The Mix-and-Match Edition Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Getting Started With Shortcuts For Mac And The Stream Deck, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The Stream Deck has been a favorite of Mac users who are into automation for a while now, but the device’s utility has grown substantially for a couple of reasons. First, you can use the Stream Deck to run Shortcuts, which expands the device into an entirely new realm of automation.

Second, the Stream Deck opens up new ways to approach all automation on your Mac that aren’t possible with any single Mac app, allowing you to mix and match different kinds of automation in one interface. It’s a powerful combination that unlocks the ability to organize the automation tools you use to fit with the way you think and work.

A Look Back–and Forward–after A Thrilling Year Of Apple Silicon, by Jason Snell, Macworld

We had hope that the future would be brighter with Apple-designed processors, but that optimism was tempered by Apple’s recent Mac missteps. There were also a lot of questions about a processor that had only really seen success in iPhones and iPads. Would there be unexpected pitfalls of abandoning Intel? Could Apple pull off its latest Mac chip transition with the same skill that it showed during the two previous transitions?

Twelve months later, the answers are much clear: We’re in the brightest timeline.

Mail Privacy Protection Seemingly Undermined By Apple Watch, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Apple’s legal documentation on Mail Privacy Protection indicates that the feature is available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac only, but security researchers and developers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk have discovered that since the Apple Watch does not hide a recipient’s IP address, it can compromise the overall security provided by Mail Privacy Protection.

Coming Soon?

Apple Developing New ‘SportsKit’ Framework As It Invests In Sports Content For Apple TV, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Since the first beta of iOS 15.2 was released in late October for developers, 9to5Mac found references to something called “SportsKit” in the system’s internal files. There aren’t many details about this framework yet, as it’s probably still under development, but we can tell that it’s integrated with the Apple TV app, Siri, and even home screen widgets.

The “SportsKit” home screen widget includes the ability to receive real-time updates of sports matches. Right now, Siri can already show sports scores, so Apple probably wants to expand this interaction to other parts of iOS and tvOS.


Claris FileMaker Pro Updated With Shortcuts Support, More, by Christine McKee, AppleInsider

In macOS Monterey, FileMaker Pro 19.4.1 brings Shortcuts support to the Mac version of Claris' low-code software development tool for the first time. Using the Script Workspace, users can designate which FileMaker scripts within a FileMaker Pro file to hand over to Shortcuts, then use Siri or the Shortcuts app to open the file, run a script or pass in an optional parameter.

Apple Updates AirPods Pro Firmware To Version 4A402, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple does not offer information on what’s included in refreshed firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don’t know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings.

Limited-Edition Beats Flex Launching In Collaboration With Fragment Design, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Beats today announced the upcoming launch of a new collaboration with fragment design founder Hiroshi Fujiwara for a minimalist limited-edition version of the Beats Flex earbuds.

Lockscreen Weather Shortcut Automatically Displays Report And Pretty Photos, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Designer and developer Broank has created a beautiful lockscreen weather Shortcut, which updates your lockscreen wallpaper with a pretty photo and a weather report. The Shortcut requires iOS 15, and an iPhone X or later.


Qualcomm Expecting To Supply Just 20% Of 2023 iPhone Modems As Apple Prepares To Launch Its Own Chips, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Qualcomm is preparing for the launch of Apple’s own modem chips, which will cut into Qualcomm’s modem business starting in 2023. At today’s Investor Day event, Qualcomm CFO Akash Palkhiwala said that Qualcomm expects to supply just 20 percent of Apple’s modem chips in 2023.

Craig Federighi’s Sideloading Keynote At Web Summit, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

If Apple stopped making it look like they’re running the App Store primarily to maximize their own revenue from it, regulators and lawmakers might stop thinking that Apple is running the App Store primarily to maximize their own revenue from it.

Singapore’s Tech-utopia Dream Is Turning Into A Surveillance State Nightmare, by Peter Guest, Rest of World

That safety requires constant vigilance. The city must be watched. The smart cameras that are being trialled in Changi are just a part of a nationwide thrust towards treating surveillance as part of everyday life. Ninety-thousand police cameras watch the streets. By the end of the decade, there will be 200,000. Sensors, including facial recognition cameras and crowd analytics systems, are being positioned across the city. The technology alone isn’t unique — it’s used in many countries. But Singapore’s ruling party sees dangers everywhere, and seems increasingly willing to peer individually and en masse into people’s lives.

“What [technology] will do for people is make our lives a hell of a lot easier, more convenient, more easily able to plug into the good life,” Monamie Bhadra Haines, an assistant professor at the Technical University of Denmark, who studies the intersection between technology and society. “But … the surveillance is what is here, now.”

Bottom of the Page

I wish Shortcuts on macOS can be more prominent and more integrated with the rest of the operating system. I am not sure if Shortcuts is still buggy, or if I really need to read up on some documentation somewhere, but I have no idea how to use "Quick Actions" in Shortcuts.

Oh, and I also wish that Apple will stop using such generic names. I tried searching for "how to run a Shortcut from AppleScript", and all I get back are how to run AppleScript with a keyboard shortcut.


Thanks for reading.