CEO and founder of Luta Security, which worked with the Defense Department to set up its first bug bounty program. She said Apple’s bad reputation in the security industry will lead to “less secure products for their customers and more cost down the line.”

Apple Won’t Let Epic Bring Fortnite Back To South Korea’s App Store, by Sam Byford, The Verge

“As we’ve said all along, we would welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else,” an Apple spokesperson says in a statement to The Verge. “Epic has admitted to breach of contract and as of now, there’s no legitimate basis for the reinstatement of their developer account.”


Apple Rolls Out Updated Apple Maps With Nationwide Look Around, Improved Navigation, And More In Italy, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Today, the company officially launched its new Maps data in Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, and Andorra, along with a host of related features.

Improve Your Mac’s Audio By Combining Speakers, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

By combining the speakers in my iMac and Thunderbolt Display, I can again have sound emanating equally from both sides of my desk. You could use this capability to play the same audio through your Mac and a set of connected speakers or to configure a 5:1 or 7:1 surround-sound system.

Marvel Unlimited Relaunches With Exclusive Phone-optimized Comics And A Fresh New Look, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

And as part of the relaunch, Marvel is also announcing an addition to the service: “Infinity Comics,” a new line of exclusive comics that have been specifically designed for the vertical form factor of a modern smartphone, with scrolling panels that fill the entire width of a phone or tablet screen.

Review: OtterBox Folding Stand For MagSafe Offers Flexibility For Home And Travel For iPhone 12 And 13, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The total flexibility for getting the right angle and being able to fold it flat for tossing in a bag is spot on. And the weight plus solid base footprint means you’ve got a really stable stand even when tapping or swiping hard on your iPhone 12 (and soon iPhone 13) screen.

Apple Declares 2013 iPod Touch Obsolete, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Apple has added its 16GB iPod touch to the list of products that are now officially obsolete worldwide, meaning it will no longer service the device, nor can third-party repair firms order replacement parts.


Why iPhone Names Have Numbers And Most Other Apple Product Names Don’t, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Apple wants people who are buying new iPhones that were first introduced 2–3 years ago to feel like they’re getting a new iPhone. They should, because they are — they’re great devices at lower prices, and will be supported for years to come. But if the iPhone XR were named “iPhone (2018)”, they’d feel old.

Apple’s Watch Software Chief Takes Over Self-Driving Car Project, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Lynch, an Adobe Inc. veteran who joined Apple in 2013 to run the software group for the company’s smartwatch and health efforts, replaced Doug Field as the manager in charge of the car work, according to people with knowledge of the matter. [...] The change marks the latest shake-up in the project’s tumultuous history.

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If Apple, one day, releases iPhone 42, I will definitely buy an iPhone case with the words DON'T PANIC in large, friendly letters.


Somewhere in my house are two DVDs that I still haven't watched: the two sequels of The Matrix. And, no, I don't have any DVD players in the house either.

I'll probably watch them on Netflix someday, though. Maybe this weekend.


Thanks for reading.

The Classic-Bands Edition Thursday, September 9, 2021

Milanese Loop, Other Bands Unavailable As Apple Watch Series 7 Redesign Looms, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

Seasonal watch band colors are beginning to sell out, but classic bands like the Milanese Loop, which haven’t actually changed, are also now unavailable.

Apple Will 'Help' Some Developers Put A Single Link To Their Website In Their Apps, by Benjamin Mayo

You’d hope Apple would comply to the Japanese law in good faith, but I’m certainly not ruling out something more sinister. I don’t think the implementation of ‘help’ will be onerous, but perhaps just inconvenient enough to make some percentage of developers not bother.


Glass Wants To Make An Instagram Just For Enthusiasts, But At A Cost, by Daryl Baxter, TechRadar

Thought up by co-founders Tom Watson and Stefan Borsje, the company has recently removed its invite-only access, so we spoke to them about how things are going, alongside plans for the near-future, especially with the iPhone 13 and Pixel 6 expected to be announced soon.

Artbox Keeps Your Kids' Artwork Safe And Now There's A Mac App, Too, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

Artbox is a popular app for saving all of the artwork kids create so that it can be looked back on whenever parents want to. Previously an iPhone and iPad app, Artbox is now available on your Mac, too.

5 Reasons I Love Library App Libby And You Will, Too, by Alyssa Shotwell, The Mary Sue

Owned by their more well-known parent company Overdrive, Libby is simply a free reading app that harnesses the power of your library card to access a wide selection of ebooks and more from actual libraries.

Xbox Controller Update Delivers Improved iPhone Connectivity With iOS 15, by AppleInsider

Once the firmware is installed, the controller will remember one Bluetooth host, like an iPhone or Android handset, and one Xbox Wireless host. Users can switch between host devices by tapping the controller's pair button.


Apple Refuses To Make NDA Concessions For Workplace Harassment And Discrimination, by Zoe Schiffer, The Verge

On Friday, Nia Impact Capital filed a shareholder resolution saying that concealment clauses — or employment agreements that contain broad arbitration, nondisclosure, or non-disparagement agreements — are bad business.

“We filed this shareholder resolution at Apple because a company’s use of concealment clauses is both a governance and a diversity concern,” says Kristin Hull, CEO of Nia Impact. “Concealment clauses block investors from understanding true workplace conditions and may undermine diversity, equity and inclusion programs. The Board, as the representatives of the investor, should be concerned about the role concealment clauses play in enabling harmful corporate cultures to continue, hidden from stakeholders.”

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Should I stock up accessories for my iPhone 12 mini?


Thanks for reading.

The Press-Invites Edition Wednesday, September 8, 2021

California Streaming: Apple’s Next Big Event Is September 14, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Apple will stream a new product-unveiling event this coming Tuesday, September 14, at 10 am PDT, the company announced today. Invitations went out to press this morning, and marketing SVP Greg Joswiak tweeted a short video teasing the event as well.

Apple Hypes Next Week’s iPhone 13 Event With AR Portal Experience, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Once you see the AR Apple logo appear (may take some time to load), walk into it to enter the lake/mountain landscape that includes the “9.14” event date.

There are also some neat sounds effects including spatial audio support that transitions into the song “Weather” by WDL.

Apple Teases iOS 15 Features Ahead Of Sept 14 Apple Event, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Ahead of next week’s Apple event, Apple has begun teasing iPhone users about upcoming iOS 15 features using a notification from the Tips app.

8th-gen iPad Shipping Times Slip To 3-6 Weeks Ahead Of Apple Event, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Apple on Tuesday confirmed that it will hold its next special event on September 14, when the company is expected to introduce iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7. However, Apple might also introduce a new entry-level iPad model at that event, as shipping times for the 8th-generation iPad have now slipped to 3-6 weeks.

On App Stores

Apple's Big Concession: A Willingness To Concede, by Ina Fried, Axios

The individual moves themselves won't hurt Apple and could actually take some pressure off the company. The downside for the company is they show that Apple can back down if pushed hard enough.

Apple App Store Changes Fail To Sway Lawmakers Bent On Overhaul, by Anna Edgerton, Bloomberg

A proposed bill from a bipartisan trio of senators would force significant changes to the way consumers download and use apps on their iPhones and other Apple devices. Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar, head of the Senate antitrust subcommittee and one of the bill’s sponsors, said Congress is no longer willing to trust tech companies to “do the right thing.”


Apple Releases Another Revised Version Of AirTags Firmware Update, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

There’s no word on what’s included in the new firmware and no new features were found following the first release, so it likely focuses on bug fixes and other under-the-hood improvements.

Sticky Widgets 3.0 Is A Huge Update With New Lists, Shortcuts Support, More, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

The app allows users to put iOS 14 widgets onto their Home screen and then fill them with text. Now, that text includes support for lists.


In Defense Of Not Living Up To Your Potential, by Kimberly Hirsh

I have no obligation to live up to someone else’s perception of my potential. And neither do you.


How Slack Changed Apple’s Employee Culture, With Zoë Schiffer, by Nilay Patel, The Verge

Apple employees are demanding more transparency and input than ever, and they’re doing it in public, in a way that challenges Apple’s secretive, top-down corporate culture. The pushback is real, and it starts with the introduction of one software tool to Apple’s workplace: Slack.

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I hope the new AirPods are just as comfortable as the current AirPods. I like the noise-cancelling feature of AirPods Pro, but my ears can't stand wearing them for too long.


Thanks for reading.

The New-Magnets Edition Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Apple FCC Filings Reveal Revised MagSafe Charger Ahead Of iPhone 13 Event, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Back in July, a rumor suggested that iPhone 13 will feature a stronger array of magnets for MagSafe technology. This could mean that we’ll see some sort of updated MagSafe accessories that will take advantage of the new magnets on the iPhone 13 models.


Cibo Is A New iOS App To Scan Menus And Help You Decide What To Eat When Traveling Abroad, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Did you ever have trouble understanding a restaurant menu because it was in a different language or didn’t have a picture of the food? Cibo, a new app for iOS developed by Jordi Bruin, wants to help you with that.

VMware Says It Won't Be Bringing EXSi To The 2019 Mac Pro After All, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

According to VMware, one of the reasons that it's ditching plans to support the Mac Pro is Apple's move to Apple silicon. It's possible the company doesn't want to do the work to get hardware verification signed off only for Apple to pull the rug on the Intel Mac Pro.


Apple Executive Addresses Recent Employee Concerns In Internal Video, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

In the video, which was seen by MacRumors, Deirdre O’Brien tells staff who are experiencing workplace issues to talk to their managers and “business relations partner.” She says that Apple has a “confidential process to thoroughly investigate, in a way that treats everyone with dignity and respect.”

Why Is Email Still So Terrible?, by Sara Morrison, Vox

In short, I have become the center of an international network of Other Sara Morrisons who can’t get their email address right. My blessing has become a curse.

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The good news is that (likely) new MacSafe accessories will also (likely) work with existing iPhone 12s. Can't wait.


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The Fits-and-Starts Edition Monday, September 6, 2021

Why You Might Not Be Returning To The Office Until Next Year, by Coral Murphy Marcos, New York Times

Executives say their rationale for the long delay is twofold: In addition to wanting to keep employees out of harm’s way, they are seeking an end to the roller coaster of anticipated return dates and further delays. The fits and starts make it difficult for employees to plan, and the hope is that a far-off return date will not need to be adjusted yet again.


“Within a company, a C.E.O. can say: ‘Our company, our culture, our business. We need to be together, we need to be in the office, this is the date,’” said Mary Kay O’Neill, a senior health consultant at Mercer Consulting Group. “And then our friends in H.R. are like, ‘How are we going to do that?’”

Wallets Are Over. Your Phone Is Your Everything Now., by Joanna Stern, Wall Street Journal

But the real story is in the progress of the holdouts: the driver’s licenses, work IDs and other keys that have struggled to make the leap to the screen. Those cards, the remaining ones in the small stick-on wallet on the back of my phone, are getting ready for their digital debut, too.

But do we want so much of our lives—and our personal information—tied to one battery-dependent device? Let’s ID the issues.

Apple's Strategy To Fight Off Antitrust Regulators: Fix The App Store One Rule At A Time, by Kif Leswing, CNBC

But looking at App Store history, it's likely that Apple will continue to push in private negotiations and public lobbying for smaller, non-structural changes to the App Store that address some complaints but does not change its control over iPhone software.


After A Year, How Well Is Your Apple Watch Solo Loop Holding Up?, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

In the Apple Watch community, a user asked about the elasticity/shape after some time of wearing a Solo Loop band. At first, I thought I was going to read something like “mine is a bit loose,” or “mine looks perfect since day one” but as a matter of fact, I saw many reports of Apple Watch Solo Loop bands with micro-tears or tearing apart.

Satechi Aluminum Stand & Hub Review: Transform iPad Pro Into A Mini Workstation, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

The Satechi Aluminum Stand & Hub combines a compact stand with a handful of ports to achieve a minimalist iPad Pro desk setup.

How I Saved Money On HomeKit Smartbulbs With Philips Wiz And A Raspberry Pi, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

The Wiz-plus-Homebridge approach isn't going to be for everyone—whether you buy the HomeKit-compatible meross bulbs you decided to skip or just use Google or Alexa rather than HomeKit to tie all of your accessories together, there are certainly simpler and more user-friendly options out there. But this was a quick, easy, and fun DIY project that helped me integrate my cheap new bulbs with my expensive old ones and made an old Raspberry Pi useful again. Homebridge proved to be a functional little piece of smart-home software that's a good fit for lots of different kinds of projects.

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Speaking of fits-and-starts, the Singapore government today did a small u-turn on the opening up -- no 'social interactions' allowed at work -- and suggested more u-turns may be coming.

And I am now tired about being tired.


Thanks for reading.

The Tiny-Fraction Edition Sunday, September 5, 2021

Your Phone Is Your Private Space, by Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

As for future costs, however, Apple’s proposed approach embraced at least three worrisome premises: that we don’t fully own the devices that store so much private information about us; that tech giants that sell us those devices can ethically load them with spyware; and that the evil deeds of a tiny fraction of users justify the mass surveillance of data that millions of totally innocent users put on their phone.

If Apple accepts those premises, and most of its customers go along without objecting, then future iPhones will almost inevitably scan for more than child porn. The logic of catching a few evil actors by denying the cloak of privacy to everyone will inexorably expand to more and more areas that powerful societal factions want to target. Some of those factions will themselves be evil. Many are likely to be illiberal or repressive.

Apple’s Dangerous Path, by Lucas Matney, TechCrunch

The issue — of course — wasn’t that Apple was looking at find ways that prevented the proliferation of CSAM while making as few device security concessions as possible. The issue was that Apple was unilaterally making a massive choice that would affect billions of customers (while likely pushing competitors towards similar solutions), and was doing so without external public input about possible ramifications or necessary safeguards.

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I am not sure how much meaningful changes Apple can make to address its strongest critics.


Thanks for reading.

The Criticism-Addressing Edition Saturday, September 4, 2021

Apple Promises To Change iPhone Photo-scanning Plans To Address Criticisms, by Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

Apple said Friday that it will make some changes to its plan to have iPhones and other devices scan user photos for child-sexual-abuse images. But Apple said it still intends to implement the system after making "improvements" to address criticisms.


The statement is vague and doesn't say what kinds of changes Apple will make or even what kinds of advocacy groups and researchers it will collect input from.


Playbyte’s New App Aims To Become The ‘TikTok For Games’, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

A startup called Playbyte wants to become the TikTok for games. The company’s newly launched iOS app offers tools that allow users to make and share simple games on their phone, as well as a vertically scrollable, fullscreen feed where you can play the games created by others. Also like TikTok, the feed becomes more personalized over time to serve up more of the kinds of games you like to play.

Play Pinball With Trolls Or Kung Fu Panda In Latest Apple Arcade Game, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

Zen Studios, the developer, promises more tables are on the way.


In Letter To Tim Cook, Apple Workers Seek Action On Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, by Carrie Mihalcik, CNET

A group of Apple employees on Friday published an open letter to CEO Tim Cook and the company's senior leadership calling for the tech giant to improve how it treats workers and "fulfill its promise of inclusion, diversity and equity."

The letter comes as the US National Labor Relations Board is investigating two complaints filed by Apple employees alleging unfair labor practices by the tech giant.

Apple Employees Share 2021 "Close Your Rings" Challenge Gift, AirTag Designers Receive Custom Display, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

Apple appears to have given a unique custom AirTag display to members of the team that created the Find My trackers. The display includes six custom AirTags with the signatures of the team members staged in a sleek glass frame. The company has also begun to distribute their annual gift for completing the “Close Your Rings” Apple Watch fitness challenge.

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Bad: In the latest episode an Apple TV+ show, the phrase "Hey Siri" was spoken out loud by one of the character.

Worse: The phrase triggered a HomePod to start playing music, at a volume that is louder than the TV.

Worst: The HomePod played the wrong playlist.


Thanks for reading.

The Blindingly-Obvious Edition Friday, September 3, 2021

Eight Things Apple Could Do To Prove It Actually Cares About App Store Users, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

If Apple wanted to change this system, it could. But I expect Apple will only be dragged kicking and screaming into a world with a more functional App Store, because it seems incapable of taking the blindingly obvious steps that might better protect its users — again, despite being the most valuable and profitable company in the world.

Here are eight to start.

Apple’s Burned Trust, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

I have a friend who works at a company with a somewhat popular “reader” app that everyone has heard of, who says that internally, there’s a contingent that suspects Apple is going to require these apps to also offer Apple’s IAP to be allowed to include a link to their website.

That’s how much trust Apple has burned.


iPad Kids Game Pok Pok Playroom Is The Perfect Back To School App For Families, by Shelby Brown, CNET

Pok Pok Playroom includes a collection of toys and activities that encourage cognitive and socio-emotional development, according to the team, with no winning or losing. In addition, the game -- meant for ages 2 to 6 -- can grow with the child as playtime changes. The app seeks to empower kids to take risks and feel accomplished when things come together for them, while rewarding them with play, not prizes.

MarsEdit For macOS Launches Version 4.5 With WordPress Media Syncing, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Developer Daniel Jalkit explains that this tab previously included only files that are uploaded from MarsEdit itself. With WordPress updating its API to support downloading a complete list of the published media files, Red Sweater was able to give MarsEdit this big update.

Readdle Launches 'Documents X' For iPhone And iPad With Smart Actions, Improved Design, And More, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

At the heart of Documents X is a feature Readdle is calling “Smart Actions.” Smart Actions are contextual actions that are recommended to users depending on an action they just took. For example, if a user uploads a file to Dropbox or Google Drive, the app may suggest that the user shares the link. If a user downloads a music video, they may get presented with a Smart Action to extract the audio from the video.

This App Prolongs The Life Of Your MacBook, by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, ZDNet

The free version features a charge limiter that reduces battery wear and a discharge feature that allows the MacBook to run on battery even if it is on charge, allowing the battery to be discharged to an optimal level.

Rogue Amoeba Pulls Fission Editor From The Mac App Store Over Apple's Lack Of Improvements, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The folks at Rogue Amoeba have announced a new version of their popular Fission audio editor today, and with this update, they are also removing the app from the Mac App Store. In a blog post, Rogue Amoeba’s Paul Kafasis explained that the decision comes as the Mac App Store has seen “scant few changes” and “remains beset with issues.”

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Here's my idea of just one thing Apple need to do about App Stores: work harder on all fronts. Make it worth the 30%.


Thanks for reading.

The Link-to-Websites Edition Thursday, September 2, 2021

Apple To Allow Reader Apps To Link To Account Management Pages On The Web In Early 2022, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple has resolved an investigation by the Japan Fair Trade Commission by agreeing to allow ‘reader’ apps to link to websites to set up and manage an account with the app’s provider beginning in early 2022. The agreement reflects a loosening of existing App Store Guidelines and will be applied worldwide, but it’s also narrow.

Today At Apple Creative Studios Expanding To Chicago And Washington, D.C., by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Led in collaboration with community partners, local nonprofits, and Apple, young creatives in Washington and Chicago will have access to mentorship, hands-on experience, and the industry know-how to dive deep into photography, illustration, and writing.

The Persistent Gravity Of Cross Platform, by Allen Pike

So instead of a straightforward “good vs. cheap” tradeoff, we get a kind of non-linear tradeoff where the teams trying to coordinate the most feature work across the most number of platforms feel an incredible gravity towards cross-platform tools – even if a high priority on UX would predispose them to building native clients. On mobile platforms, where teams are often more disciplined about features and more focused on UX polish, the tradeoff is a bit different and teams more often go native than they do on desktop.

Digital IDs

Apple Reveals First US States Working To Adopt Digital Apple Wallet IDs, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Apple shared the specifics in a Newsroom post this morning with the first states working with them being Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah. Notably, the TSA will be among the first places to accept the Apple Wallet IDs at “select airport security checkpoints.”

Initial Details On Using Driver’s Licenses And State ID’s In Apple Wallet, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Of course no one wants to hand over their phone to anyone. More importantly, no one should ever hand their phone to a police officer, and that goes a hundredfold if it’s unlocked. [...] This ID feature for Wallet is exactly like that: it doesn’t work without your biometric authentication, and your phone does not unlock when you use it.

It’s Dangerously Stupid To Put Your State ID In Your Apple Wallet, by Tristan Greene, The Next Web

There are a million ways cops can coerce a person to unlock their phones and hand them over. The problem with storing your ID on them, as mentioned before, is that it gives them a reason that may sound very legitimate when a jury hears it, but ultimately should fail the same Fifth Amendment tests that previous attempts to force US citizens and the Apple corporation into unlocking iPhones did.


Hands-on: Moment's iPhone Camera Lenses Deliver A Spectacular Photography Experience, by Blair Altland, 9to5Toys

To varying degrees based on which of the Moment iPhone lenses we’re talking about, I’m quite impressed by just how much they live up to the premium pricing. In fact, I’d even say I’m blown away by the macro lens.


Apple Asks All U.S. Employees To Report Vaccination Status, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The iPhone maker has asked the employees to report their status “voluntarily” by mid-September, regardless of whether they are working remotely or from an office. The company said it’s using the data to inform its Covid-19 response efforts and protocols.

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There will be arguments on what is and what isn't a 'reader' app.


Thanks for reading.

The Common-Grievances Edition Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Here’s Why Apple Is Making An App Just For Classical Music Lovers, by Napier Lopez, The Next Web

Now, maybe you think it’s silly that classical music would need its own app. How elitist! But as one of those classical music lovers, so let me walk you through some of the common grievances I’ve suffered over the years from the more mainstream music platforms.

Let’s Consider Some Of The Implications Of Third-Party Payment Processing For In-App Purchasing On iOS And Android, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

If Apple winds up acceding to these demands for third-party in-app payment providers — whether nation-by-nation as legislation passes, or by washing their hands of the entire controversy and making a worldwide policy change — I really hope they add APIs and mandate the use of them such that however you pay in-app, any subscription made in-app must show up in this list, and the provider must support no-hassle cancellation from within the system interface. Renewal receipts and upcoming renewal reminders should be mandatory, too.

Some Simple Advice For Apple And App Developers: It's Not About You, by Jason Snell, Macworld

Too often, when a company stumbles, it’s not because it made a fundamentally bad decision. It’s because it made a decision that benefited itself rather than its customers and lacked the perspective to understand that customers don’t applaud when you lower your costs or the quality of your product.


'Today At Apple' In-store Sessions Start To Return In Europe, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Now while the US stores appear to all be sticking to online-only sessions, ones across Europe have now begun taking bookings for live sessions. Apple Stores across the UK, France, Germany, and more have launched a full schedule of sessions on topics from photography and video, to music and coding.

'Sticker Doodle' Lets You Easily Create Your Own Stickers For iMessage And Other Apps, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Sticker Doodle is a simple but fun app that allows users to create a variety of stickers for Apple’s messaging app. The best part of the app is that you can choose between creating stickers with drawings or using your photos, and the app helps you do this in the best way possible.

Find The Key Of Any Song With Auto-Key Mobile, A Free App From The Makers Of Auto-Tune, by Ben Rogerson, MusicRadar

This free app is designed to quickly detect the key of any song or other audio source. Just tap a button, hold up your phone and - in theory - both the major key and relative minor will be revealed.

Moment’s New Video-coloring App Grain Will Let You Take Handcrafted Presets To Other Apps, by Ian Carlos Campbell, The Verge

Moment is launching another video-focused app for iPhone and iPad Tuesday that lets you edit and color footage as well as create video presets or “looks” for use on social media or Moment’s other video app, Rtro.

Nomad Upgrades Its Popular Base Station Mini With MagSafe Support For iPhone 12, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Nomad has launched an improved version of its leather and aluminum Base Station Mini today by bringing MagSafe compatibility to the sleek wireless charger.

Twelve South Intros New Mini StayGo USB-C Hub For iPad And MacBook With 4K HDMI, by Justin Kahn, 9to5Toys

The latest USB-C hub from Twelve South is a smaller, more compact version of the original StayGo hub geared toward iPad and MacBook users with a trimmed-down I/O section “that fits anywhere, whether traveling, going from home to office or heading to and from class,” with a lighter price tag to match.

JOBY Introduces New MagSafe-compatible Accessories For The iPhone 12 Lineup To Help Content Creators, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

JOBY is introducing the all-new GripTight system for MagSafe that’s aimed to give content creators the opportunity to use iPhone 12 without needing another complicated locking system.


Apple Just Banned A Pay Equity Slack Channel But Lets Fun Dogs Channel Lie, by Zoe Schiffer, The Verge

Employment attorney Vincent P. White says that invoking the Slack terms may simply be an excuse to block discussions of workplace pay disparities since doing so outright would violate labor law. “Discussing pay equity is a protected activity under federal, state, and local law,” says White. “Everyone agrees on that. For them to try and impair employees’ ability to discuss pay equity and diversity in the workplace is a clear cut act of retaliation.”

Apple Pledges Another Small But Welcome Sum To Racial Justice, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

Apple has pledged another $30 million to racial justice, on top of the $100 million it promised last year in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

It includes funding for a wide array of causes, including a Global Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Equity Innovation Hub at California State University Northridge in Los Angeles, with the intent to create regional hubs at other universities, and an expansion of its work to bring community coding centers to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by adding 11 additional schools to the roster.

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I do listen to classical music. I'm not a sophisticated listener though. I don't really understand a lot of the stuff associated with classical music. I just find that I enjoy listening to classical music, and they calm my mind when I'm getting too anxious or tense.

(Yes, when my servers start to go haywire, I'll immediately switch from whatever I'm listening to classical music.)

I find Apple Music perfectly fine for my classical music enjoyment. But, as I said, I'm just casually listening to music. I do find Apple's purchase of Primephonic exciting though. Maybe there will be a better experience coming our way. Maybe I can better appreciate classical music.

Here's looking forward to 2022.


Thanks for reading.