The Learn-Build-and-Submit Edition Thursday, December 16, 2021

Apple Releases Long-awaited Swift Playgrounds Update With The Ability To Create Apps Using iPad, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Swift Playgrounds 4 was announced back in June at WWDC 2021. The app helps developers and students learn the company’s Swift programming language, and the new version lets developers build and submit apps to the App Store directly from an iPad.

How To Read And Understand Apple’s New iOS App Privacy Report, by Heather Kelly, Washington Post

Once it’s turned on, the Privacy Report tracks the activity of individual apps and websites, then breaks it into sections so you can click through and see additional details, then even more details. The report is an attempt to give users more information so they can make decisions about things like what settings they have on and what apps they install or use.


“They are taking the medium to long term view that, essentially, if you name and shame enough of these then apps will gradually improve their behavior,” said Johnny Lin, the co-founder of San Francisco company Lockdown, which makes a tracker-blocking app. “It puts pressure on Apple’s competitors, like Facebook and Google. They’re forced to change a little bit, they’re forced to adapt.”

Distraction Disaster! Notifications Are Ruining Our Concentration – Here’s How To Escape Them, by Amy Fleming, The Guardian

Every time Leroy loads a new app, she disables notifications. “That’s my default,” she says. As Cox adds, “These notifications do train us to respond. And they’re very effective. That’s why all the companies use them. And that’s why we need to fight, quietly, by switching them off.”


Apple Shares 'Ted Lasso' Animated Christmas Short, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Called “The Missing Christmas Mustache,” the short is voiced by “Ted Lasso” actors and it features a humorous storyline where Ted Lasso’s mustache goes missing.

Disney+ Expands Watch Together Feature To Work With FaceTime Using SharePlay, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Disney+ is today expanding its “watch together” feature to work with FaceTime while using SharePlay. With that, subscribers with an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV can enjoy Disney content with family members and friends completely in sync while on a FaceTime call.

Newton Mail App Review, by Bryan M Wolfe, TechRadar

Regardless of the platform, Newton takes a minimalist approach when it comes to design. There are fewer buttons on the surface, and folders aren't nearly as emphasized as they are on other products. Swipes also play no role here and you won't find pinned panes.

BKOOL: The Most Complete Cycling App To Train Indoor This Winter, by Zach Nehr, Cycling Weekly

The training app offers a versatile training experience unmatched by competing training apps, including millions of real-world cycling routes and POV videos. BKOOL hosts rides and events with professional riders including Chris Froome, Sergio Higuita, and the Deceuninck-QuickStep team, and this year they are hosting the official Virtual Giro d’Italia.


Apple Scrubs Controversial CSAM Detection Feature From Webpage But Says Plans Haven’t Changed, by Jon Porter, The Verge

When reached for comment, Apple spokesperson Shane Bauer said that the company’s position hasn’t changed since September, when it first announced it would be delaying the launch of the CSAM detection. “Based on feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers, and others, we have decided to take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features,” the company’s September statement read.

Apple Shuts Stores In Miami, Ottawa, Annapolis After Covid Surge, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. has temporarily closed three retail stores in the U.S. and Canada after a rise in employee Covid-19 cases and exposures, the latest sign that a virus resurgence is threatening retail operations just before Christmas.

Apple Scraps Office-Return Deadline Without Setting New Date, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc., facing a resurgence in Covid-19 cases and a fast-spreading new variant, is delaying its corporate return-to-office deadline from Feb. 1 to a “date yet to be determined.”


The delay comes just weeks after the company asked employees to begin returning by February, a timeline that had already been pushed back several times. The lack of a firm date shows the struggle that companies face in trying to get their operations back to normal.

A Guide To Restoring Your Sanity In The Age Of Technology With More Technology, by Dave Pell, Medium

But you don’t need to be trapped in the wretched disaster of reality. You can escape to a new virtual life filled with healthy relationships, happy children, a spouse who never brings up your life insurance policy, and a nuclear family that isn’t radioactive. Envision this new life, create cartoonishly positive versions of everyday experiences, stage photos that reflect the you that you want the world to see. If you can post it, you can live it.

Bottom of the Page

I want my operating system to be predictable and unsurprising.

I also use Spotlight on my Mac to launch or switch apps. And Spotlight will surprise me -- not in a good way -- now and then. Here are two real-life examples that happened to me:

a) When I type "fin" to switch to Finder, it will most of the time, except occasionally it decide to launch "Find My" instead.

b) When I type "pre" to switch to Preview, it will most of the time, except occasionally it decide to launch "System Preferences" instead.


And yes, I am a little surprised Apple have not renamed "System Preferences" to "Settings" yet.


Thanks for reading.