The Blank-Holes Edition Friday, October 15, 2021

Some Third-party App Icons Are Missing On Apple Watch Series 7, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Customers are noticing that the icons for some third-party apps are missing, leaving blank holes on the honeycomb grid home screen. PCalc developer James Thomson has noticed that his app is one of those affected, perhaps linked to the fact that he issued an app update embedding Apple Watch Series 7 specific assets.

Cybersecurity Experts Sound Alarm On Apple And E.U. Phone Scanning Plans, by Kellen Browning, New York Times

“It’s allowing scanning of a personal private device without any probable cause for anything illegitimate being done,” added another member of the group, Susan Landau, a professor of cybersecurity and policy at Tufts University. “It’s extraordinarily dangerous. It’s dangerous for business, national security, for public safety and for privacy.”

Apple Vandalized My Icon In The Latest Betas, by Jeff Johnson

Safari has vandalized my toolbar icon. Safari engineers spray-painted it blue.

On App Stores

S.Korea Targets Apple Over New App Store Regulation, by Joyce Lee, Reuters

The law went into effect last month but Apple had told the South Korean government that it was already complying and did not need to change its app store policy, a Korea Communications Commission (KCC) official in charge of the matter told Reuters.

"This goes against the purpose of the amended law," the official said, requesting anonymity as the KCC was still in talks with Apple on compliance.

Apple Takes Down Koran App In China, by James Clayton, BBC

Apple has taken down one of the world's most popular Koran apps in China, after a request from officials, the company has confirmed to the BBC.


Apple declined to comment, but directed the BBC to its Human Rights Policy, which states: "We're required to comply with local laws, and at times there are complex issues about which we may disagree with governments."


Apple Watch Series 7 Fast Charging Requires 5W Or Greater USB-C PD Adapter, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

In a new support document published today just as the first Apple Watch Series 7 orders have started arriving, Apple reveals that any of its USB-C power adapters rated at 18 watts or higher will support fast charging on the new watch. In addition, third-party USB-C adapters rated at 5 watts or higher will allow for fast charging as long as they support the USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) protocol.

CoconutBattery Review: Be Informed On The Health Of Your Mac, iPhone, And iPad Batteries, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

coconutBattery provides an excellent baseline of battery information and a historical accounting that may let you anticipate a fading battery while still under warranty—or to decide if you want to keep eking out its lifetime before paying to have it replaced.

Siri On Ecobee SmartThermostat Review: Apple's Smart Assistant Invades Your Home, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

In some ways, it is akin to getting an additional HomePod mini without needing to devote counter space or money towards it. If you have your Ecobee SmartThermostat in your living room or kitchen, this is huge because you don't need to find a place to plug in and place your smart speaker. It's mounted to your wall.

'Book Track' Manager Gets Refreshed Interface, New Widgets, More, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

The main screen of the app has been completely redesigned to make it cleaner and more functional, while also offering more details about the user’s library. On iPadOS and macOS, Book Track now features a three-column layout that takes advantage of the larger screens to show more content.

Monument Valley 2 Adds New Chapter Four Years After Original Launch, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

This update brings “four intimate scenes” that the developer hopes will inspire people to sign the Play4Forests petition “and declare our shared interest in forest conservation.”

Trakt Client Popcorn Movies Gets A Big iOS 15 Update With New Features, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

Popcorn Movies is an app that taps into Trakt for top-notch movie tracking and information gathering. Now, it's better than ever thanks to a new Liked Lists feature that makes it easier to manage liked movies from within the app while discovering new trending and popular movies at the same time.

WhatsApp's End-to-End Encrypted Chat Backups Feature Now Rolling Out, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups are now rolling out for iPhone users, Facebook has announced. Until now, WhatsApp let users back up their chat history to ‌‌iCloud‌‌, but the messages and media contained in the backups weren’t protected by WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption while in ‌‌Apple’s cloud servers‌.


Apple Joins Blender's Development Fund To Support 3D Graphics Tool, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Alongside a contribution to the Development Fund, Apple will provide engineering expertise and additional resources to Blender and its broader development community to help support Blender artists and developers, according to the announcement.


Apple Hires New HomePod Software Head As It Takes On Amazon Echo, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The iPhone maker is enlisting Afrooz Family to lead the work, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Family worked at Apple from 2012 to 2016 before leaving to co-found audio startup Syng with former Apple industrial designer Christopher Stringer. Family left the startup earlier this year after helping develop the company’s product, the Cell Alpha.

Bottom of the Page

HomePods are still not available in many parts of the world, including the country of Singapore where I live, where many people do speak English (Hi Siri!) and where many people do listen to American pop music.

(Neither is Siri Remote available in Singapore.)


Thanks for reading.