The Add-New-Features Edition Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Apple’s iOS 15.2 And macOS 12.1 Updates Hit Supported Devices Today, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

All of these updates are now publicly available on supported devices. All but tvOS are x.x feature updates, meaning that they actually add new features instead of just fixing issues.

Depending on the OS, those features may include SharePlay, Apple Music Voice Plan, the App Privacy Report panel, and more.

Apple’s Great New iPhone Privacy Feature Is Like An X-ray For Apps, by Michael Grothaus, Fast Company

Some have likened iOS 15.2’s App Privacy Report to a type of privacy report card. However, I like to think of it more like an X-ray. That’s because App Privacy Report is a kind of transparency report that lets you see what your iPhone’s installed apps are doing with your data, just as an X-ray acts as a transparency report for what’s going on inside your body.

What Has Changed In Monterey 12.1?, by Howard Oakley, The Eclectic Light Company

Of the reported memory leaks, quick checks here suggest that at least two have been fixed.

Apple Now Lets You Choose Contacts Who Can Access Your Account When You Die — Here's How To Set It Up, by Jessica Bursztynsky, CNBC

The chosen contacts can access data stored in iCloud, like photos and documents, after the original user dies, so long as they have a special access key and a copy of your death certificate. So be sure to set up Digital Legacy with people who are likely to have a copy of your death certificate when you die.

Apple Delays Release Of Universal Control For macOS, iPadOS Until 2022, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

In an update to Apple's macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15 feature pages on Monday, the company said that Universal Control will be "available this spring."

Writers and Their Tools

Can “Distraction-Free” Devices Change The Way We Write?, by Julian Lucas, New Yorker

For a long time, I believed that my only hope of becoming a professional writer was to find the perfect tool. A few months into my career as a book critic, I’d already run up against the limits of my productivity, and, like many others before me, I pinned the blame on Microsoft Word. Each time I opened a draft, I seemed to lose my bearings, scrolling from top to bottom and alighting on far-flung sentences at random. I found and replaced, wrote and rewrote; the program made fiddling easy and finishing next to impossible.

I’d fallen into the trap that the philosopher Jacques Derrida identified in an interview from the mid-nineties. “With the computer, everything is rapid and so easy,” he complained. “An interminable revision, an infinite analysis is already on the horizon.” Derrida hadn’t even contended with the sirens of online life, which were driving writer friends to buy disconnected laptops or to quarantine their smartphones in storage bins with timed locks. Zadie Smith touted Freedom, a subscription service that cut off the user’s devices—a chastity belt for procrastinators.


macOS Big Sur 11.6.2 And Security Update 2021-008 Catalina, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Apple has released macOS Big Sur 11.6.2 and Security Update 2021-008 for macOS 10.15 Catalina, patching 31 security vulnerabilities in Big Sur and 28 vulnerabilities in Catalina.

Apple Releases 'Tracker Detect' App To Prevent Android Users From Being Tracked By AirTags, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple says that Android users can scan to find a nearby AirTag if they think that someone is using an AirTag or another device to track their location.

Adobe Launches Creative Cloud Express App With Drag-and-Drop Content Creation, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The free version of Creative Cloud Express includes basic editing and photo effects, access to a limited collection of design assets, and 2GB of cloud storage.

Best iPhone Apps To Enhance Your Experience With Apple Music, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Although iOS comes with a native Apple Music app, there are some third-party apps that offer even better experiences for those who subscribe to Apple’s streaming service.

Adding Holiday Cheer To Your iPhone Home Screen With Widgets, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

If you want to customize your home screen, there’s no better app. Since it’s the Christmas season, there are a number of options inside of Widgetsmith to give your widgets some Christmas flare.


Apple Updates Its Developer Program Agreement To Clarify Use Of Swift Playgrounds, Xcode Cloud, More, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Ahead of the Swift Playgrounds 4 launch, Apple has updated its terms to mention the platform as one of the alternatives for creating iOS apps. This is because one of the main new features of Swift Playgrounds 4 is the ability to create and submit apps to the App Store directly from an iPad, so now the app is considered an “Apple SDK,” just like Xcode.


Apple Patches Log4Shell iCloud Vulnerability That Set Internet ‘On Fire’, by Michael Simon, Macworld

According to the Electic Light Company, Apple has patched the iCloud hole. The site reports that researchers were able to demonstrate the vulnerability when connecting to iCloud through the web on December 9 and December 10, the same vulnerability no longer worked on December 11. The exploit doesn’t appear to have affected macOS.

The Labor Department Is Investigating Apple’s Treatment Of Employees., by Kellen Browning, New York Times

The department declined to say who had requested the investigation or what it was about, but Ashley Gjovik, a former employee who has been outspoken about misconduct at Apple, said she had filed the complaint “to ensure Apple knows they cannot get away with retaliating against me for exercising my federally and state-protected rights.”

Apple Management-Training Chief Joel Podolny Leaves For Startup, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Podolny was a steward of Apple’s corporate culture as the company pushed into new markets and coped with the death of Jobs, its visionary co-founder. He had worked with Jobs to create Apple University as a way to teach executives about the company’s values -- and what it had learned from decades of decision-making.

Bottom of the Page

I will be installing the macOS update this weekend. No, I don't have any need to try out SharePlay. Rather, I am hoping this update will fix the Safari bug that I encounter rather regularly, where the web site titles go missing in the tab bar. (I believe this is a cosmetic bug, so I am not too worried.)


Thanks for reading.