The Notifications-Granularity Edition Tuesday, November 2, 2021

7 Ways To Customize iOS 15’s Focus Mode For Work And Play, by Tyler Hayes, Wired

“I like that I can have a couple of options that can be locked down in different ways. So for example, I have a Recording focus that only allows text messages from my wife and Slack messages from our VP of sales to get through to me,” says Relay FM cofounder Myke Hurley. “I also have a Work Out focus that blocks everything except the Activity app. I set up an automation in the Shortcuts app to trigger this one whenever I start a small set of workouts—so it wouldn't go off if I was taking a walk, just when in specific exercise.”

This iOS 15 Focus feature is an expansion of Do Not Disturb. Previously, focusing on a specific task meant a blanket moratorium from notifications getting through. Now, iOS devices can be configured with more granularity. This should make it a lot more useful for more people. Still, Focus can be overwhelming at first glance, so let's break it down.

In Defiance Of Apple, This Is A Nature-Themed macOS Monterey Wallpaper, by Jaron Schneider, PetaPixel

“After being here for two days, I’ve kind of started to realize why Apple didn’t make a nature wallpaper. It’s really difficult,” Phillips says.


What the team eventually realized is that instead of trying to make the most unique wallpaper, they should instead be trying to make the most recognizable wallpaper. For them, that meant the iconic, recognizable view that everyone would know was Monterey: The Lone Cypress.

Apple TV+ Turns 2: Why The Tech Giant’s Streaming Play Remains A Mystery, by Tim Baysinger, The Wrap

Two years after Apple made its long-awaited Hollywood debut, has Apple TV+ lived to its lofty ambitions? It depends how you look at the tech giant’s fledgling streaming service.

On the one hand, Apple TV+ is coming off multiple Emmy wins for “Ted Lasso” and looks to have an Oscar contender with the Sundance film “CODA.” But at the same time, analysts remain lukewarm on the service’s positioning among its streaming rivals, pointing to a lack of transparency from executives as to just how many people are actually watching the programming.

On Apps

Rise Of The Super App, by Alex Heath, The Verge

Simply put, if ad-driven platforms like Facebook can’t track how people interact with other apps, they’ll work more to keep people in their apps as much as possible, especially for activities that involve money like shopping. Eric Seufert, an influential ads industry analyst and consultant, calls this phenomenon the rise of “content fortresses.”

Since these changes by Apple and regulators largely don’t restrict how apps collect data about their own users, that first-party data is now more valuable. If a Facebook user makes a purchase without leaving to complete it in another app or website, Facebook can provide that information to the advertiser who paid for the ad that led to the purchase. Advertisers, in turn, pay more money when they know their ads work.

Notability Users Frustrated By Switch To Subscription Model Claim Violation Of App Store Guidelines, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

As far as it affects current users who purchased the full app, key features will become non-functional after one year, after which they will have to subscribe to retain the feature set they originally paid for.


As many users have pointed out, on the face of it, the change appears to violate Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines, which state “if you are changing your existing app to a subscription-based business model, you should not take away the primary functionality existing users have already paid for.”


Beats Fit Pro Debut With A Fitness Focus, Active Noise Cancellation, And A $200 Price Tag, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

We’ve been using the new Beats Fit Pro for close to a week, and the best description we can come up with for them is a fitness-focused version of the AirPods Pro. They have very similar feature sets but almost completely different designs, with the Beats Fit Pro lacking the stems seen on all AirPods models and going with a low-profile in-ear look with wingtips for stability.

Beats Fit Pro Review: Sporty AirPod Pros With Better Sound, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Beats says it designed the wing tips for “every ear imaginable,” but ears are all different, and there will always be exceptions. That said, I let several people try the Fit Pros and even those with small ears could find a way to make the wing tip work for them and said it resulted in a more steady overall fit. They passed the gym test and didn’t come even slightly loose during high intensity runs. They also stayed in while eating, something that’s a challenge for many earbuds.

Beats Discontinues Powerbeats, Solo Pro, And EP Headphones, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Just after the new Beats Fit Pro hit stores today, the company seems to have killed these three other Beats headphones, as they are no longer available on the Apple or Beats website.


New HomePod Mini Colors Now Available For Apple Store Pickup, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple today announced that the new HomePod mini colors, including yellow, orange, and blue, are now available to order on and in the Apple Store app in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The new colors are also available for same-day pickup at select Apple Store locations in the United States and Canada.

Users Reporting 'Memory Leak' Issues After Updating To macOS Monterey, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Some users who recently upgraded to macOS Monterey are experiencing a bug known as a “memory leak,” a scenario in which a specific macOS process or application is bugged out and stays running for prolonged periods in the background, consuming abnormally high amounts of memory or RAM.

Apple Releases tvOS 15.1.1 For Apple TV Users, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The build number for today’s update is 19J581, but Apple has not provided any release notes with details on what’s new or changed. The update likely focuses on minor under-the-hood bug fixes and performance improvements.

How To Provide A New Photos And Name To Others In iMessage, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

When you receive an iMessage from an unknown party, how does Messages identify that person for you if they’re not already in your contacts? Apple has a backchannel in its proprietary multimedia texting system that transmits your name and image to the recipient based on settings you can control.


Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls Utahns In Tech ‘People Who Want To Change The World’ At Silicon Slopes Summit, by Art Raymond, Deseret News

Cook, who took over the reins at Apple after the company’s legendary founder Steve Jobs died from complications related to pancreatic cancer in 2011, also shared a little advice for up-and-coming startup founders looking to replicate the success of the world’s most valuable company.

“Sometimes people are so looking forward to the next thing ... that they forget the real joy of life is the journey,” Cook said.

Apple Trims iPad Production To Feed Chips To iPhone 13, by Cheng Ting-Fang and Lauly Li, Nikkei Asia

Apple has cut back sharply on iPad production to allocate more components to the iPhone 13, multiple sources told Nikkei Asia, a sign the global chip supply crunch is hitting the company even harder than it previously indicated.

Bottom of the Page

I may have to re-look how I am setting up my Focus mode. (I have only one so far.) My brain doesn't work quite the well Apple is presenting the options, it seems. I'll like a Focus mode that excludes apps rather than includes.


Thanks for reading.