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.

Bottom of the Page

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.