The Grab-Bag Edition Wednesday, December 15, 2021

iOS And iPadOS 15.2 Overview: Music, Privacy, Security, And Safety, And A Grab Bag Of Other Additions And Refinements, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Yesterday, iOS and iPadOS 15.2 were released with a grab bag of new features, refinements, and fixes. There are some handy details in this release, many of which are found deep within the Settings app, so it’s worth poking around to find the ones you want to try.

Apple Launches ‘Hey Siri, Play…’ Suggestions Following Apple Music Voice Plan Debut, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Apple is highlighting in these markets a new ‘Hey Siri, play…’ section that shows how easy it’s to enjoy Apple Music using the company’s personal assistant.

You Can Now Reset And Erase A Locked iPhone Without Needing To Connect To A PC, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Another little tidbit in iOS 15.2 is that Apple has finally added the ability to erase and reset a locked iPhone or iPad, without first needing to connect it to a PC or Mac. This new feature is thanks to a new capability when the iOS device is in Security Lockout mode, after too many failed passcode attempts.

Apple Adds Nine New Scotland And Iceland Aerials To Apple TV Screensaver Lineup, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

With this update, the screensaver rotation has added three videos of Scotland and six of Iceland, for a total of nine new additions.

Bye-Bye CSAM?

Apple Removes All References To Controversial CSAM Scanning Feature From Its Child Safety Webpage, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple has quietly nixed all mentions of CSAM from its Child Safety webpage, suggesting its controversial plan to detect child sexual abuse images on iPhones and iPads may hang in the balance following significant criticism of its methods.


Why You Should Enable Fall Protection On Your Apple Watch, Even If You're Young, by Jake Peterson, Lifehacker

The point is, this feature works, and it saves lives. The problem is, you have to make sure it is enabled in the first place.

Apple Plans 'Ring In The New Year' Activity Challenge For Apple Watch Users, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The Activity Challenge will require users to close all three of their Fitness rings for seven days in a row in January. That means meeting all stand, exercise, and move goals for a week.

We Speak To Four Winners Of Apple's 2021 App Awards, by Daryl Baxter, TechRadar

The company announced the year’s winners this month, with Carrot Weather, LumaFusion, DAZN, and League of Legends each winning in their categories for certain devices.

We spoke to the developers behind these apps to find out the challenges in designing the apps and their plans for the future.

FaceTime Client App 'Navi' Adds Subtitles And Live Translations Through SharePlay, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

With Apple releasing macOS 12.1 with SharePlay support, developer Jordi Bruin just launched Navi, a universal app that helps people with hearing impairment and other disabilities to easily engage in a FaceTime call using subtitles and live translations.

Widgetsmith Update Brings Filters To All Photo Widgets, by Brent Dirks, AppAdvice

The big addition is the ability to apply photo filters to all photo-based widgets. That allows you to style images in the app without needing to filter the original images before selecting them.

PopSockets PopGrip Review: Finally, MagSafe Delivers A Better PopSocket Experience, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

The PopGrip from PopSockets is an excellent use of MagSafe to bring added functionality without using an adhesive to stick something to your phone.

If you liked PopSockets before, this is a significant upgrade. If you weren't a fan of PopSockets because they relied on a permanently attached mounting point, that barrier has been removed.

Twelve South HoverBar Duo – The Best iPad Stand Money Can Buy…, by Sarang Sheth, Yanko Design

Designed to let you use the iPad for work, filming, blogging, video chatting, and casual entertainment, the Twelve South HoverBar Duo is easily the most versatile iPad stand money can buy… and its adjustable design lets it work with the larger iPads as well as the iPad Mini.

Hands-on With Nomad's New MagSafe Compatible Base Station Hub For iPhone, AirPods, Apple Watch, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The Base Station Hub with Magnetic Alignment delivers premium materials and build quality with a matte black aluminum base and a supple padded leather top. Even as a four-device charger, the Base Station Hub remains minimal and sleek.


Apple To Again Require Masks At U.S. Stores And Limit Crowds, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The technology giant said it’s requiring masks for shoppers -- a rule that had been dropped at about half of its U.S. stores -- to “support the well-being of customers and employees.” “Amid rising cases in many communities, we now require that all customers join our team members in wearing masks while visiting our stores,” the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Apple Employee Giving Program Raises $725M, As Company Thanks Volunteers, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple has announced that on the 10th anniversary of the Employee Giving program, almost $725 million has been raised for 39,000 different organizations.

The company says this includes nearly 2 million hours of voluntary work by Apple employees.

Feline Okay? The App That Tells You If Your Cat's Happy, by Matthew Stock, Reuters

Cat owners who love to take pictures of their furry friends now have a new excuse to pull out their smartphones and take a snapshot: it may actually help the cat.

A Calgary, Alberta, animal health technology company,, has developed an app called Tably that uses the phone's camera to tell whether a feline is feeling pain.

Bottom of the Page

I just noticed a few songs from my teenage years are labeled "Oldies" in Apple Music's genre field. I think I need to ask Siri to play a Cheer-me-up playlist.

Seriously, this whole Genre business do need a re-think. For one, sticking just one genre label to each individual song is probably too simplistic. Having just one list of labels to classify style, language, age, etc, is definitely not good.

But it is probably too late now.


Thanks for reading.