Archive for March 2022

The Color-Exploration Edition Thursday, March 31, 2022

Lettering Artist Belinda Kou On The Power Of Creative Community, Following Your Passion, And iPad Air, by Apple

Working with an increasing number of clients, Kou is enjoying pushing her color exploration with iPad and Apple Pencil — something that would take her hours with analog tools.

“Once I got my iPad and Apple Pencil, I created faster than I’d been able to with pencil and paper, which helped me to share consistently on social media,” Kou explains. “Between that and honing my voice and style, I started to attract clients. Today, so many of my clients hire me for digital art. I don’t think I could run my business without iPad.”

On App Stores

'Reader' Apps Can Now Add Links For Account Signups Outside Of The App Store, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Reader apps are able to link to a website that is owned or maintained by the developer for account signups. So, for example, an app like Netflix can provide an in-app link that goes directly to the Netflix website for account signups, something that was not allowed before the change.

Apple Eliminates Separate Binary Requirement For Dutch Dating Apps Accepting Alternative Payments, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

It is now up to the ACM to decide whether Apple’s changes bring it into compliance with the order, but the ACM has yet to publicly announce its decision.

On Security

Hackers Gaining Power Of Subpoena Via Fake “Emergency Data Requests”, by Brian Krebs, Kerbs On Security

There is a terrifying and highly effective “method” that criminal hackers are now using to harvest sensitive customer data from Internet service providers, phone companies and social media firms. It involves compromising email accounts and websites tied to police departments and government agencies, and then sending unauthorized demands for subscriber data while claiming the information being requested can’t wait for a court order because it relates to an urgent matter of life and death.

Apple And Meta Gave User Data To Hackers Who Used Forged Legal Requests, by William Turton, Bloomberg

Apple and Meta provided basic subscriber details, such as a customer’s address, phone number and IP address, in mid-2021 in response to the forged “emergency data requests.” Normally, such requests are only provided with a search warrant or subpoena signed by a judge, according to the people. However, the emergency requests don’t require a court order.


‘CODA’ Being Re-Released In Theaters With Open Captions After Best Picture Oscar Win, by Anthony D'Alessandro, Deadline

“As our industry recognizes CODA with its highest honor, we’re excited once again to bring this moving film to theaters so that audiences can share in the experience of watching it together,” says Erica Anderson from Apple Original Films’ Distribution team. “As with previous theatrical runs, all showings will have open captions, so that the film is accessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.”

Apps We Love: Irvue, by Jeffrey Abbott, The Sweet Setup

What I love about Irvue is that I can create custom filters for it to use as an image pool. One of my favorite filters combines a few space-themed channels and searches to give me an endless supply of outer-space wallpapers.

Boomerang Updated With Bookable Schedule Feature To Automatically Add Zoom And Google Meet Links, by Allison McDaniel, 9to5Mac

The app lets users quickly schedule and accept meetings in their inbox more efficiently. Senders can also share personalized calendars through email, and recipients can easily view availabilities.

CARROT Weather 5.6 Adds Locations Lists, New Layout Sections, And More, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Whether you’re keeping tabs on a destination for an upcoming trip or just want to know if the weather is nice where a friend or family member lives, the new Locations List provides an excellent overview without requiring you to tap into the details of each city.


iOS Keyboard Suggests Dog And Cow Emoji When ‘Clarus’ Is Typed, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

If Apple is going to have this VERY EXCELLENT reference in the keyboard, the details should be right.

It’s Scary How Dominant Apple Has Become. But How Scary?, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

I regret to say that after considering the scope of Apple’s power, I’ve arrived at the sort of no-easy-answer muddle that better opinion columnists than me usually try to avoid. But that’s just where we are: Apple, with a valuation of about $3 trillion and firing on every cylinder, seems unstoppable. On the one hand, its market power is scary, and sometimes its ethical and moral compass leaves a lot to be desired. (See its deference to the Chinese government.)

On the other hand, it is probably the best-run, most innovative and still most consumer-friendly of the Big Tech baddies. Maybe that’s as good as it gets.

Apple Working To Bring More Financial Services In-House, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. is developing its own payment processing technology and infrastructure for future financial products, part of an ambitious effort that would reduce its reliance on outside partners over time, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

A multiyear plan would bring a wide range of financial tasks in-house, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. That includes payment processing, risk assessment for lending, fraud analysis, credit checks and additional customer-service functions such as the handling of disputes.

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I don't think I have a bucket list anymore.

In these strange times -- which may be ending soon, or may not be ending soon, who knows -- I think I have really learnt what I want and what I don't want to do for the rest of my life. And, definitely, I've changed my mind on some of the things that I thought I want to do for the remaining years. Unfortunately, I don't have a clear idea of what's next for me now.

I've just finished reading The Beauty of Dusk by Frank Bruni, and I've now re-reading Four Thousand Weeks. I think these are the two books that had influenced my thinking in recent days, and I'm re-reading for confirmation -- and maybe some surprises.

Stay tuned. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Chicken-and-Duck-Talk Edition Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Forcing WhatsApp And iMessage To Work Together Is Doomed To Fail, by Matt Burgess, Wired

Using a bridge would involve decrypting messages, potentially on someone’s device, and then making them appear in the destination app. Removing the end-to-end encryption would open up a new layer that could be attacked by hackers or malicious actors. “How do you guarantee that the things sitting next to your messaging app are benevolent and not malicious,” says Robin Wilton, director of internet trust at the Internet Society. Kobeissi adds that it’s unclear under the proposals who would manage the exchange of public encryption keys and how cryptographic metadata would be shared between companies.

Apple Stores Will Now Decline To Repair iPhones Reported As Missing, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers will now be alerted if an iPhone has been reported as missing in the GSMA Device Registry when a customer brings in the device to be serviced, according to an internal memo obtained by MacRumors.

Apple's Craig Federighi Explains Why iOS Auto-Updates Often Arrive Several Weeks Late, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

If early adopters report serious bugs with the software, Apple still has a window of opportunity to resolve any server-side issues or pull the update entirely before the wider user base has automatically downloaded it.

On Deck

Here Are The First MLB Games Coming To Apple TV+ Starting Next Month, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The partnership between MLB and Apple TV+ will see two games broadcast via Apple TV+ every Friday. This will kick off on April 8, when Apple will broadcast a game between the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals.

The First “Friday Night Baseball” Games Are Set, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

“Friday Night Baseball” will be seen in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and the UK. This may explain why the Angels are appearing three times, given Shohei Ohtani’s international appeal. I assume the Friday Night Baseball branding will remain intact even though the games will air on Saturday in Japan, Australia, and South Korea.


Latest Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphone Design Should Be Blasted Off Into Space, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

This is the first official partnership between Kerwin Frost and Beats. These Beats Studio3 Wireless are being called “Cosmophone.” They have a blue finish with lots of stars, with Saturn and Earth on each side of the Beats logo.

Are You And Your Partner Unsure About How To Start Tracking Your Spending? Here Are 4 Budgeting Apps That Can Help, by Jasmin Suknanan, CNBC

Budgeting can be tedious and daunting, especially when there are so many different accounts to keep track of, like for savings, investments and retirement. So when you and your partner have to manage your money together as a couple, dealing with double the number of accounts can make budgeting feel extra stressful.

The Omni Group Has Released OmniPlan 4.4 For The Mac, iPad, iPhone, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

OmniPlan 4.4 adds localization across the iPhone and iPad. It also enhances OmniPlan’s resource leveling and scheduling capabilities, which improves how OmniPlan handles complex scenarios with even more accurate and responsive forecasting.

Nuphy Air60 Keyboard Review: Mechanical, Portable, Adorable, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

You get the improved key travel and comfort of a mechanical keyboard while fitting it in a case that can slip into your backpack on the way to the cafe.

Zhiyun Crane M3 Review: A Gimbal For Both Your iPhone And Your Camera , by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

The Zhiyun Crane M3 aims to take a middle-ground approach, providing a way for smartphone videographers to extend their work towards using a bridge or lightweight mirrorless cameras. All without the expense or bulk of a full-scale professional gimbal setup.

Moment Launches Aluminum Filmmaker Cage, Strap Anywhere Mount, And More For MagSafe, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The Mobile Filmmaker Cage for MagSafe aims to make it faster than ever to mount your iPhone and accessories like lights, mics, and handles.


Apple Releases 2022 Supply Chain Progress Report, Launches $50 Million Skills Development Fund, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple also announced a new $50 million Supplier Employee Development Fund that the company said will expand access to learning opportunities and skills development for people across its supply chain. Apple said the fund also includes new and expanded partnerships with rights advocates, universities, and non-profit organizations, including the International Organization for Migration and the International Labor Organization.

Apple Privacy Chief: "Regrets" Creating IDFA, Did Not Intend For Some Ad Tracking Uses To Be Implemented, by Scott Ikeda, CPO Magazine

An Apple software manager that heads up the user privacy division has expressed regret over creating the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) since 2016, saying that developers continued to find ad tracking loopholes that the team did not anticipate.

The IDFA was created as something of a compromise to make ad tracking possible while protecting user privacy, but a report from The Information cites internal sources who say that a string of loopholes and workarounds discovered by app developers enabled them to sop up personal information anyway, and that designer Erik Neuenschwander (now head of privacy at the company) eventually came to openly regret having ever created the system.

Apple Is In A League Of Its Own, by Neil Cybart, Above Avalon

With most of its product categories, Apple’s largest competitor ends up being itself. The fact that Apple’s ecosystem updates are accelerating rather than declining as the competition breaks apart is a potential sign of Apple decoupling itself from the “competition drives us” mantra that is found in Silicon Valley. There is a deeper drive within Apple – a feeling that if Apple doesn’t create it, no one else will - that is driving teams forward.

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As the old cliché goes: a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

And a chain that is linked together by many different chains will probably have even weaker links.


Thanks for reading.

The Every-Move-You-Make Edition Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Stop Tracking Your Loved Ones, by Amy Paturel, Wired

But in an era when parents can monitor their kids' every move, teens follow their crush's digital footprint, and spouses like me freak out when their families go dark for 15 minutes, a growing number of experts are questioning whether it's healthy to be this connected to our loved ones.

“One of the biggest risks these technologies pose is they make us more neurotic,” says Pamela Wisniewski, an associate professor at the University of Central Florida whose research focuses on the intersection of human-computer interaction, social computing, and privacy. “If all we're getting is metadata that someone isn't where we expect them to be, that can make us anxious.” It can even cause us to leap to erroneous conclusions that sabotage our daily activities.

This Apple Feature Helps Kick Email Spam To The Curb, by Rae Hodge, Alison DeNisco Rayome, CNET

Most of us live with an inbox packed with advertisements we don't want, which leaves us with the time-consuming work of deleting or unsubscribing from each one. But there's a better solution. You can minimize spam with Apple's Hide My Email tool, which keeps your inbox lean by preventing junk emails from showing up in the first place.

How To Lock Down Your Data And Enhance Privacy On iPhone And iPad, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

The iPhone and iPad both feature a number of privacy and security protections built into their hardware and software. A lot of these options and settings are configurable, and while Apple's defaults maintain a good level of privacy, you can further protect your data from prying eyes with the following tips.

On App Stores

Apple’s Fine Over Dutch Dating Apps Antitrust Order Hits $55M, by Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch

The drip-feed of penalty fines for Apple in the Netherlands after an antitrust order about payment tech for dating apps has hit the maximum possible (for now) — reaching €50 million (~$55 million) after the regulator issued a tenth consecutive weekly penalty of €5M for ongoing non-compliance.

But the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) is sounding more positive today after Apple adjusted its most recent offer yesterday — saying the amended proposal “should result in definitive conditions for dating-app providers”.

Special App Store Behavior For Disney+ Subscriptions, by Michael Tsai

In a few years, we’ll be told there was already an “established program” for this.


Can Tech Help You To Manage The Cost Of Living?, by Katherine Latham, BBC

Juggling several apps is probably not for everyone. But with a sharp rise in the cost of living hitting households, many of us might be paying particular attention to our finances.

New Cycling App Jagz Helping Cyclists Find Group Rides, Bike Shops And More , by Rebecca Morley, Bike

“The bike industry was lacking a convenient way for cyclists to meet one another, plan rides together, and easily enjoy our sport while travelling,” said Jagz founder David Jaget. “Jagz is a mobile cycling companion that will connect people who share the same passion while adding convenience to our biking experience.”


Maybe You Should Do Less 'Work', by John Whiles

Working in tech, I've observed developers who work as hard as possible when they don't need to. I'm here today to tell you that it's a bad idea and you shouldn't do it.


Apple Maps Launches New Pedestrian Surveys Across The UK To Gather Data And Expand Look Around, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Apple will use cameras and sensors mounted on pedestrian backpacks to gather map data in Berkshire, Greater London, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, and the West Midlands, across over 85 specific towns and boroughs.

Apple ‘Disappointed’ With Mizrahi As It Sues To Terminate Lease At Toronto Condo, The One, by Greg McArthur Rachelle Younglai, The Globe and Mail

Technology giant Apple Inc. is suing Sam Mizrahi’s company to terminate its lease at the developer’s long-planned 85-storey skyscraper in downtown Toronto, saying it is “disappointed” in the company and is owed millions of dollars in damages for missed deadlines.

The Unbearable Lightness Of My Pockets, by Matt Webb

Shorts weather means I want to economise re grams in pockets.

So I no longer carry a ton of plastic cards – I use Apple Pay and carry a single backup card.


The question for me is not: what do I do incase my phone runs out of battery.

The question is instead: how do I get back up and running if I lose what’s in my pockets.

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I cannot remember when I did this, but I've configured my widgets on the Today's View of my iPhone to mainly play audio programming without the need to unlock the phone.

So, obviously, this was in response to having to wear masks when I am out and about, and before the latest iOS update. (I still cannot reliably unlock my phone with my mask on, though.)

The other benefit I've since discovered was that this worked great in the middle of the night too. I am super-short-sighted, and I will need to hold my phone so close to my face that FaceID doesn't work. And I do listen to audio programming in the middle of the night when I can't go back to sleep.

These widgets are basically Shortcuts; and the three apps that can play audio without the need to unlock are: Apple Music, Castro podcast player, and BBC Sounds radio player. (If I remember correctly, Overcast podcast player also worked.)

The one app that I regularly listen to, but still require the phone to unlock first: Audible.


Thanks for reading.

The Caring-about-Movies Edition Monday, March 28, 2022

Apple TV+ Just Won Best Picture At The Oscars. Everything Is Different Now, by Angela Watercutter, Wired

Over the last few years, Netflix has run itself ragged chasing Oscar gold—and perhaps lost some of its verve in the process—so what happens now that Apple has beat them to the big award? Undoubtedly it’ll make more plays, but now that CODA has demonstrated what a successful run looks like, will Netflix just mimic that success? Will Amazon? Will studios? Apple TV+’s win proves that the old grudges against streamers are gone (or at least waning) and that it’s possible one of them can win. Audiences now know that the best films in the world are a click away. Traditional studios understand that their distribution models can, and maybe should, change without impacting how their movies are received.

How CODA Came From Behind To Win Best Picture, by Dan Kois, Slate

The Academy, like Hollywood in general, is frightened that no one cares about movies any more. Well, the good news is that this year, at least, Best Picture came down to two movies that people cared about quite a lot, even if most of the viewership took place at home. They both deliver profound experiences, even if those experiences have very little to do with each other.

Apple Is First Streamer To Win Best Picture Oscar For ‘CODA’, by Todd Spangler, Variety

In a statement Sunday night, Zack Van Amburg, Apple’s co-head of Worldwide Video, said, “On behalf of everyone at Apple, we are so grateful to the Academy for the honors bestowed on ‘CODA’ this evening. We join our teams all over the world in celebrating Siân, Troy, the producers, and the entire cast and crew for bringing such a powerful representation of the Deaf community to audiences, and breaking so many barriers in the process. It has been so rewarding to share this life-affirming, vibrant story, which reminds us of the power of film to bring the world together.”

Jamie Erlicht, the other co-head of Apple’s Worldwide Video group, added, “What an incredible journey it has been since the moment we first saw ‘CODA’ to today’s historic recognition from the Academy. It has been a true joy to witness the positive impact on humanity that this story and its performances have had worldwide. We send our warmest congratulations to Siân; Troy; the cast; the creative team; producers Patrick, Philippe, and Fabrice; and everyone who helped bring inclusion and accessibility to the forefront through this remarkable film.”

On App Stores

App Store Taxes Are Good, Actually, by Owen Thomas, Protocol

The rake Apple charges covers the totality of the value it provides: security, quality checks, access to customers, and, yes, payments processing.


The right fee may not be 30%, but it’s not 0%, either.


FT Launches 99p App, FT Edit: ‘We Want To Show Off A Little Bit More’, by Bron Maher, PressGazette

The app, which is the FT’s first major product launch in a decade, will provide a curated, daily selection of eight articles at 8am each weekday. At weekends, subscribers will see a “best of the week” selection.


Apple Is At Its Best When It Doesn't Know Best, by Dan Moren, Macworld

On the one side is that intrinsic philosophy, trotted out at many a keynote presentation, about how the company loves to surprise and delight its users. That’s embodied in way that Apple creates solutions to problems that users didn’t even know they had. And when it works, it’s truly incredible: Apple’s best products, like the iPhone and the original Mac, are direct end results of this kind of creativity.

But there’s a dark flip-side to this ideal for which Apple is no less well-known: the “Apple knows best” dogma. It’s often compounded with the company’s fixation on form over function, or with its practice of providing only one way to do something. It’s the side of Apple that seems to think that its products would be perfect, if only it didn’t have to deal with those pesky users all the time.

Mac Studio Teardown-in-Progress, by Sam Goldheart, iFixIt

We love that Apple had the courage to beef up their desktop, allowing for awesomely modular ports and a hefty heat management system. But the Mac Studio falls short thanks to odd choices like buried fans and non-upgradable storage. Not to mention baked-in RAM.

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In five years', ten years' time, Apple will, most likely, still be answerable to its customers, on the bugs, security, and privacy issues of the products they sell. But I'll bet today's politicians, even if they are still in power then, will not care, let alone take responsibilities, about any security and privacy issues that surfaced due to forcing laws onto Apple. At most, they'll just introduce more laws with 'magical' powers that can hand-wave security and privacy issues away.


A good movie is a good movie, no matter if most watched it in a theatre or on a phone. Hopefully, soon, we can award good movies based on artistic merits, and not whether the moviemakers have the money to exhibit in a theatre.

(Yes, I am aware a lot of money still goes into marketing and other non-artistic endeavors during award seasons.)

(With my aging eyes, I can no longer watch anything on my iPhone mini. I watch movies and television shows mostly on my iPad.)


Thanks for reading.

The Icon-Dragging Edition Sunday, March 27, 2022

Always Show Window Proxy Icons, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

What Apple got right back in 1998 with Mac OS 8.5, as John Gruber noted, is that document proxy icons aren’t just a visual aid—they’re almost fully functional representations of the file. Similarly, Finder proxy icons stand in perfectly for the folders they represent, offering a handy target for operations. In classic Mac OS, proxy icons also indicated the document’s modification state. (BBEdit continues to work this way, showing proxy icons regardless of the macOS setting and dimming them when there are unsaved changes.) Form and function, all rolled up into a space-saving icon.


QuietMeet Is A Neat New App That Pauses Your Music During Video Calls, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

QuietMeet is a new app for macOS that will automatically pause your music when you join a web-based video call. It'll then automatically resume playback when the meeting ends, too.

Controller For HomeKit Adds Support For Widgets, NFC Tags, And Enhances Smart Folder Support, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

With version 5.12, the app adds HomeKit widgets and support for NFC tags, enhances smart folder support, and improves overall macOS performance.


You're Backing Up For The Wrong Disaster, by Alex Yumashev, JitBit

We subconsciously focus on "movie-like" threats, like some evil hacker bringing down a server from his dark basement. Or hijacking and then deleting important data by using some secret NSA/CIA backdoor in the operating system. Or an earthquake destroying your datacenter.

While in real life it's probably something much more prosaic: untested code, a tired sysadmin, a user deleting their own files, a developer commiting code to the wrong branch, an angry ex-employee deleting stuff after being let go...


Honey, I Decapitated The MacBook, by Umar Shakir, The Verge

People had a lot of questions when I pulled out my M1 MacBook Air at a party over the weekend: “What is that?” “What happened to your laptop?” “Is that the new Mac?” This was to be expected, as there certainly was something different about mine. See, my MacBook Air doesn’t have a screen — and I made it that way.

Don’t worry — it’s not broken. All I did was take apart my laptop without, you know, re-attaching the display. It has now been simplified into just its bottom half: an aluminum slab with an embedded keyboard and trackpad. I’m calling it a “slabtop” now. And I kind of like it.

I Just Watched A Controversial Starbucks Idea In Action. It Put Me Off Coffee, by Chris Matyszczyk, ZDNet

Has the pandemic in some way exacerbated the unpleasantness of customers so much that many retail employees just don't want to see them, much less talk to them?

Or is technology naturally driving people apart?

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After two years, the mandatory wearing of masks here in Singapore will be relaxed this coming Tuesday: Masks will be optional when outdoors. Of course, given that masks are still mandated indoors, I suspect many, including me, will continue to wear masks, as it seems to be too troublesome to keep putting on and taking off.

Like many countries in the west, and unlike some countries in East Asia, Singapore never really has the habit of wearing masks before these strange times. Personally, I don't see this no-masks habit in 'normal' times changing anytime soon. But -- not keeping any hopes up -- we shall see soon.

What else am I looking forward this week? I'm starting a new audiobook, The Cartographers, that may or may not require me to consult some maps in the accompanying PDF document. And I am also looking forward to new episodes of two Apple TV+ shows: Severance and Pachinko. I'm sure Michael Schur will have something wise to say, but these are my current wonderful distractions from the other things in the world.

Oh, speaking of wise, I've just finished reading The Beauty of Dusk by Frank Bruni, and many thoughts are now swirling in my head waiting to be digested.

I hope you will have a good week too.


Thanks for reading.

The Welcome-to-Hollywood Edition Saturday, March 26, 2022

An Apple Original On DVD: The Definitive Unboxing And UX Review, by The Nougatmachine

The Oscars’ theatrical requirements have been an infamous bone of contention for streaming media, but industry insiders have long been able to prepare for awards season at home. Distributors seeking votes send the “screeners” you may have heard of to members of the production guilds, critic associations, academy members, etc – any organization with members voting in film awards. While the option to stream screeners now exists, DVD screeners remain a product in the industry’s lineup. Presumably, the stereotypical 85 year-old Oscar voter can’t be trusted to have good internet, and so the discs keep coming. As a member of the illuminati one of these groups, I was bemused to see that Apple’s quest for awards show clout has led to me receiving a DVD of an Apple Original in my latest screener haul. Like all Apple products, it deserves a thorough review.

Enough preamble, already. Let’s unbox!

At The Oscars, The Real Competition Is Between Apple And Netflix, by Erich Schwartzel, Wall Street Journal

During the free-screening weekend for “CODA,” the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, Mass., gave away 873 tickets. Several screenings were at capacity—an anomaly for such giveaways.

“Free tickets usually mean no-shows,” said Mark Anastasio, the theater’s director of special programming. “That was not happening for these screenings.”

But a cheaper strategy has emerged in Apple stores across Los Angeles, where the company has set iPads and computer monitors to the same lock screen: ads for “CODA,” reminding shoppers it is up for best picture.

Streaming Has Won The Hollywood Debate. Is Best Picture Next?, by Nicole Sperling, New York Times

Unless the predictions are wrong and something unexpected awaits inside those gold leaf-embossed envelopes at the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday, a streaming service film — in a first — will win the Oscar for best picture. “CODA,” a dramedy from Apple TV+ about the only hearing member of a deaf family, is favored to receive the prize, having already won top honors at the predictive Producers Guild Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards and Writers Guild Awards.

A Netflix film, “The Power of the Dog,” could nudge past “CODA” to win the best picture trophy, awards handicappers say. But most are not predicting a win for nominees from traditional studios, including “Belfast” and “West Side Story.” Apple TV+ and Netflix have both campaigned aggressively, with Apple spending an estimated $20 million to $25 million to promote “CODA” and Netflix’s push for “The Power of the Dog” costing even more.

There's An App For That?

Do Friendship-Making Apps Really Work?, by Bindu Bansinath, The Cut

It’s been a year since I’ve swiped through a dating app, but the drudgery still feels fresh: the painful small talk (“Hi,” “What do you do?,” “How do you do?”) that goes nowhere; the corporate bros crowding my queue on both Hinge and Bumble; the couples looking for a third; or, my favorite, the guys I met up with off-line only to find out they were already taken. Most men I matched with turned out to be terrifying flirts (“ur so short I could break you in half by accident”) or plain terrifying (“don’t be a bitch”). The pandemic gave me an excuse to delete all of the apps, and almost immediately, nights felt a little lighter when I wasn’t swiping through Tinder Passport in bed.

But earlier this month, I turned to apps again — this time to make platonic friends. It was my foray back into a social world. I’d become weirdly comfortable with masking and six-feet-apart warnings, the distance they created being conducive to my depressive episodes, and I’d grown used to being on my own. But I missed friendship, the purest form of social connection, free from sexual and familial obligations. I felt ready for it again, but I was also intimidated.


Overcast Redesign Enhances Podcast Navigation With An Emphasis On Playlists And Recent Episodes, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The app is still highly customizable, but features like Recents and the built-in playlists make it more welcoming to newcomers and users with simple needs than ever before. Coupled with the app’s excellent audio engine, Overcast remains my favorite way to listen to podcasts.

Alto’s Adventure Gets A Spirited Apple Arcade Expansion, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Is this more of the same, in a way? Yes. But the game is beautiful and fun and, again, these are my favorite iOS games ever. If you haven’t played the Alto games and are an Apple Arcade subscriber, they’ll be as new and fresh as the day they launched. If you played them and loved them, the new content and challenges will be a delightful invitation to revisit an old favorite.

The Best-hidden macOS And iOS Easter Egg From PCalc Is Now Its Own App, by Daryl Baxter, TechRadar

Called About by PCalc by developer James Thomson, you can manipulate the app's logo by flicking it around, changing the gravity, throwing bananas at it and even driving a car.


Every Screen In Your App Should Be A Scrolling View, by Michael Amundsen, Lickability

Even the simplest screens in an app should be architected to allow for scrolling. That way, you generally don’t have to think about supporting the keyboard, different device sizes, or Dynamic Type. Your screens become more flexible and can continue to work as they change over the lifetime of the app. Making every single screen in your app scrollable will benefit you and your users—I hope I’ve convinced you to give it a try!


Everything-as-a-service, Apple, And The Future Of Business, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

Closed-loop manufacturing is potentially critical to future hardware manufacturing. We know Apple is working to develop its own closed-loop manufacturing system, for which end-of-life product recycling is essential. Those rare earths, metals, and other precious materials used in your tech products need to be reused, not just abandoned in a landfill.

Apple Has Not Fully Complied With Order To Open Up App Store -Dutch Watchdog, by Foo Yun Chee, Reuters

Apple is set to be hit with another fine next week for not fully complying with an order to open its App Store to rival forms of payment for dating apps in the Netherlands, Dutch antitrust watchdog ACM told Reuters.


Subsequent fines once the total penalty hits 50 million euros could be higher according to ACM rules.

Mac Mini + iPad Mini = Touchscreen Mac, by Scharon Harding, Ars Technica

Measuring 7.7 x 7.7 x 1.4 inches and weighing 2.6 pounds, the Mac Mini is more portable than most desktops. But in order to use it at, for example, a café, you also need to carry some sort of display. Instead of relegating desktop-level work to, well, the top of the desk, one maker has taken matters into his own hands. The "Portable Mac Mini," as he calls it, is supposed to make it easier to work with the Mac Mini anywhere. It also creates a pseudo-Mac laptop with a handy feature that Apple doesn't offer in its real clamshells.

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Pachinko, one of the latest from Apple TV+, is the first television show that I've watched that came with its own instruction manual, right on the screen before the opening credits. The show is in Korean and Japanese, Apple TV+ tells us, and if you want to watch it in the original languages, you may want to pause the video and switch the language preference.

Except that, when I tap on the language icon on my iPad, I do not see any option for "Korean and Japanese". The four options that mention either of the two languages are: Korean AD, Korean, Japanese AD, and Japanese. If I don't want the dubbed version, which option should I choose?

Okay, the two ADs are out. AD stands for Audio Description, that much I know. But to choose between Korean or Japanese, when Apple just told me the show is in Korean and Japanese?

In the end, I chose to watch in Korean. That's because I've already read the book, and I know the story revolves a family originally from Korea. And, after watching the first episode, I think I do get the non-dubbed version: I do not speak Japanese, but to my untrained ears, the Japanese dialogue (which I can identify because the English subtitles are coded in different colors, depending on the language spoken) did sound Japanese to me, and the visual did seem to indicate the actors were not dubbed.


Thanks for reading.

The Screen-Real-Estate Edition Friday, March 25, 2022

Using Universal Control In macOS 12.3 Monterey And iPadOS 15.4, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Some people may see Universal Control as a way to increase screen real estate by using multiple Macs simultaneously. It’s probably not worth buying new Macs for that purpose, but it might be a great way to keep an older MacBook Pro useful after purchasing a new Mac Studio, for instance. The downside is, of course, that you have to keep both Macs up to date and figure out the best way to sync data between them.

Finally, if you’re more iPad-focused than we are, you could also dedicate an iPad on your desk to a single app that either doesn’t exist on the Mac or doesn’t work as well. Universal Control might also be a fluid way to move iPad-only content to the Mac, such as drawings created with an Apple Pencil.

Outsmart Your iPhone Camera's Overzealous AI, by Jeff Carlson, PopPhoto

You can easily bypass those features by using a third-party app such as Halide or Camera+, which can shoot using manual controls and save the images in JPEG or raw format. Some of the apps’ features can take advantage of the iPhone’s native image processing, but you’re not required to use them. The only manual control not available is aperture because each compact iPhone lens has a fixed aperture value.


I think the larger issue with the iPhone is that most owners don’t know they have a choice to use anything other than Apple’s Camera app. The path to using the default option is designed to be smooth; in addition to prominent placement on the home screen, you can launch it directly from an icon on the lock screen or just swipe from right to left when the phone is locked. The act of taking a photo is literally “point and shoot.”


Apple Announces Revamped 3D Maps In Toronto, Montreal, And Vancouver, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The update delivers more detailed maps, complete with custom-designed 3D landmarks, such as the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Notre-Dame Basilica in Montréal, and Robson Square in Vancouver. Navigation is also improved, with more detailed road markings and a 3D road-level view when approaching complex intersections.

HomePod Mini Launches In Belgium, Netherlands, And Switzerland, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple today started taking orders for the HomePod mini in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland for the first time.

Clocker Review: Get Easy Access To Time Zone Info On Your Mac, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

If you work or have family across international time zones a bit east or west of you, or you’re just trying to remember “how far ahead/back is Rocky Mountain Time, anyway?” the free app Clocker provides those details at a glance—and some warnings, too.

Wyoming Now Has An App For Collecting Roadkill, by Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine

In January, collecting roadkill was legalized in Wyoming. For residents interested in claiming the carcass of an antelope, deer, elk, moose, wild bison or wild turkey, the state now has an app for that.


Apple Says Resolved iMessage Issues After Third Services Outage This Week, by Niket Nishant, Reuters

Apple Inc said it has resolved the issues that caused outages to its iMessage service after complaints earlier on Thursday, as the tech behemoth grappled with disruptions to its cloud services for the third time this week.

Report: Apple Plans To Sell The iPhone As A Subscription Service, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Apple is working on a way for users to acquire iPhones as part of a subscrption service, according to reporting from Bloomberg. The service could launch as soon as this year, but it could also arrive in early 2023.

The new offering would fit neatly into Apple's ongoing efforts to emphasize recurring subscription revenue. That model has worked well for big tech companies like Microsoft, which earn most of their revenue from subscriptions, albeit mostly not hardware ones.

Apple Agrees To Pay $14.8M To Settle iCloud Storage Lawsuit, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Apple has agreed to pay out $14.8 million to U.S. residents to settle a class action lawsuit focused on the storage of user iCloud data on non-Apple servers.

The complaint, filed back in 2019 in a California District Court, alleged that Apple had breached its iCloud server terms and conditions by storing user data on servers run by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft instead of its own.

Europe Agrees New Law To Curb Big Tech Dominance, by James Clayton, BBC

Under the proposed Digital Markets Act, Apple would be forced to open up its App Store to third-party payment options instead of users being forced to use Apple's own payment system.

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I've used Universal Control on my Mac with my iPad for a brief minute after installing the latest OS. It worked. And that's it.

Not because I don't want to use Universal Control, but because I am working on a small desk that doesn't have room for both monitor and iPad.

One day, I hope, I can use my keyboard and mouse on my iPhone.


Thanks for reading.

The Technology-Overstep Edition Thursday, March 24, 2022

Apple Officially Launches Digital IDs In Arizona With More States Coming 'Soon', by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

After first announcing support for digital IDs in iOS 15 last year, the first state has gone live with the feature. Arizona residents can officially add their driver’s license or state ID to the Wallet app on iPhone and Apple Watch.

Apple's Digital ID Is Finally Here, And So Are The Privacy Concerns, by Mashable

Alexis Hancock, the director of engineering at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, expressed reservations about Apple's plans.

"The main privacy concern I have is how 'digital first' will overlook the scenarios in the near future where people don't want to tie identity documentation to their devices if they do not wish to," she explained over email. "Convenience value is certainly provable here," she conceded, but she worried that the TSA or other enforcement entities "may overstep with this technology."


The AirPods Max Is Apple's Best Product In Years, by Dave Holmes, Esquire

The AirPods Max sound exponentially better than any noise-canceling headphones I’ve ever used, and feel much more like I’m not wearing headphones at all.

Apple TV+ Website Adds Up Next Queue To Make It Easier To Continue Watching A Show, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The Apple TV+ website now features an ‘Up Next on Apple TV+’ row. This lists latest episodes of shows you are currently watching so you can easily pick up where you left off, as well as titles that you have recently added to Up Next manually.

Users Report External Monitor Issues After Updating To macOS Monterey 12.3, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Following the latest macOS Monterey 12.3 update, users are reporting several problems when using external monitors, ranging from Macs not detecting displays at all to inaccurate screen output, according to posts on the Apple Support and MacRumors forums.

Hands-on: Schlage Encode Plus - The First Smart Lock With Apple Home Key Support, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

As first announced at WWDC 2021, iOS 15 evolves Apple Wallet to store keys for hotels, homes, and even cars. The Schlage Encode Plus is the first such consumer lock solution to take advantage of the NFC-powered Apple home key support.


Talking Tech With Apple Music 1 Host Zane Lowe, by Tyler Hayes, Newsweek

It's funny, you know, when everything went into quarantine, within a few days, we started to think, How can we get the studio back up and get broadcasting again and get the show up and get the conversations moving? To me, it was really clear from watching artists immediately move to their social media feeds that there was this real deep need for connection.

Within a few days, we had to plan to start recording shows from home using a very basic kind of podcast-type mic plugged into a laptop. And we were FaceTiming each other, recording our audio, and it was as rough and rugged as you could get. It was really fulfilling at that moment because we're all just trying to figure out like, What's going on? How do we stay connected to the ones we love? How do we stay connected to our jobs?

Is This The End Of The App Store Tax?, by Ben Brody, Protocol

Nobody really has the answers to these questions right now. I’m guessing they’ll only become clear over years, through corporate announcements, ongoing developer lobbying, court decisions, legislative threats, enforcer fines and more. For now, though, the next move is Apple’s.

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I am not raising my hope yet that we won't get a fourth year. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Big-Block-of-Aluminium Edition Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Apple’s Super-powerful Mac Studio Was Almost Two Decades In The Making, by Robert Leedham, GQ

In many ways, it’s a callback to the original Mac Mini with its charmingly small footprint and curved, boxy aesthetic. Back in 2005, achieving that cute look meant taking a big block of aluminium and then innovating within Apple’s milling process in order to carve out its insides and create a thick 5mm wall. Nowadays, that product’s polycarbonate top and bottom have evolved into a shell for the Studio that’s made from 80 per cent recycled aluminium and better aligned with Apple’s goals of carbon neutrality by 2030. “Because of the Mac’s product history, we've been able to take those products from 20 years ago that might look pretty pedestrian to us today but were groundbreaking at the time, and then learn every single little thing that we can from them,” says Bergeron.

Apple's Old Tech And Recycled Ideas Have Finally Worn Out Their Welcome, by Jason Snell, Macworld

As someone who has used an iPad Pro with Center Stage to do Zoom and FaceTime calls weekly for almost a year, I’ve gotten used to the Center Stage camera and its quirks. What I saw on the Studio Display was, for better or worse, a Center Stage experience–it looked fine and it followed me around when I moved. It didn’t feel especially worse than the 1080p camera on my iMac Pro.

But it’s all about context. A lot of reviewers (many of whom have spent little time using Center Stage) compared the Studio Display’s camera to an external 4K webcam, or to a still image taken by a smartphone camera. These are not comparisons that the Center Stage camera is going to win.

Six Years Later, First-gen iPhone SE Runs The Latest Version Of iOS – And It's Still Good, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

To my surprise, the first-generation iPhone SE is still quite usable even with iOS 15. When using it for basic tasks like surfing the web, listening to music, or opening social networking apps, it’s hard to notice apps that are unresponsive or running slowly. Some things take longer to open when compared to newer iPhones, but it’s nothing like using an iPhone 3G with iOS 4 or an iPhone 4 with iOS 7 (if you’re old enough, you know what I mean).

Having access to the latest version of iOS on a six-year-old phone means that you can get at least some of the same features available on the latest iPhone 13. The iPhone SE has Focus Mode, redesigned notifications, rich Spotlight results, new Emojis, and all the latest privacy and security improvements that come with iOS 15.


Apple Configurator App Updated With Support For iPhone SE 3 And iPad Air 5, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Apple this week updated its Apple Configurator app, which is used to deploy iOS and Mac devices in schools and business. The latest version of the tool makes it fully compatible with the newly released third-generation iPhone SE and fifth-generation iPad Air, as well as the latest versions of iOS and macOS.

Apple-owned Shazam Updated With In-depth Concert And Tour Information, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

With Bandsintown integration, Shazam will now show you concert information and ticket information when you search for a song or Shazam a song.

It Started As A College Project. Now It's The Music Industry's Hottest Recommendation Tool, by Elias Leight, Rolling Stone

The app recommends you a slew of songs based on your past listening preferences and plays you TikTok-sized snippets of each. You swipe left or right depending on your feelings about each track; the ones you like are automatically added to a Spotify playlist for you.

We Tried Mystery Meals From The Too Good To Go App, Which Sells Leftovers From Chicago Restaurants For Cheap, by Nick Kindelsperger, Chicago Tribune

Too Good To Go, which launched in 2016 in Denmark, seeks to lessen the waste with its inexpensive grab bags from local restaurants, said spokesperson Allie Sale. The app takes a flat fee of $1.79 from each order, and the restaurant keeps the rest. The company estimates that it has diverted hundreds of thousands of pounds of food waste from landfills.

OtterBox Launches First Collection Of AirTags Cases With Three Rugged Styles, by Blair Altland, 9to5Toys

Each one takes on a different design, but all of them are based around the keychain form-factor. They all have the same clip at the top in order to pair with keychains or slip onto backpack zippers and the like.


Explaining The Mac Studio’s Removable SSDs, And Why You Can’t Just Swap Them Out, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Deeply sympathetic as I am to the goals of the right-to-repair movement, and deeply frustrated as I am by Apple's storage prices relative to other high-end SSDs, Miani's conclusions are based on incorrect assumptions about how modern Mac SSDs work. It's also likely that these modular SSD slots actually do facilitate easier upgrades and repairs than, say, desoldering NAND chips from a logic board and soldering on higher-capacity NAND chips. There are just caveats you need to be aware of first.

Apple And Amazon Are Changing The Way We Watch Live Sports, by Alex Perry, Mashable

And while a great many of our beloved senior citizens can work their way around modern tech, it’s no secret that older people tend to acclimate poorly to these sorts of changes. Apple getting in bed with baseball to start its streaming journey is fascinating because that sport has the oldest audience of the big team sports.

How To Start A Collection Of Classic Macs, by D. Griffin Jones, Cult of Mac

Apple computers are highly collectible. They span the entire history of personal computing. The company’s unwavering design philosophy, always pushing ease of use, means even the oldest and weirdest Apple computers are never hard to figure out. The historical lineup spans all different kinds of form factors and designs. Not to mention, they look rad.

Apple Acquires UK Banking Startup In Potential Hint At International Apple Card Launch, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Credit Kudos offers insights and scores based on loan applications drawn from transaction and loan outcome banking data, sourced by the UK’s open banking framework. The company’s API offers lenders a way to get faster, automated decision-making about loans with reduced risk and higher rates of acceptance, according to its website.

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I went from my iPhone X to the current iPhone 12 mini not because the iPhone X was failing -- the battery is less than 100% capable, but everything else was working fine -- but it was getting frustrating to manage all my stuff with the little storage. Now, i didn't settle with the base model of storage, and I hope my iPhone 12 mini can last longer for me than my iPhone X.


Thanks for reading.

The How-to-Watch Edition Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Apple Announces Learning Coach Program, Education Community Hub Coming This Fall, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Apple Learning Coach is a free professional learning program that trains instructional coaches, digital learning specialists, and other coaching educators to help teachers effectively use Apple technology in the classroom.

The program mixes self-paced lessons and virtual workshop sessions with Apple Professional Learning Specialists to help professionals gain a deeper understanding of how to support teachers where they are, as they integrate technology into learning.

Apple TV App On Android TV And Google TV No Longer Lets Users Buy Or Rent Movies, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

I can confirm via, as they say, sources familiar with the matter, that this is entirely about Apple and Google not being able to reach mutually agreeable terms on in-app payment commissions. Until this update, Apple had been running on an exemption not to use Google’s IAP. The exemption expired, so Apple TV on Android TV is now “reader only”.


What’s hypocritical is Apple offering a “How to Watch” button, with a simple clear explanation of how you can buy or rent new content to watch on Android TV by making the purchase on a different device. That’s not allowed on Apple’s own platforms — Apple has a rule against explaining the rules.

Studio Display Enables 'Hey Siri' On Several Older Macs, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

For example, while “Hey Siri” normally requires a MacBook Pro released in 2018 or later, the feature can be used on 2016 and 2017 models of the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro while connected to a Studio Display.


DEVONthink 3.8.3, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

DEVONtechnologies has released DEVONthink 3.8.3 with a variety of new features, enhancements, and bug fixes for the document and information manager.

Pixelmator Pro 2.3.6, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The Pixelmator Team released Pixelmator Pro 2.3.6, adding support for calculations in text fields and improving compatibility with third-party cloud storage providers.

8 Camping Apps Every Backpacker Needs On Their Phone, by Michelle Leighton, Input

With the right selection of outdoorsy apps designed for campers and backpackers, you'll be navigating trails in ways Lewis and Clark could only dream of. Just remember to charge your phone and download what you need before you lose service.

ComicTrack: A Beautifully-Designed, Flexible Way To Organize Your Comic Book Reading, by John Voorhees, MacStories

ComicTrack is a new app from Joe Kimberlin for tracking and organizing the comic books you’ve read, are currently reading, and want to read.

Jamf Launches Fundamentals Plan To Compete With Apple's Business Essentials, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

The new device management plan lets smaller businesses deploy iOS apps to its users, sync passwords, and prevent malware across iOS and Mac. It's similar to the forthcoming Apple Business Essentials offering, except that it is aimed to work with firms that are scaling up to become mid-sized.


Apple Podcasts Improvements Will Let Creators See Follower Data, Get Help With Subscription Shows, More, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple Podcasts improvements coming into effect next month include improved analytics and support for those wanting to take advantage of the opportunity for paid subscriptions.


Apple Stores Can Upgrade A Studio Display's Stand After Purchase, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

For example, if a customer bought a Studio Display with the standard tilt-adjustable stand and later decides they want to use a VESA mount adapter, they can book a service appointment with an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider and have one installed, according to internal documentation obtained by MacRumors.

Apple Resolves Outage That Hobbled Apps And Internal Systems, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. resolved a widespread network outage on Monday that had knocked services such as Apple Music, iCloud and the App Store offline for some users and hobbled its internal systems.

In addition to frustrating Apple customers, the problems prevented corporate employees from working from home and kept retail workers from completing tasks, according to staff members who asked not to be identified. The outage hindered product repairs, swaps and item pickups, and limited corporate workers’ ability to communicate and access internal websites.

Apple Sends New Offer To Dutch Antitrust Authority Over Dating Apps Payments, Racks Up 9th Fine, by Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch

The tussle has gone on for weeks but, despite yet another penalty now, there may be sign of a shift by Apple: Per the ACM, Apple submitted “new proposals” earlier today — which it said it’s studying to determine whether they pass muster or not.

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I wonder if Apple knows that while I am watching a show on Apple TV+ today, I was also playing a game on my iPhone, and at what point in the television show was I more 'engaged' versus when I was less.



Thanks for reading.

The Mental-Calisthenics Edition Monday, March 21, 2022

Apple Silicon's Greatest Trick Is Leveling The Playing Field For Laptops And Desktops, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

What Apple has done is simplify the line in a way that requires fewer mental calisthenics—you no longer need to ponder if the performance sacrifice is worth the mobility. Customers who need only one computer now have more choices. In some production workflows, a MacBook acts as a companion to a more powerful desktop Mac—now with the M1, the MacBook can play both roles.

Apple's Studio Display Uses A Unique Power Connection, But Don't Pull It Out, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

The Studio Display uses a non-standard power connector on the back, but while it is technically removable, most users shouldn't pull that cable out.


It is likely that Apple advises against removing the cable due to the difficulty in doing so normally, without accidentally causing damage to the cable, its connections, nor the display itself.

Apple Studio Display Contains 64GB Of Storage, But Only 2GB Used, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Economies of scale may also be responsible, with production costs for pairing the A13 with a smaller amount of storage potentially costing more than the same 64GB system currently used in the ‌iPhone 11‌ that is still on sale and the ninth-generation ‌iPad‌.

Uneven iPhone

iPhone SE (2022) Review: An Uneven And Disappointing 'Upgrade', by Jason Cross, Macworld

This is just such an uneven product. The processor is overkill, way more than any budget phone needs. It’s faster than Android phones that cost over $1,000! This sort of bleeding-edge performance is rarely the top concern of people who choose the most affordable phones. In other areas, it’s so far behind the times, even for a $400-ish phone.

Why I Fell Out Of Love With The iPhone SE, by Philip Michaels, Tom's Guide

Despite some notable improvements, the iPhone SE (2022) failed to distinguish itself as anything more than a minor refresh to its predecessor. And it's the features that aren't there that rankle the most.


Customers Complain Of Worrying iPad Air 5 Build Quality Issue, by Stephen Warwick, iMore

Multiple users of the new device say the rear of the device feels thin and makes creaking noises.

Subscriptions? In This Economy? Free Alternatives For Watching, Reading And Listening, by Heather Kelly, Washington Post

To start saving, consider swapping out paid entertainment with some free options.


Apple Mac Studio: Reviews Reviewed, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

General audience media such as the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal didn’t give top billing to the Mac Studio. This might reflect their knowledge of their audience, or advertising revenue considerations. Probably both.

Foxconn 'Basically' Resumes Normal Operations In China's Shenzhen, by Ben Blanchard, Reuters

The world's largest contract electronics maker said on Wednesday it had restarted some production and operations at its Shenzhen campuses after arranging for some staff to live and work in a bubble, an arrangement requested by the local government as it battles the spread of COVID-19.

The company said in a statement that according to a government notice, it has "basically resumed normal work order and production operations" at its major campuses such as in the city's Longhua and Guanlan districts.

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Another day out and about -- well, out and in office -- and another day where the FaceID with Mask did not work for me. Am I holding my phone wrong? It kept telling me to look down. I have no idea if I can just look down with my eyes, or do I need to move my entire face. But, either way, it still didn't work.

Oh well.


Thanks for reading.

The Only-Work-With-Mac Edition Sunday, March 20, 2022

Apple Updates Boot Camp With Studio Display Drivers For Windows Users, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

However, while you can connect a Studio Display to a Mac or PC running Windows, there are some limitations. Features such as Center Stage, Spatial Audio, and the “Hey, Siri” voice command only work with macOS.

Not Using A Password Manager? Here’s Why You Should Be…, by Kate O'Flaherty, The Guardian

Many people are put off by the hassle, while others are suspicious about allowing one company to store all of their passwords. How do you know which one is trustworthy, and what if the company is hacked?

It might seem daunting at first, but a password manager will make your life a lot easier. Here’s everything you need to know.

Get It Done! 6 Best iPhone Apps To Help Beat Procrastination,b y Sergio Velasquez, iDrop News

You can use your iPhone to help you focus instead of letting you get distracted with social media.


Asahi Linux Is The First Linux Distro To Support Apple Silicon, by Mark Tyson, Tom's Hardware

Asahi Linux for Apple Silicon has launched for the public. It is the first Linux distribution to offer native support for Apple M1 chips. As this is an alpha release, please be aware of the likelihood of easy to stumble upon bugs and some significant missing features. However, this critical milestone now made, “things will move even more quickly going forward,” promises the Asahi Linux development team.


So Apple Is Just Never Going To Fix Screen Time, Huh?, by Matt Wille, Input

The crux of the problem is that Screen Time is registering Safari use when the app isn’t even in use. Screen Time reports end up showing a ludicrous number of hours spent on a single website, even when the user hasn’t directly spent more than a few minutes on it. Some users even say Screen Time is reporting sites they’ve never accessed or apps they don’t have installed.

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When I retire, I'll probably go attend some Today at Apple sessions. Maybe a session on how iPhone can help older people who are losing their eyesights and hearing and memory.

On a related note, I do have a checklist of sorts in my To-do app for the two days that I am returning to office. No, I didn't have to put "wear pants" as a to-do. That I can still remember.


Thanks for reading.

The Not-A-Feature Edition Saturday, March 19, 2022

Have iPhone Cameras Become Too Smart?, by Kyle Chayka, New Yorker

For a large portion of the population, “smartphone” has become synonymous with “camera,” but the truth is that iPhones are no longer cameras in the traditional sense. Instead, they are devices at the vanguard of “computational photography,” a term that describes imagery formed from digital data and processing as much as from optical information. Each picture registered by the lens is altered to bring it closer to a pre-programmed ideal. Gregory Gentert, a friend who is a fine-art photographer in Brooklyn, told me, “I’ve tried to photograph on the iPhone when light gets bluish around the end of the day, but the iPhone will try to correct that sort of thing.” A dusky purple gets edited, and in the process erased, because the hue is evaluated as undesirable, as a flaw instead of a feature. The device “sees the things I’m trying to photograph as a problem to solve,” he added. The image processing also eliminates digital noise, smoothing it into a soft blur, which might be the reason behind the smudginess that McCabe sees in photos of her daughter’s gymnastics. The “fix” ends up creating a distortion more noticeable than whatever perceived mistake was in the original.

Mac Studio Is Far Better For The Climate Than The iMac Pro—even With The Display, by Tim De Chant, Ars Technica

If you’re an enthusiast or pro who is looking to maximize performance while minimizing your climate impacts, that doesn’t seem to be a winning combination. But according to Apple’s environmental reports, the combination of a Mac Studio and Studio Display produces nearly 50 percent fewer carbon emissions over its lifetime than the iMac Pro.

How did that happen?

Bridging the Gap

It Really Just Works, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish

If you believe, as I do, that macOS is better for some tasks, while iOS is better for others, now you don’t have to compromise. Even if Apple gave us the ability to dual boot macOS and iOS (which they certainly could now that both run on the same Apple Silicon chips), that would be a compromise. iOS apps running on Apple Silicon Macs is less of one, but the support is uneven, at best. Universal Control quite literally bridges the gap.

Universal Control From Apple Deepens The iOS-MacOS Relationship, by Scott Stein, CNET

But, is it fun to leap across both devices with one keyboard and trackpad? Yes, yes it is. And sometimes, controlling the iPad or Mac from the other device, it feels like mind-reading. Or remote telepresence. And with a monitor connected to the MacBook Air, plus the iPad nearby, it's now a three-screen system of sorts that I control with one keyboard/trackpad.

I still think iPadOS should evolve into MacOS or add a Mac layer, especially for pro-level iPads. Macs are overdue for some touchscreen experiences, too. While Universal Control doesn't do that, it makes the devices feel so much more connected. I can even bring some things across the divide: A file can be dragged across from my Mac desktop, but it needs to land in a particular app to finish transferring (like Apple's iPadOS Files app). Yet, I can't drag windows or apps or browser tabs with me, though, like I always do on monitors with the Mac. So close, and yet so far.


Apple Bets 'Your Next Computer Is Not A Computer' In New Ad Touting iPad Air 5, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The ad aims to showcase the versatility of the iPad Air, ranging from hand-held use, to Apple Pencil, to the Magic Keyboard. The students in the video can be seen using the iPad Air for creating and designing election artwork, using AirDrop to share that artwork, and more.

Mac Studio And Studio Display Backordered As Far As June, In-store Availability Scattered, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

If you missed the brief window of launch day availability, however, you might be waiting a long while to get your hands on a Mac Studio or Studio Display.


Mac Studio Teardown Suggests SSD Storage Could Be Upgradeable, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Max Tech realizes that the Mac Studio may very well feature upgradeable SSD storage. Similar to the Mac Pro, the Mac Studio features two SSD ports inside that are relatively accessible.


Because of the “user accessible” language, however, Max Tech speculates that Apple could offer authorized SSD storage upgrades at some point down the line. Apple similarly sells an SSD Upgrade Kit for the Mac Pro.

Telegram Forgot To Check Its Email And Now It’s Banned In Brazil, by Mitchell Clark, The Verge

Telegram’s founder and CEO Pavel Durov has just put out a statement about why Brazil’s Supreme Court is now suspending the app, and the reason is incredible. In the statement, which you can read in full below or on Durov’s Telegram channel, he says it was because his company was checking the wrong email address.

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The emphasis Apple placed on the M1 chips is performance-per-watt. No, the performance of the M1 chips is nothing to sneer at, but Apple is also able to create smaller and lighter and quieter machines based on these M1 chips.

Now, with the Mac Pro still yet to be launched, Apple has already declared the M1 Ultra is the last chip in the M1 family. So, what's next for the Mac Pro?

Could Apple be secretly creating a new family of Apple Silicon chips just for the pro market? No, not the M2, but a different family of chips with a different set of target. Could the upcoming Mac Pro not have the best performance-per-watt, but the best performance, period? (Where money, and fans and cooling systems, are no objects...)


Thanks for reading.

The Historic-Achievement Edition Friday, March 18, 2022

Apple Execs On Developing Mac Studio And Studio Display For The Other Pros, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

“We look very much at Mac studio for what it is, a completely new Mac product line. Which is rare. We don’t add product lines to the Mac very often,” says Tom Boger, Vice President of Mac & iPad Product Marketing at Apple. “Our philosophy was not at all to take a Mac Mini and scale it up, it was ‘we know we’re working on this M1 chip and we want to bring it to those users who want performance and conductivity and a modular system. And let’s allow it to live right on people’s desks so it’s within easy reach. And that’s what we delivered.”

Apple Mac Studio Review: Finally, by Monica Chin, The Verge

I’ve reviewed a whole bunch of computers in my career that are aimed at this exact market. I often get a workstation that seems like it can keep up with various creative workflows. I’ve never reviewed one that seemed like it could change the sorts of things creators can make. And that’s what I heard across the board. Not only did this device allow them to try more powerful, more advanced tools, but the speed it delivered also freed up huge chunks of their time to focus on other projects.


UltraFusion is not a kooky new idea that Apple is wasting our time with. It’s real. Companies have been trying to mush two GPUs into one for over a decade, and Apple finally did it. This computer is a historic achievement. And using it feels like a privilege.

Apple’s Charts Set The M1 Ultra Up For An RTX 3090 Fight It Could Never Win, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

It’s sort of like arguing that because your electric car can use dramatically less fuel when driving at 80 miles per hour than a Lamborghini, it has a better engine — without mentioning the fact that a Lambo can still go twice as fast.

And yes, it is very impressive that Apple is accomplishing so much with (comparatively) so little power. I’m sure Apple’s chart is accurate in showing that at the relative power and performance levels, the M1 Ultra does do slightly better than the RTX 3090 in that specific comparison. But it’s effectively missing the rest of the chart where the 3090’s line shoots way past the M1 Ultra (albeit while using far more power, too).

Pixel-Perfect; Dead Last Webcam

Apple’s $1,599 Studio Display Vs. Other Monitors: You Won’t Get What You Pay For, by Joanna Stern, Wall Street Journal

I shared frames with a group of colleagues, without saying which came from which. The group was unanimous, ranking the Apple Studio Display’s webcam dead last. Naturally, the iPhone came in first.

After contacting Apple about my results, another spokeswoman wrote, “We discovered an issue where the system isn’t behaving as expected. We’ll be making improvements in a future software update.” I plan to monitor the situation.

Apple Studio Display Review: Nothing To See Here, by Nilay Patel, The Verge

Really the only reason to chase after this display for the screen itself is if you desperately care about having a 5K display that can display MacOS at pixel-perfect resolution with no scaling. I don’t want to discount this: a lot of people care about that a lot, and for those folks $1,599 sounds totally reasonable considering that the only other 5K option on the market is that buggy LG UltraFine.

For those of you that don’t care about pixel-perfect macOS with no scaling, $1,599 will sound frankly ridiculous, and there are lots of other fascinating displays to think about, including a number of OLEDs, some neat ultrawides, and plenty of displays that support higher refresh rates.

On App Stores

Apple’s Hold On App Store Set To Face Significant Challenge From New European Law, by Sam Schechner and Tim Higgins, Wall Street Journal

Critics accuse Apple of hurting competition by forcing app developers to use its store and payment tools, from which it extracts a commission of up to 30% for in-app purchases. Apple has countered that it is giving consumers a choice of a digital platform that has proven popular with customers and that proposed changes would open users up to threats to security and privacy, and weaken the overall iPhone experience.

Rivals and critics of Apple’s power hope the EU law will serve as a catalyst for other jurisdictions, such as in the U.S., where similar legislation is pending before Congress.

Apple And Google Are Brawling With Peers Over Future Of The App Store, by Brody Ford, Bloomberg

A push in Congress to regulate digital app stores has pitted Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc. against Microsoft Corp. and others in a showdown of some of the nation’s biggest technology companies.

The Open App Markets Act focuses on a narrow slice of the sprawling internet economy: the billions in fees collected by app-store operators. The legislation has emerged as a flash point because it has the best chance of becoming law among a handful of bills aimed at reining in Big Tech.


macOS Monterey 12.3 Update Bricking Macs That Have Had Logic Board Replacements, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

The latest macOS Monterey update, released to the public this week, is bricking Macs that have had their logic boards replaced, causing panic among customers who are unable to get their Mac back to a working state, according to a cluster of user reports posted on social media and Apple’s support forums.

How To Leave Your Photos To Someone When You Die, by Harry Guinness, Wired

Enough people have been locked out of a dead parents’ device that Apple and Google have now made it possible for you to grant posthumous access.

Apple calls the program Digital Legacy. Your selected Legacy Contacts can present the access key you give them along with your death certificate to gain access to any data you have stored on iCloud.

Google takes a slightly less morbid approach. You can configure Inactive Account Manager so that if you ever don’t log in for three, six, 12, or 18 months, your chosen contacts will be emailed with a link to download all your data.

Yoink Review: The Missing Piece Of Drag-and-drag Simplicity On The Mac, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Yoink provides an intermediate place to deal with dragging items from the Finder, from the Clipboard, and from other places until you’re ready to put them to use.

Brydge 12.9 Max Plus Review: The Best Apple Magic Keyboard Alternative That May Even Beat Apple, by Matthew Miller, ZDNet

The Brydge 12.9 Max Plus keyboard is designed to improve the productivity of your iPad experience in laptop configuration. It also has a new hinge SnapFit Case design that lets you quickly and easily remove the iPad for tablet use and then return it to keyboard use in seconds. The Bluetooth performance has been flawless, and if I hadn't been the one that made the initial connection with my iPad, I would have thought that Brydge was using the Apple Smart Connector technology.

This iPhone App Uses AirPods To Help You Improve Your Posture, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

With Posture Pal, you just have to start a session, and it will keep track of your neck tilt and will alert you when a bad posture is detected, even if the app is in the background.


Matter Smart Home Standard Delayed Until Fall 2022, by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, The Verge

The delay is needed to finalize the software development kit (SDK) device manufacturers will use to incorporate their products into the Matter ecosystem. According to Mindala-Freeman, because of a larger than expected number of platforms adopting Matter, the code for the SDK needs more work to ensure everything will operate together smoothly – which is the overall promise of the Matter standard.

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Just like the iMac Pro, maybe Apple should also look into retiring the iPad Pro, and come up with a new line of studio-level tablets that run macOS (which already run iPad apps)? I will buy that.


Thanks for reading.

The Still-Nothing Edition Thursday, March 17, 2022

His Software Sang The Words Of God. Then It Went Silent., by S.I. Rosenbaum, Input

The first warning Shepard got was when she went to update her Mac, and the system warned her that TropeTrainer wouldn’t run on the newest OS. She held off on the update and emailed Kinnor, the software company that made the program: Are you going to address this? She’d corresponded with Kinnor before when she needed tech support, but this time she didn’t get a response. So she sent a snail mail letter. Still nothing.

Shepard couldn’t figure out why the company wasn’t dealing with the problem.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she lamented to a friend. “What could have happened?”

“Didn’t you hear?” the friend said. “The developer died.”

Universal Control Is Apple’s Most Impressive New Feature In Years, by Sam Byford, The Verge

In beta state, though, Universal Control is already an example of Apple at its best. This isn’t an obvious feature or one that thousands of people will have been crying out for. But it is a feature that’s made possible by the fact that there are a lot of iPads and Macs out there that Apple has full control of the software for and a feature that will make a relatively small number of people very happy through its sheer wizardry. Count me among those people.

Performance and Portability

iPad Air 2022 Review: Refined Balance, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

After a week spent using the new iPad Air for both work-related tasks and media consumption, I can say this: the new Air is the most balanced tablet in Apple’s lineup – a lightweight, colorful 10.9” iPad that combines the performance of the M1 iPad Pro with increased portability that is reminiscent of the 8.3” iPad mini. The iPad Air isn’t as fancy as a 1 TB iPad Pro with a Liquid Retina XDR display or as diminutive as an iPad mini; but as a device that can be a little bit of both, now with M1, 5G, faster USB, and Center Stage support, I feel confident saying this iPad Air is the definitive multi-purpose tablet for most people right now.

Apple iPad Air (2022) Review: It’s The Nice One, by Dan Seifert, The Verge

New processor and 5G aside, the iPad Air remains the iPad for those looking for a nicer tablet than the base model, but don’t necessarily want to spend the cost or need all the bells and whistles of the iPad Pro. It’s got a modern design, more performance than most people will know what to do with in a tablet, and an excellent screen that works equally well in portrait or landscape orientation.

On Security

CryptoRom Bitcoin Swindlers Continue To Target Vulnerable iPhone And Android Users, by Jagadeesh Chandraiah, Sophos

Previously, we found CryptoRom’s deceptive applications for iOS devices exploiting Apple’s “Super Signature”application distribution scheme (a limited ad-hoc distribution method using a developer account) and abuse of Apple’s enterprise application deployment scheme. We are now also seeing Apple TestFlight being abused by CryptoRom authors.


The majority of the iPhone users we spoke with who had encountered these fraudulent apps were lured with another approach to bypassing the App Store: they were sent URLs serving iOS WebClips. WebClips are a mobile device management payload that adds a link to a web page directly to the iOS device’s home screen, making it look to less sophisticated users like a typical application.


Take Better Screenshots On Your Mac With CleanShot X, by Mike Schmitz, The Sweet Setup

I’ve used the built-in macOS keyboard shortcuts to take screenshots for years, but cleaning up screenshots can be a pain — especially if you have a messy desktop.

Enter CleanShot X — a simple utility that offers several tools to make taking screenshots on the Mac easier than ever.

WaterMinder 5.1 Delivers A Ground-Up Redesign Of Its Apple Watch App And More, by John Voorhees, MacStories

It’s easy to not stay hydrated whether you’re being blasted by warm, dry air in the wintertime or exercising in the heat of summer. I’ve always appreciated WaterMinder for how it takes the tedium out of logging liquids and its clear depiction of the data it records. With the redesign of the Watch app, Funn Media has created a more unified experience across all platforms.

Chipolo CARD Spot Review: A Better Wallet Tracker Than AirTag, by Allison McDaniel, 9to5Mac

I really like the Chipolo CARD Spot; it’s simple to set up and use – the two major items that stand out to me are that it is easier to fit in a wallet than an AirTag. My wallet is thin and couldn’t handle the thick, coin shaped design of the AirTag.

I also like that the CARD Spot is much louder than the AirTag.

iRobot Update Brings Siri Support To Roomba Vacuums & Braava Mops, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

Siri support has arrived for iRobot products like the Roomba, so now users can have the robots clean specific rooms using Siri voice commands and Shortcuts.


The 27-inch iMac Conundrum, by Ken Segall

Never in a million years did I imagine that Apple could leave such a large group of customers twisting in the wind. It’s frustrating. Even more so because Apple could remove the frustration by simply telling the truth.

Just the briefest of communiques would suffice. One tiny clue about the possibility of a new Apple Silicon-powered iMac 27. Do we sit tight, or do we make other plans?

iPod Modders Give Apple’s Abandoned Music Player New Life, by Brendan Nystedt, Wired

Six years later, in 2021, Apple let the 20th anniversary of the iPod pass as quietly as it had let the iPod Classic fade into obscurity. Fans of the iPod, on the other hand, have been growing in number as vintage players are dusted off, repaired, and upgraded with new parts. Groups of hardware modders are adding things like Bluetooth capability, Taptic Engine feedback, custom colored cases, and terabytes of silent, power-sipping flash storage to their iPods, bringing the device fully into the 2020s—all without Apple's blessing.

The End Of Infinite Data Storage Can Set You Free, by Drew Austin, Wired

While the age of inexpensive or free personal data storage is far from over, its slowing expansion presents an opportunity to reimagine our relationship with the information that we possess as individuals and as a society. At the individual level, we might develop better systems for organizing, prioritizing, and even discarding the information that we accumulate—not because we’re concerned about running out of space, but because our hoarding behavior diminishes the utility of the information that is truly valuable. A more decisive attitude toward what belongs in our personal archives might improve our understanding of what information we actually value, while also enabling us to undertake similar efforts at the collective scale.

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I am still using my iPad Pro 10.5, which, according to Wikipedia (because I cannot remember anything anymore), was released back in 2017. And the iPad is still going strong; battery life is still good, the screen is still great, it is on the latest iPadOS, and all my apps are still great.

I can't say the same about Apple's Smart Keyboard. The keys worked, but the quality of everything surrounding the actual keyboard was horrible.


Thanks for reading.

The Alleviating-the-Burden Edition Wednesday, March 16, 2022

How Apps Can Help People Manage Chronic Illnesses, by B.K. Jackson, Wired

Mobile apps are bridging a broad care gap, providing evidence-based information and tools for logging disease-related data to trace trends and patterns that can inform management strategies. According to a 2017 report by the IQVIA Institute, there were 318,500 mobile health apps that year—a number that was growing by 200 each day. Of these, 40 percent are dedicated to the management of a range of illnesses, most commonly heart disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions, and mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, autism, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s. And studies suggest they work, alleviating the burden on the health care system while boosting patients’ ability to live better with illness.

Why Haven’t Apple And Google Shut Down Their App Stores In Russia? Because The U.S. Doesn’t Want Them To., by Joseph Menn, Washington Post

But civil liberties groups and American officials are pushing the other way, arguing that the three California companies provide ordinary Russians with the means to find independent news sources and to connect to activists and nonprofit organizations opposed to the war in Ukraine.


One key reason for the companies to remain in Russia for now is that Russia is nowhere near as advanced in censorship and repression technology as China. Russians can still find outside perspectives and share them, if they go to the app stores and put in some effort instead of following government recommendations to use monitored social networks and messaging systems.

Disco Time!

watchOS 8.5 Fixes Mail Privacy Protection Loophole That Could Expose IP Addresses, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

watchOS 8.5 fixes a security vulnerability in the Mail app that could leak a user’s IP address when downloading remote content, security researchers have found.

Apple Has Finally Dropped A Disco Ball Emoji, by Aneesa Ahmed, Mixmag

A melting face, a nest, crutches, a lotus flower, and some fascinating new skin tone possibilities are among the 37 new emojis in iOS 15.4. The ability to modify skin tones in a single emoji is the highlight here. A handshake might now indicate a warm hug between two people of various skin tones.


Some Friendly Advice If You Were Waiting For A 27-inch iMac, by David Sparks, MacSparky

So if you were counting on getting a new 27-inch iMac, you’re out of luck. However, I have some advice for you, depending on where you were on the 27-inch iMac spectrum.

Apple’s Studio Display Fills An Obvious Gap In The Monitor Market, by Owen Williams, TechCrunch

Being able to plug in a single cable and have a webcam, microphone, and speakers ready to roll for your next video call is a massive improvement over fiddling around every time you’ve unplugged your laptop, especially considering that the integrated microphones are optimized for noise cancelling to make taking video calls on the speakers tolerable for everyone involved. For companies hiring on remote employees, being able to ship out a single screen that includes all of the accessories they’re going to buy individually anyway, is likely to make it a popular choice for enterprise buys.

FigJam Brings Its App For Easy Sketching And Sharing Ideas To The iPad, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Figma, the design tool first built for the web, is launching FigJam for the iPad today. In this online whiteboard, teams can ideate and brainstorm together, making it easier for coworkers to sketch the early days of a project in a clean way.

Edison Mail For iOS Updated With Powerful Spam-blocker Features, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

With spam messages accounting for 45% of email traffic in 2021, Edison Mail for iOS is being updated with a trio of customizable features that will help users block spam in their Gmail, Outlook, and other legacy email account.

Tripsy 2.1 Adds Web-Based Itineraries And Expanded Travel Email Forwarding, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Tripsy is my favorite travel app because it’s not just about getting from Point A to Point B. To me, the app defines the difference between trips and travel. Lots of apps can track travel information about your flights or show you where your hotel is on a map. Tripsy can do those things too, and it’s good at them. However, where Tripsy shines brightest and sets itself apart from other apps is by going beyond those nuts and bolts essentials and focusing the things you want to do and see on your trip.

Kaleidoscope Update Adds New Safari Extension For Web Developers, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Kaleidoscope is a popular and powerful Mac app for users who constantly need to compare the differences between files and folders. Following a major update last October with a new interface and support for M1 Macs, the app was updated today with new Safari extensions for web developers.

This iOS App Will Help Your DJI Mini 2 Or Mini SE Drone Fly To The Next Level, by Mark Wilson, TechRadar

One of the main drawbacks of DJI's two entry-level drones is their lack of subject-tracking, but Litchi delivers this via its Track function. Pinch a square around your chosen subject in the app and your drone will autonomously follow it or 'Orbit' around it. This is particularly handy for vloggers and one-person film crews.


Apple Will Soon Require Developers To Submit Apps To The App Store Using Xcode 13, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Apple on Tuesday sent a reminder to developers about an upcoming change in the requirements for submitting apps to the App Store. Starting April 25, 2022, all apps created for Apple’s platforms must be built with Xcode 13 – the latest version of the SDK available.

Apple Opens Applications For Second Impact Accelerator Program, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Apple has opened up applications for its second Impact Accelerator, a program that provides training to minority-owned businesses in the environmental sector.


Apple Stores Can Now Update Firmware On Second-Generation AirPods, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The tool allows technicians with access to Apple Service Toolkit 2 to install the latest firmware on a customer’s AirPods in certain scenarios, such as if the customer’s left or right AirPod failed to update or the customer is using a non-iOS companion device.

Apple Supplier Foxconn Says It Has Resumed Some Production In Shenzhen After Covid Outbreak, by Sam Shead, CNBC

The Taiwanese firm added that a "closed loop" process has been implemented on these campuses that adheres to policies issued by the Shenzhen Government.

"In applying this closed-loop management process within the Shenzhen campus and in implementing the required health measures for the employees who live on campus, some operations have been able to restart and some production is being carried out at those campuses," a Foxconn spokesperson told CNBC Wednesday.

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This morning, before I head out to my office, I've decided this is how I am going to test FaceID with Mask: I'm going to just try to unlock with my masked face in a (according to me) natural fashion, and if it failed to unlock, I will not move my face and eyes all over the phone to try to get the phone to unlock. Mostly, this is out of practical concern: I don't want others on the train or in the office to look at me funny. :-)

Anyway, if my counting was correct, I successfully unlock with my masked face only twenty percent of the time.

Maybe I'm holding the phone wrong. Maybe I am looking at the phone wrong. Maybe it will get better with practice. Just don't tell me I need to spend 10,000 hours to train the iPhone.


Thanks for reading.

The Look-Down Edition Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Apple Releases iOS 15.4, iPadOS 15.4, macOS 12.3 Monterey, watchOS 8.5, tvOS 15.4, And HomePod Software 15.4, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

The most significant addition to the Apple experience from these updates is Universal Control, which Apple is still labeling as a beta. Universal Control lets you use the same keyboard and pointing device to control multiple Macs and iPads, switching between devices seamlessly. At least that’s the theory. We’ll put it through its paces soon.

macOS 12.3: The Magic Of Universal Control And More, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Universal Control is the star of the macOS 12.3 show. When I first tried it with my Mac, I wondered if it would feel as though the iPad had been relegated to a supporting role in my daily computing, but it hasn’t felt that way at all. I’ve worked in a hybrid style for a long time. Even when I’m predominantly using my Mac, I’ve turned to the iPad to run shortcuts, look things up, and take advantage of the iPad apps that I prefer for certain tasks. Now, that’s just easier. I can flip over to my iPad Pro without thinking about it and just as easily switch back to the Mac from the iPad. Instead of relegating the iPad to a Mac accessory, Universal Control has expanded my use of both, forming a more powerful duo than using either by itself.

iOS And iPadOS 15.4: Hands-On With Universal Control, Face ID With A Mask, And More, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

In a nice touch, Apple is mitigating the decrease in security by enforcing attention awareness: if you’re wearing a mask and want to unlock with Face ID, you’ll always have to look down at your iPhone, even if you don’t normally use the ‘Require Attention for Face ID’ setting.

tvOS 15.4 And HomePod 15.4 Now Available With Captive Wi-Fi Network Support, Siri Improvements, More, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

One of the biggest improvements HomePod and Apple TV users will note is that Apple added a clever way to sign in to pesky captive Wi-Fi network on these products.

Computing Power and Battery Life

Apple iPhone SE Review: A Phone For The Anti-Consumer, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

The new iPhone also has the same computing processor as the more expensive iPhone 13 models. According to the speed-testing app Geekbench, the cheaper phone’s computing power was the same as the iPhone 13’s. That meant apps and games opened in a snap and ran smoothly.

The iPhone SE’s battery was another strength. The phone’s previous generation from 2020 had a subpar battery that was depleted by around 7 p.m. each day. I found the new model has enough battery life to last until bedtime.

Apple’s New iPhone SE Is A Modern Phone Stuck In Yesterday’s Design, by Allison Johnson, The Verge

This is the paradox of the 2022 iPhone SE. It’s going to get software updates for many years to come, but it will probably outlive the usefulness of its tiny screen. Phones aren’t getting any smaller. Giant screens are here to stay, and the people who design web pages and app menus are planning accordingly. The 4.7-inch screen feels small now, and I can only imagine it’s going to feel very small in 2028, even if the phone is still chugging along on iOS 21.


Apple Updates Logic Pro X, MainStage With New Features, M1 Ultra Optimizations, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Apple has issued new updates to its Logic Pro X, GarageBand, and MainStage music that bring new features, stability improvements, and more.

The new updates, which were issued on Monday, March 14, are relatively minor in scale, but they all add some new capabilities to Apple's suite of music-making applications.

macOS Big Sur 11.6.5 And Security Update 2022-003 Catalina, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Apple Has Released macOS Big Sur 11.6.5 and Security Update 2022-003 for macOS 10.15 Catalina, Patching 19 Security Vulnerabilities in Big Sur and 16 in Catalina. Both Updates Address Multiple AppleScript- and Kernel-Privilege-Related Issues and Resolve a Problem With QuickTime Player That Could Allow a Plug-In to Inherit the App’s Permissions and Access User Data.

Substack’s New Platform Play, by Casey Newton, Nieman Lab

For the company’s first five years, writers using have Substack published in two places: on the web and via email. As of last week, there is a third place: an iOS app that allows you read everyone you subscribe to on the platform — as well as any other RSS feeds you care to add — in a dedicated spot on your phone or tablet.

“We’ve kind of wanted to do this forever,” Chris Best, Substack’s co-founder and CEO, told me in a recent interview. The app was built by a team nostalgic for the halcyon days of Google Reader, he said, with its hand-curated feeds and limited social features. The team also wanted to enable features that simply aren’t possible in email: background podcast listening; video embeds; comment threads updated in real time.

Organizing Your Photos Can Be A Chore. Let AI Tag Them For You., by Jeff Carlson, PopPhoto

When We Look at a Photo, the Image Is Supposed to Speak for Itself. And Yet It Can’t in So Many Ways. We Work With Libraries of Thousands of Digital Images, So There’s No Guarantee That a Particular Photo Will Rise to the Surface When We’re Scanning Through Screenfuls of Thumbnails. But AI Can Assist.

5 Gratitude Journaling Apps To Boost Mental Health By Writing Your Thanks, by Mihir Patkar, MakeUseOf

Gratitude journaling is a popular practice to keep a positive mental state and be happy. The idea is to write about things you are thankful for, which makes you re-examine your daily life with a sense of positivity. It reduces social comparisons and improves self-esteem.


‘Pro’ Has Lost All Meaning, And Apple Knows It, by Mitchell Clark, The Verge

Apple has a “Pro” problem — while some products bearing the label are clearly intended for professional use (like Logic Pro, Final Cut Pro, and the Mac Pro), years of Apple and competitors slapping the name onto wireless earbuds and slightly fancier phones have made it hard to tell what “Pro” even means. Which is why my ears perked up when Apple used a different word to describe its new computer and monitor that clearly targeted its audience of creative professionals: “Studio.” I wondered if I was witnessing the start of a new brand for Apple.

Apple Can Withstand Production Disruptions In China, Analysts Say, by Emily Bary, MarketWatch

“Apple/Foxconn have the ability to relocate production to other areas in the short term provided that there is not a significantly higher duration of lockdown,” wrote Bank of America analyst Wamsi Mohan. “An increased period of shutdowns can cause ripple effects at other components that can create a shortfall in production.”

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I'm excited with iOS 15.4, so I broke my own rules, didn't wait a day or two, and have upgrade my iPhone today.

So far, I haven't really mastered the art of unlocking with my masked-face. With just me with the masked in my own kitchen, I couldn't manage to unlock my phone on the first try; the phone kept prompting me to 'look down'. Either I still need more practice, or my eyes are broken.

However, I worked from home today. Tomorrow, though, I will be going back to office. And that's when the real test begins.

(Yes, we are all still wearing masks here in Singapore.)


I've updated my iPad, but not my Mac. Based on reports, it does seem that Universal Control is available to me. (I'm using the last Intel Mac mini.) I am not in a hurry to try this, but it does seem I'll have something new to play with this weekend.


Thanks for Reading.

The In-Between Edition Monday, March 14, 2022

The Mac Studio Is Myth Fulfillment, by Jason Snell, The Verge

It can be tough to let go of that computer-nerd desire to tinker with the internals of a computer, to accept that the benefits we get from a modern, integrated Mac might be worth the PC equivalent of range anxiety. It’s hard to fight human nature.

But if you look past it, you see this: Apple’s now selling a computer that’s powerful enough to please “power users,” but doesn’t start at $6,000. It’s not that there aren’t still holes in the lineup that might need to be filled by a more powerful Mac mini, but the decades-long desire for power users to buy a desktop Mac in between the Mac mini and Mac Pro has finally fulfilled.

Apple Supplier Foxconn Shuts Shenzhen Production Amid COVID Lockdown, by Mike Murphy, MarketWatch

In a statement Sunday night, Taiwan-based Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., said it was suspending production at two campuses in Shenzhen, and reallocating production to other sites.


While most of Foxconn’s iPhone production in China is done at its plant in Zhengzhou, in central China, the Shenzhen campuses — technically in the suburbs of Longhua and Guanlan — are its largest, with an estimated 450,000 employees. Foxconn has about a dozen facilities across China.


I Just Bought My First Apple Watch — Here's What I Think So Far, by Jordan Palmer, Tom's Guide

The sheer amount of features is almost overwhelming and I don't think I'll use them all, but the fact that Apple has managed to pack so much into the watch is incredible.

The 7 Best Sleep Apps That Come Expert-approved To Give You A Better Night's Sleep, by Brigid Moss, LivingEtc

Without the best sleep apps on your phone, are you having another hellish night followed by another hellish day? Don't worry, because this list will hopefully help you break the cycle of sleeplessness by finding a sleep app that gives you power over your bedtime experience.


Apple: M1 Ultra Meanings And Consequences, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

First, benchmarks will reveal that, for a single thread, a single sequence of operations, the M1 Ultra isn’t faster than an entry-level M1 chip. This is because the the clock speed associated with the 5nm process common to all M1 chip hasn’t changed for the M1 Ultra. The newer chip will particularly shine in multithreaded applications generally associated with media development (audio, video, animation…) and some software development. All of which constitute a juicy and traditional enough market for Apple whose control of its macOS system software helps maximize multithreading performance.

Second, the recourse to two M1 Max chips fused into a M1 Ultra means TSMC’s 5 nm process has reached its upper limit. It also means TSMC’s 3 nm process isn’t ready, probably not shipping until late 2022. Apple, by virtue of their tight partnership with TSMC has known about and taken precautions against the 3 nm schedule, hence the initially undisclosed M1 Max UltraFusion design wrinkle, likely an early 2021 decision.

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Now, Apple, go fill the hole between $0 and the $600 Mac mini. And, no, iPads doesn't count. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Numerous-Good-Options Edition Sunday, March 13, 2022

Which Mac Will Replace The 27-iMac For You?, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

If you have to decide based on the Macs you can buy today, there are numerous good options. Pricing out comparable systems revealed that while the 27-inch iMac was in a sweet spot where price meets performance, other combinations of Apple gear come close. When the new options’ prices are higher, the associated performance and capabilities are also greater—a classic Apple technique for encouraging users to pay more. Plus, when you expand your thinking beyond a single purchase, the 27-inch iMac isn’t nearly as compelling.


5 Photoshop Alternatives, Depending On What Tools You Actually Need, by Zachariah Kelly, Gizmodo Austrlia

Look, Photoshop rules, nobody will ever say otherwise, but there are some pretty decent alternatives to Adobe’s platform — and some of them are even free.

ChronoSync V10 Brings Back Bootable Backups For macOS Big Sur And Monterey, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

The return of bootable backups is a big deal for users of the most recent macOS Monterey update and means that users of ChronoSync can now create bootable backups that are not only easy to create, but also easy to maintain to ensure they have the latest data, too.

Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub Review: Make Your Workspace More Comfortable And Productive, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

Satechi's Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub is the ideal way to raise your iMac or monitor while providing additional ports for your favorite devices.


Apple Seeks Home Run With MLB Streaming Deal, by Liam Killingstad, Front Office Sports

Though Apple hasn’t yet made a huge commitment to live sports, the new MLB deal hasn’t depleted any of its available reserves either, and it could act as a verifying mechanism that live sports rights are worth the investment.

Is Sports Betting "An Epidemic In The Making"?, by Peter Kafka, Vox

Remember when we decided that spending too much time on our phones was a bad thing? That immersing ourselves in our iPhones could be unhealthy, or even addictive?

That was a couple of years ago. So riddle me this: Now something that we already know is potentially addictive — sports betting — is available on those phones, accompanied by a media blitz promising a path to easy money. But people raising concerns about that combination seem few and far between. So what happens to the sports betting industry if someone — namely Apple or Google, which have enormous control over what you can do with your phones — decides they do have a problem with that?

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I've watched The Tragedy of Macbeth over the weekend. I don't really speak Shakespeare, so I was looking for a modern English subtitle, but I couldn't find it. :-)

But seriously, even if there were such subtitles, it would feel wrong just to have them. Instead, there should be a subtitle option that includes both the beautiful language that the actors are speaking as well as the English 'translation' simultaneously.

Wouldn't that be too many subtitles? Yes, it will mar the beautiful cinematography. But, no: I've grew up watching Hong Kong movies where every single one had both English and Chinese subtitles, so I am used to subtitles.


Thanks for reading.

The Most-Powerful Edition Saturday, March 12, 2022

Apple’s Chips Are On The Table, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

The first crucial takeaway is that Apple is now a force to be reckoned with when it comes to chips (if it wasn’t already). The incredibly positive reception for the first wave of M1 computers, along with the similar success of its M1 Pro and M1 Max-powered MacBook Pro laptops last year, established the company’s bona fides. But the M1 Ultra saw Apple take its biggest swing yet, with what it boasts is the “world’s most powerful chip for a personal computer.”

These chips are already becoming selling points for computers. Buying a Mac isn’t just about getting Apple’s software or aesthetic design anymore — it’s about getting the kind of performance and battery life no one else is offering.

Apple Stops Selling 27-Inch LG UltraFine 5K Display, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Following the announcement of the Studio Display this week, Apple has removed the UltraFine 5K display from its online store, now only listing the 23.7-inch UltraFine 4K display starting at $699. LG’s own website also lists the UltraFine 5K display as sold out, and it’s not entirely clear if the display will be restocked anytime soon.

Apple Currently Has No Plans To Release A New, Larger-screen iMac, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Sources told 9to5Mac that Apple currently has no plans to release a larger-screen iMac in the near future. The information comes from the same sources that revealed to us the plans for Mac Studio and Studio Display in advance.


This not only applies to a larger screen model, but also versions with Pro, Max, or Ultra chips.


Green iPhone 13 And iPhone 13 Pro Hands-on — Here's How They Look In Person, by Kate Kozuch, Tom's Guide

The iPhone 13 lineup has a new color in time for spring… or St. Patrick’s Day really, if you think about it. Either way, the fresh finish is available as of this writing for anyone interested in buying one of the best phones in green. And we have one of your first hands-on looks.

Play Ball! Friday Night Baseball On Apple TV+ Starting April 8 As MLB Lockout Ends, by Allison McDaniel, 9to5Mac

Many baseball fans didn’t think a 2022 season would happen this year as the MLB has been in labor disputes. But as it was tweeted today, games will start arriving on the platform on April 8.

Is Your Motivation Wavering? A Coaching App Might Help, by Carol Milberger, Wired

Hoare says reinforcement is important, since a behavior must be repeated for many days to become a habit. She says there are a variety of good apps available to create goals, but hallmarks of a good program include inquiries about goal progress and continuous reinforcement. Additionally, Hoare says the program should be simple to use and easily fit into your daily life.


Apple Clashes With UK Regulator In Fierce Response To Warning That Could Require It To 'Redesign The iPhone', by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

The detailed 47-page response from Apple aggressively dismissed the conclusions of the Interim Report, saying that the CMA has set the benefits of Apple’s ecosystem aside “without reasoned basis, either ignoring them entirely or dismissing them on the basis of nothing more than speculation.” Apple alleged that the CMA’s report is based on “unsubstantiated allegations and hypothetical concerns” from Apple’s rivals that would commercially gain from “deep” changes to the iPhone.

Apple, Google Among Dozens Of Corporations Condemning Texas’ Order To Investigate Families Of Trans Kids, by James Barragán, Texas Tribune

A group of more than 60 corporations — including Apple, Google, IBM and Facebook’s parent company, Meta — published an open letter Friday calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to “abandon anti-LGBTQ+ efforts” after he authorized state investigations of families who allow transgender kids to receive gender-affirming care.

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No, I too do not think that there will be any larger-screen iMac anytime soon. It certainly seems that Apple has returned the iMac line to its original consumer root.

Maybe someday there will be an iMac AV that merges macOS with tvOS?



Thanks for reading.

The No-Longer-the-Compromise Edition Friday, March 11, 2022

Apple Finally Made The Missing Mac That Puts Everything In Its Right Place, by Jason Snell, Macworld

We’ll see how the Mac Studio performs when it arrives on March 18, but it seems clear that Apple has decided to redefine the iMac’s place in the product line. Instead of packing it full of power, it has left that for the Mac Studio. As someone whose last two primary Macs have been iMacs (an original 5K iMac and that weird, great one-off iMac Pro), I will admit: the moment I saw the Mac Studio, I realized that it was made for me.

The iMac was always meant to be a consumer computer. Now it is again. While I hope that, in time, there’s a larger and more capable iMac for those who want one, I’m happy that the iMac is no longer the compromise users make because they don’t want a Mac Pro.

Screw It, The Rectangles Are Back, by Monica Chin, The Verge

I breathed a legitimate sigh of relief as soon as I saw that picture — I was worried for a minute there that Apple might ship this device without USB-A.

Don’t Worry Mac Mini Fans, The Model You Want Is Still Coming, by Michael Simon, Macworld

If your wallet isn’t ready to fork over a couple of grand on a desktop Mac, there is plenty of evidence that an upgraded Mac mini with more speed and expansion is indeed on the way. For one, Apple still sells the 3.0GHz Intel Core i5 Mac mini, so it clearly recognizes that there is a need for a machine that doesn’t top out at 16GB of RAM and has more than two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports.


Apple Highlights The Flexibility Of Its Products For Startups And Remote Workers In Fun New Video, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Back in 2019, Apple launched a fun “Apple at Work” campaign that highlighted how enterprise users can take advantage of iPhone, iPad, and Mac. A year later, the company released another video, this time featuring employees working from home due to the pandemic. Now “The Underdogs” from the previous videos are back in a new story called “Escape from the office.”

CleanShot X Review: Make Perfect, Precise Mac Screenshots Or Screen Recordings, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

The app builds on familiar keystrokes and actions to provide more features and power in every respect than macOS, including a “scrolling” capture that can grab non-visible parts of a scrolling window.

Logger Is The Missing Console For Shortcuts Power Users, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Logger combines the visual, variable-based approach of Shortcuts with the power-user nature and flexibility of traditional developer consoles.

Peloton Finally Connects With Your Apple Watch, by Tim Marcin, Mashable

Peloton obsessives, fire up your Apple Watches — or maybe go out and get one. The fitness company announced Thursday you can now connect your Peloton workouts with an Apple Watch. That means you can track your workouts, and how hard you worked out, with just one tap on your watch.


Apps And Oranges: Behind Apple’s ‘Bullying’ On Trademarks, by Kellen Browning, New York Times

Apple has frequently targeted entities that have nothing to do with tech or that are infinitesimal in size. It has even set its sights on logos that involve other fruits, like oranges and pears.


The scale of the company’s campaign amounts to “bullying tactics, and they are unnecessary for Apple to protect the public from confusion,” said Christine Farley, a professor at American University’s Washington College of Law.

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Over the past few years, I've gotten rid of all the infinite-scrolling apps on all my devices. I still do have infinite-play games though. I don't know what to do with them yet.


Thanks for reading.

The Doling-Out Edition Thursday, March 10, 2022

Apple’s New Strategy Is To Give — Not Tell — Users What They Want, by Jon Porter, The Verge

But with yesterday’s announcements, which include the powerful and port-rich Mac Studio and a new monitor that costs a fraction of the price of Apple’s previous attempt, Apple is now consistently doling out consumer-friendly features its fans have been calling for.

The Missing Mid-range Desktop Mac, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

Apple’s focus on the pro markets is definitely commendable: with the Mac Studio, MacBook Pro, and forthcoming Mac Pro, it’s clear that they take that audience seriously. But I’m hoping the prosumer story has more to it than just “M1 or bust.”

Apple Explains Why The M1 Ultra-equipped Mac Studio Is Two Pounds Heavier, by Mitchell Clark, The Verge

It’s not that the M1 Ultra required a beefier power supply (which isn’t an unfair assumption) or that the fans are powerful enough to push down the scale, as one Twitter user joked. It’s that it’s got a heavier metal — at room temperature, copper is 8.96 grams per cubic centimeter, whereas aluminum is a svelte 2.70 grams. That means that, if the design of the heatsinks is exactly the same, the copper version would be over three times heavier than the aluminum one.

Fine with Windows

Studio Display Outputs At 1440p Resolution When Connected To 4th-Gen iPad Air And iPad Mini 6, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

That has led some users to wonder what happens, if anything, when a fourth-generation iPad Air or iPad mini 6 is connected to the Studio Display. Apple has now confirmed to MacRumors that these two devices output to the 5K-capable display in a downscaled 1440p resolution.

Apple’s Studio Display Should Work With Windows — Including The Webcam, by Mitchell Clark, The Verge

Apple’s site says that its new 27-inch, 5K Studio Display is compatible with a wide range of Macs (and even some iPads), but the company has also told The Verge that it should also work fine when plugged into a Windows PC. There are a few caveats, of course, but if your PC is capable of outputting to it, the Studio Display should act like any normal monitor with a built-in webcam and speakers.

Try Something New

At 82, She Coded An App. She Just Wanted A Game She Could Win., by Takehiko Kambayashi, Christian Science Monitor

Then, in 2017, at the age of 82, Ms. Wakamiya wanted a game app in which “seniors could beat young people.” And a high tech executive encouraged her to do it herself: She learned to code and launched Hinadan, a game featuring traditional Japanese dolls that users must move – puzzle-like – into positions according to roles. It has been released in five languages.

Ms. Wakamiya says she’s realized that in Japan’s culture of perfectionism, many people are simply so afraid of failure they won’t try something new: “There are no such things as failures. To just start something new is deemed a success because you still learn in the process.”

Coming Soon?

Updated Mac Mini To Have Versions With M2 And M2 Pro Chip, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

As rumors point to a new redesigned Mac mini coming soon, 9to5Mac has learned from sources that Apple is developing two new versions of it: one with M2 and one with the M2 Pro chip.


I Was Going To Pre-order The iPad Air 2022 — But This Changed My Mind, by Richard Priday, Tom's Guide

Perhaps this is a trap that Apple's deliberately set, in a subtle bid to upsell me the iPad Pro when I set out knowing it was probably too powerful for my everyday usage habits. But I find it weird that I've ended up here just because I just want an average amount of storage. The flashier features of the iPad Pro have always appealed to me, but I was happy to do without them for a well-priced 128GB iPad Air that turns out doesn't exist.

PopSockets Launches iPhone Grip With Built-in Battery, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

The new PopSockets JumpStart is a portable battery charger that comes as one of the firm's famous pop-out grips for an iPhone.


Apple’s Big Baseball Deal, Detailed, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

MLB’s deal with Apple, and the forthcoming one with Peacock, are an indication that MLB may have found a replacement for that sweet, sweet RSN money—streaming services. Does this mean that we may enter a period where you’ll need multiple streaming services to see your favorite team? Probably so. Just like you need multiple streaming services to watch all your favorite shows.

I imagine this will all shake out eventually, and fans of a particular team will be able to buy a single product and guarantee that they’ll see every single game, no matter whether they are in that team’s market or outside of it. But it’s going to take years, and the winding down of a whole lot of RSN contracts, before things clear up.

The iPhone SE’s $30 Price Bump Looks Like A Pure 5G Tax, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

But let’s talk about the $30 number because it’s the one that keeps popping up. $30 is how much extra you had to pay for a 5G-equipped iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 if you didn’t buy it from the right carriers in the US. It’s also the price increase from the $399 non-5G iPhone SE in 2020 to the $429 iPhone SE in 2022, and it’s estimated to be the premium Apple has to pay to put 5G into those phones. It’s almost as if Apple is simply just passing on the additional cost of building a 5G phone directly to its customers.

It’s not like Apple has a lot of choices, either. When it comes to 5G modems, Qualcomm is one of the only real options around, and everyone knows it.

Apple, Please Bring Back Your Mesmerizing, Clear Computers, by Mark Wilson, Fast Company

And that’s when I realized, maybe these machines shouldn’t be wrapped in anonymous aluminum. Or colorful candy shells. Maybe Apple should use this moment to bring back an old idea—an idea from 2000—and make them clear. Maybe Apple should celebrate the maximalist hardware lurking inside these machines, rather than hiding it away.

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No, I'm not buying anything from Apple this time round. I'm not a studio kind of person that can afford a studio kind of money. I'll wait and see what's next for the Mac mini. Hopefully, it's not just a simple boring replacement of the M1 chip with the M2.


Thanks for reading.

The Looks-Like-Mac-Mini Edition Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Apple’s Mac Studio Is A New Desktop For Creative Professionals, by Monica Chin, The Verge

Apple has announced the Mac Studio, a desktop system that looks like the Mac Mini on the outside but packs a lot more power on the inside. The Mac Studio features both Apple’s M1 Max chip as well as a new, even more powerful processor, the M1 Ultra.


Apple claims that the Mac Studio with M1 Max will perform 50 percent faster than a Mac Pro with a 16-core Xeon and 2.5 times faster than a 27-inch iMac with a 10-core Core i9. The M1 Ultra configuration is purportedly 3.8 times faster than that 27-inch iMac and up to 60 percent faster than the Mac Pro.

Apple Discontinues 27-Inch iMac, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Now with the 27-inch Studio Display that can be connected to any Mac, Apple has seemingly felt there is no need for a large-sized all-in-one desktop computer. The 24-inch ‌iMac‌ is now the only all-in-one desktop computer offered by Apple.

New Mac Studio And Studio Display Change Mac Buying Calculus, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

The Mac Studio/Studio Display combination renders the immensely popular 27-inch iMac obsolete, and Apple dropped it from the lineup. The company also said that it has only one more model to bring to Apple silicon—the Mac Pro—but that’s an announcement “for another day.”

These moves radically change the calculus for putting together a Mac system that meets a wide variety of needs. [...] Trimming the iMac line to just the 24-inch model makes it clear that professionals should move on from the 27-inch iMac and instead focus on pairing the Mac that best meets their needs with a Studio Display.

Apple Launches Standalone Optional Silver-and-black Magic Trackpad, Magic Keyboard, And Magic Mouse, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

This is the same redesigned Magic Keyboard Apple launched during last year’s Spring Loaded event, but now in a new silver-and-black color.

Bond Two GPUs Together

Apple Announces M1 Ultra: Combining Two M1 Maxes For Workstation Performance, by Ryan Smith, AnandTech

The important point to take away here is that Apple has become the first vendor to bond two GPUs together with such a massive amount of bandwidth. This is what’s enabling them to take a stab at presenting the two GPUs as a single device to the OS and applications, as it allows them to quickly shuffle data between the GPUs as necessary.


The net result is that Apple has announced a SoC that has no peer in the industry across multiple levels. Going multi-die/multi-chip in a workstation is a tried and true strategy for CPUs, but to do so with GPUs will potentially put Apple on a level all of their own. If their transparent multi-GPU technology works as well as the company claims, then Apple is going to be even farther ahead of their competitors both in performance and in developing the cutting-edge technologies needed to build such a chip. In that respect, while Apple is trailing the industry a bit with their UltraFusion 2.5D chip packing technology, what they’re attempting to do with it is more than making up for lost time.

Apple Announces New Flagship M1 Ultra Desktop Processor For Its Most Powerful Computers, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

The key to the M1 Ultra is the Apple’s UltraFusion architecture — effectively, Apple is fusing together two separate M1 Max chips into a single, massive SoC, thanks to the 2.5TB/s inter-processor connection that the M1 Max offers. That design lets Apple double virtually all the specs from its M1 Max chip on the M1 Ultra: 20 CPU cores (16 performance and four efficiency), 64 GPU cores, a 32-core Neural Engine for AI processing, and up to 128GB of RAM. All told, Apple says that the M1 Ultra offers eight times the performance of the regular M1.

Polishing Cloth Not Included

The 27-inch Studio Display Is Apple's First Consumer Monitor In Over A Decade, by Jason Cross, Macworld

The Apple Studio Display is a 27-inch monitor with 5K resolution and P3 color, much like that found in the 27-inch iMac. It also includes a 12MP camera with Center Stage support, six-speaker audio, three-microphone array, and several USB-C ports. All these features are managed by a built-in A13 processor.

Starting at $1,599, it’s far more affordable than the Pro Display XDR, though still clearly a premium high-end product for enthusiasts.

Apple Studio Display Tidbits: No ProMotion, Optional Stand And Nano-texture, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Even though we’ve seen ProMotion expand to new products recently, it is not a feature of the new Studio Display. Apple says the Studio Display supports a 60Hz refresh rate, just like the panel that it has used in the 27-inch iMac and that LG uses in the LG UltraFine.

Apple’s Studio Display Supports The 5th-gen iPad Air, But Not The 4th-gen – Here’s Why, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

USB 3.1 Gen 1 is limited to a single external display with up to 4K resolution at 30Hz, far below the native resolution/refresh rate of the Studio Display. It’s unclear if connecting the iPad mini or fourth-generation iPad Air will result in any sort of display output, but it is clear that these devices are not officially endorsed by Apple as compatible.

Apple’s 3-meter Thunderbolt 4 Cable Is A Steal At $159, by Jon Porter, The Verge

Apple is listing a new 3-meter Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable on its store for $159, which is arguably far too much for a cable. But given the scarcity of other Thunderbolt 4 cable options over 2 meters in length, it might be your only option.

Apple's $1599 Standard Studio Display Does Not Come With A Polishing Cloth, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

On its website, Apple says that only the nano texture Studio Display will come with a polishing cloth in the box, alongside the display itself and a one-meter Thunderbolt cable.


Apple Refreshes The iPad Air With The iPad Pro’s M1 Chip, 5G, by Samuel Axon and Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica

While the A14 was never exactly slow for most tablet needs, this upgrade should result in notable performance gains, presumably bringing the Air in line with the higher-end iPad Pro in terms of raw speed.

Apple’s New iPhone SE Features 5G, A Faster CPU, And More, by Samuel Axon and Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica

Like its 2020 predecessor, the new SE closely resembles the iPhone 8 first released back in 2017. To keep the cost down, the new SE still has a home button and a fingerprint reader, unlike other modern iPhones. But it's got some newer things on the inside. Namely, it has Apple's A15 system-on-a-chip, which was previously seen in 2021's flagship iPhone 13.

These Are The Newest iPhone MagSafe Cases And Apple Watch Bands For Spring, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

The new collection of cases includes silicone models in Lemon Zest, Blue Fog, Eucalyptus, and Nectarine. These new cases are specific to the iPhone 13 lineup.

Apple Takes Swing At Sports With Major League Baseball Rights Deal, by Brian Steinberg, Variety

Under terms of the new pact, Apple will have exclusive rights to telecast two “Friday Night Baseball” games each week — totaling about 50 per year — in the U.S. and to eight countries overseas, via its Apple TV Plus. Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed the pact during a live-streamed company event. Apple’s pact will start as soon as Major League Baseball and its players’ union settle a labor dispute that has already shortened the league’s next season, and raised concerns over how many games will be played in 2022. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Apple Previews New Version Of iMovie Ahead Of April Release, by Joe Wituschek, iMore

During the iPad Air segment of the keynote, the company revealed that it will be releasing a new version of iMovie in April and gave us a sneak peek of what is to come with the new version.

One of the things coming with the new version of iMovie is Magic Movie, a new feature that will, with little effort, intelligently assemble "styled, edited videos complete with titles, transitions, even music."

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So, I was wrong. Apple did use the Studio name. And it is indeed great news that Apple is expanding the kind of Macs one can buy: a more powerful desktop computer that doesn't come with it's own display, or come in a huge case that doesn't belong on the desktop.

On the other hand: no Mac Mini with a M1 Pro, and no iMac with a larger screen. If the rumors are to be believed though, Apple may well be not updating any Mac with Apple Silicon until the Mac Pro is launched later this year. So, there may still be more variety of Mac computers yet to come.


Thanks for reading.

The Relevant-and-Thriving Edition Tuesday, March 8, 2022

8 Of The Best Read-It-Later Apps You Should Try, by Khamosh Pathak, LifeHacker

Back in the late 2000s, as the iPhone was becoming popular, read-it-later apps solved this problem in an efficient way: You come across an article, you add it to the app, and it downloads a distraction-free version of the webpage to read offline later.

Fifteen years later, this little app ecosystem is still relevant and thriving. In fact, there are many new players trying to revolutionize the art of reading yet again. Here are the best read-it-later apps to try out.

S.Korea Approves Rules On App Store Law Targeting Apple, Google, by Joyce Lee, Reuters

It was the first such curb by a major economy on Apple and Google, which face global criticism for requiring the use of proprietary payment systems that charge commissions of up to 30%.

What It’s Like To Work At A Ukraine Tech Company During Russia’s Invasion, by Mark Sullivan, Fast Company

As the crisis continues, I’ve managed to keep in touch with some of those people. One is Julia Petryk, a communications executive at MacPaw, a major name among Mac software companies. Petryk and her family live in a high-rise apartment building in Kyiv. I asked her to give me a snapshot of how she’s doing—and how MacPaw is managing to stay connected and productive—via a Signal video call on Friday.

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As usual, Apple will be announcing new products while I am asleep. So, dear readers, I'll see you tomorrow. Bye for now, from the land of the UTC+8.



Thanks for reading.

The Let's-Not-Install Edition Monday, March 7, 2022

My Lizard Brain Is No Match For Infinite Scroll, by Alex Ellis

That’s where admitting defeat helps; I know how my brain works, and I can work with it. Let’s not install that app with the infinite scroll, since we can probably get by with just the mobile web version. Let’s not log in, unless there’s a reason you need to, since they’re after you with recommendations for your account. Let’s try to be conscious of how much time you end up spending on certain sites.


Apple Reveals A Very Special Time To Walk Guest Ahead Of Tomorrow's Big Event, by Cat Ellis, TechRadar

Apple is celebrating International Women's Day with a month of Time to Walk episodes presented by inspiring women – and it's kicking things off with a special episode presented by Malala Yousafzai.

ChronoSync 10.0 And ChronoAgent 2.0, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

ChronoSync 10 brings support for creating bootable backups for Big Sur and Monterey, using the Apple Software Restore (ASR) tool to create a cloned image on the destination volume.

Female Self-Care Apps To Try With Your Apple Devices This International Women's Day, by Jasmine Ong, Nylon

With International Women’s Day coming up on 8 March, it’s time for us ladies to get in on some great self-care tips that can help us navigate the stress that come with our daily schedules. The best part about it is that the tips come in the form of useful apps that can be easily accessed through the digital devices that we use daily, such as the Apple iPhone or the Apple Watch.


The Big A? The Fruit Company? Why The Maker Of iPhones Must Not Be Named., by Yang Jie, Wall Street Journal

In contrast to Lord Voldemort of the Harry Potter series, the Client Who Must Not Be Named doesn’t cast deadly spells or converse with serpents. Its powers, nonetheless, are fearsome. It can award—or take away—contracts for electronic parts and services worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

That is why suppliers’ public presentations and even private conversations hardly ever include the name of the company they’re discussing, for fear of offending someone or accidentally revealing competitive information.

Why The Census Invented Nine Fake People In One House, by Timothy B. Lee, Slate

According to census data, this block—and hence this house—had 14 residents in 2020: one Hispanic person, seven white people, three biracial people (white and black), two multi-racial people (white, black, and American Indian), and one person of “some other race.” There were supposedly eight adults and six children living in the house.

I wanted to find out if these figures were accurate, but a sign on the gate said “no soliciting.” So I left a note asking the homeowner to call me. A few hours later, she did. She told me that her household currently has five people—and didn’t have more than that in 2020.

“We’re all just white people,” she added with a chuckle.

She Was The Top Typing Teacher In The US. The Twist? She Wasn’t Real, by Clémence Michallon, Independent

A generation of adults learned how to type thanks to Mavis Beacon. Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, an educational software program, launched in 1987 and quickly became a bestseller. To this day, adults who came of age in the Eighties and Nineties remember Mavis’s tutelage. Mavis comes up in fond remembrances on social media; she is frequently referenced when the subject of typing is broached. And, often, people are shocked to learn that the woman who taught them that skill – a figure they remember from their childhood, someone they, in some cases, came to admire – never existed.

Bottom of the Page

The consensus from all the pundits and opinionators and rumormongers is simple, it seems: don't buy a computer -- no matter if you are buying a desktop Mac, a Mac laptop, or an iPad (what's a computer). Wait and see what Apple has to launch tomorrow.


Thanks for reading.

The Holding-a-Charge Edition Sunday, March 6, 2022

Apple Starts Taking Donations For UNICEF Ukraine Effort, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Tapping the banner while on an iPhone or iPad will open up the iTunes Store, while clicking on a Mac will launch Apple Music. The app then displays a prompt to donate, with several suggested amounts in the user's local currency.

The message instructs users to select an amount, then to select Donate to confirm the transaction. Apple states that 100% of the user's contribution will go to UNICEF.


I Forgot My Charger On 5-day Road Trip — But My iPhone Never Ran Out Of Power, by Philip Michaels, Tom's Guide

So yes, there were some anxious moments when I realized a few hours into our trip that we would be on road without minimal resources for keeping the iPhone charged up. I say minimal because at least my car was equipped with a built-in charger. That would take care of us when driving to and fro, but charging the phone overnight was right out. I was facing an unplanned side trip to Apple Store or a week of nervously checking my iPhone's battery in between car trips.

In the end, though, I needn't have spent much time worrying. It turns out the iPhone 11 Pro Max is excellent when it comes to holding a charge.


Apple: Design Macs For Other Types Of Professionals, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

What I am a little miffed about is the implication that if you don’t need all the power of a MacBook Pro with an M1 Max chip and 64 GB of unified memory, you’re not a pro user. And that extreme performance and massive storage are the only things that matter to professionals, such that those of us whose performance requirements are well served by non-Pro Macs could have no other wants or needs that would improve our workflows and productivity. I can’t speak for other fields, but I can think of plenty of hardware and product line enhancements that would make professionals like me more productive. And I’ll bet there are many more writers and lawyers out there than 3D artists and filmmakers.

Apple Eyes NFL Assets In Massive Billion-Dollar Deal, by Michael McCarthy, Front Office Sports

The NFL is currently fielding offers for three assets: an equity stake in NFL Media, the “NFL Sunday Ticket” package for out-of-market games, and livestreaming games on mobile devices.

Apple wants to bundle them all into one sweeping deal, said sources. That would instantly make the tech giant, which has long avoided sports, one of the NFL’s biggest business partners.

The Next Big Thing In Messaging, by David Pierce and the Source Code team, Protocol

Decentralized messaging apps could be the kind of resilient, unblockable tool that people in Ukraine, Russia and elsewhere need to stay online and in touch even in the midst of a war.

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I still do think Apple is not wise to bundle news and magazines -- two fundamentally different businesses -- into a single Apple News+. The future of news need to be in a different place than the future of magazines, if we need both of them to survive. Yes, New York Times has New York Times Magazine, and The Economist is, as they claim, a weekly newspaper. But if magazines take on the strategy of, say New York Times, they will not survive nor thrive. Magazines need to find their own future. Apple News+ is not the correct strategy, I don't think.

Similarly, the business of sports entertainment is so different from the business of 'regular' streaming movies and TV, that they shouldn't be combined into a generic Apple TV+. Doing so, I'm afraid, is going to short-change one or the other business.


Thanks for reading.

The New-Category Edition Saturday, March 5, 2022

Apple Investors Urge Company To Undergo Civil Rights Audit, by Michael Liedtke, Associated Press

Apple's shareholders have approved a proposal urging the iPhone maker to undergo an independent audit assessing its treatment of female and minority employees, delivering a rare rebuke to a management team that runs the world's most valuable company.


The outcome “shows that investors want to know if Apple is making a difference in tackling potential harms to key stakeholders stemming from its products and policies," said Dieter Waizenegger, executive director of SOC Investment Group, which was one of the shareholders that filed the civil rights proposal. “Investors heard from Apple’s corporate and retail workers who bravely spoke out against inequitable and harmful conditions even under the threat of retaliation.“

Shareholders Approve Apple's Executive Pay Despite Protests, by Stephen Warwick, iMore

Apple shareholders have voted to approve the company's executive compensation package for 2022, despite some opposition and concerns about Tim Cook's level of pay.

Apple, Google, Microsoft, And Mozilla Aim For A More Consistent Web, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

The aim of the project is to try to ensure web applications based on these standards work and look the same across the world’s vibrant forest of different devices, platforms, and operating systems. With a little luck, one day, web developers will be able to have some confidence that the experiences they deliver are consistent to all users.

Coming Soon?

‘Mac Studio’ Is Coming – Is It The Pro Mac Mini Or Mini Mac Pro?, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Although the name “Mac Studio” may change, it represents a new category between Mac mini and Mac Pro aimed at professional users. The brand also matches the “Apple Studio Display” that the company has been working on, which suggests that Apple will widely advertise both products as a perfect combo for professional work.


Dr. Mac: Better FaceTime Makes Getting ‘Together’ More Fun, by Bob Levitus, Houston Chronicle

Spending so much time with the FaceTime app (usually on my Mac), I was impressed with how much FaceTime has improved and how many useful features have been added over the years. If you haven’t used FaceTime lately, I’d like to highlight several relatively new features that make FaceTime better and more usable.

A Practical Guide To Securing Your Mac, by Thorin Klosowski, New York Times

Locking down and securing your computer might feel like an impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a few simple steps, you can lock down your Mac and protect it from the most obvious threats without inhibiting how you use your machine. Keep in mind, though, that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to computer security, and for most people, “good enough” security, is, well, good enough.

Menu Plan Is A Gorgeous App For Planning Meals And Recipes, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

If you've ever wondered what you should have to eat for dinner and realized you don't have anything in, you're probably going to like Menu Plan — an iPhone and iPad app that helps you create a menu plan, manage recipes, and figure out what you need to buy from the store.

NoFilter Is A Free App That Helps You Find The Best Photo Spots While You Travel, by Dunja Djudjic, DIY Photography

NoFilter is a new app that helps photographers and travelers to discover the best photo locations, whether they’re across the world or even just in their neighborhood. It merges Google Maps, photography, and social networking, and it’s a pretty interesting concept.

This App Can Put Live Countdown Widgets On Your iPhone's Home Screen, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

Widget Studio is an app that can put countdown widgets right on your iPhone and iPad Home screen. Unlike so many similar apps, this one can also count down live, right before your eyes.

Text Messages Are Boring. This App Makes Them Classy And Creative, by Steven Melendez, Fast Company

A new app called HiNote [...] lets you use easily customizable, stationery-like templates for all kinds of greetings and messages, from work meeting invitations and thank you notes to informal wedding party planning messages and even grocery lists.


Apple Sets April 11 Return-to-Work Deadline For Corporate Staff, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. has set an April 11 deadline for corporate employees to return to in-person work, marking a key test of whether the tech giant can reestablish office life in the Zoom era.

Employees will be required to work from the office at least one day per week by that date, according to a memo sent by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook on Friday. By three weeks after April 11, employees will be expected in the office twice per week. And on May 23, employees will need to be in the office at least three days a week -- on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Apple Presses U.S. Lawmakers On Dangers Of 'Sideloading' Apps Allowed By Bill, by Diane Bartz, Reuters

In a letter dated Thursday and sent to key members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Apple said it was aware that a critic, computer security expert Bruce Schneier, had called its concerns about sideloading "unfounded."

Apple went on to argue that most malware does not rely on technical tricks to gain access to devices but instead tricks the human user to download it. It argued that Apple's review of apps that are put into the App Store "creates a high barrier against the most common scams used to distribute malware."

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The rumored name of Mac Studio just doesn't sound right to me. All the modifiers that Apple uses are short: +, SE, Pro, Max, Air, Mini. Studio just sound cumbersome. Apple did had the Apple Studio Display, but that was a long time ago. There is also the Apple Watch Studio, but that isn't a product.

Do I believe the rumored Mac Studio, whatever the name, is real? I don't know, but I sure wish it is. There has always been a big gap between the Mac mini and Mac Pro, and iMac is not it.

Actually, what I really wish to see is Apple starts to get really serious about the Mac platform, and starts filling the gaps in its lineup. Maybe one day Apple will finally figure out how to make a really low-cost Mac?


Thanks for reading.

The Bringing-Back Edition Friday, March 4, 2022

Apple Resumes In-person Today At Apple Sessions After Two-year Hiatus Due To COVID-19 Pandemic, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple is officially bringing back its popular Today at Apple sessions at retail stores in the United States. This comes after in-person Today at Apple sessions were on hiatus for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apple To Again Drop Mask Mandate For Employees As Cases Decline, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. will begin to drop its mask requirement for both corporate and retail employees in the U.S. as Covid-19 cases decline and local governments loosen restrictions.

iPhone SE Disappears From Major Aussie Carriers In Lead Up To March 8 Apple Event, by Jasmine Gearie, TechRadar

Australia’s three major carriers – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone – don’t seem to be stocking the iPhone SE (2020) on their online stores any longer, which could be a real clue that the launch of the iPhone SE 3 is imminent.


StopTheMadness Review: Be In Control Of Your Web Browsing Experience, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

It’s an extension designed around your needs, not that of sites you visit, with the bonus of letting you switch with agility among browsers as you need for particular pages or sites.

Pure Paste Aims To Fix The Pain Of Formatted Text For Good, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

When it’s open, it automatically strips out any formatting on text you copy, allowing you to paste clean, unformatted text every time.

‘MaskerAid’ Lets You Hide Faces Or Enhance Images With Emoji On iPhone, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

One of the cool things about MaskerAid is that it uses machine learning to automatically place emoji over any faces that it detects in your image. You can also, of course, manually add and remove emoji and place them where you want.


Apple Launches Immersive Tech Lab Entrepreneur Camp For Latin Founders, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Apple launched this week its inaugural Entrepreneur Camp for Hispanic and Latin founders. The company invited leaders and developers from nine app companies from the US, Brazil, Guatemala, and Portugal to “build the next generation of cutting-edge apps.”

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The concluding episode of The Afterparty is great. I can't believe I've missed some of the clues that the show practically shoved right in front of my face.

(I really do think Apple TV+ is doing much better with comedies than dramas.)


Thanks for reading.

The Budget-Friendly Edition Thursday, March 3, 2022

“Peek Performance”: Apple’s Next Hardware Event Happens On March 8th, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Apple will stream its next hardware event to the masses on March 8 at 10 am Pacific (1 pm Eastern), the company announced today. Invitations have already been sent to the press—though the event will be yet another prerecorded, streaming-only presentation with no media in attendance. Apple marketing SVP Greg Joswiak tweeted the now-customary Apple-logo-centric teaser video that doesn't actually tease anything.

We never know exactly what will be announced at any given Apple event, but Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that the lineup will include a refresh of the budget-friendly iPhone SE and the first iPad Air update in a little over a year.

Apple 'Peek Performance' Event Invite Is An AR Portal, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

The March 8 event has an augmented reality feature for iPhone and iPad which creates a pulsating Apple logo portal. Here's how to activate it.

Using Private Relay

iCloud Private Relay: Information For Cloudflare Customers, by Rustam Lalkaka, Cloudflare

iCloud Private Relay is a new Internet privacy service from Apple that allows users with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, or macOS Monterey on their devices and an iCloud+ subscription, to connect to the Internet and browse with Safari in a more secure and private way. Cloudflare is proud to work with Apple to operate portions of Private Relay infrastructure.

In this post, we’ll explain how website operators can ensure the best possible experience for end users using iCloud Private Relay. Additional material is available from Apple, including “Set up iCloud Private Relay on all your devices”, and “Prepare Your Network or Web Server for iCloud Private Relay” which covers network operator scenarios in detail.


Apple's Discontinued Beats Pill+ Speaker Returning With Limited-Edition Model, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Beats has collaborated with fashion brand Stüssy on a limited-edition Beats Pill+ speaker featuring a skull-and-bones design and the Stüssy logo. An engraved message on the top of the speaker says “the only good system is a sound system.”

Review: Mophie's 3-in-1 MagSafe Charger Is Great For Travel, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

If you travel a lot and hate dealing with cables, Mophie’s 3-in-1 Travel Charger is convenient, and it’s also the best portable ‌MagSafe‌ charger on the market. I much prefer it to Apple’s own ‌MagSafe‌ Duo because it has an extra charging spot and comes with the charging cable and USB-C power adapter that I need to charge at full speed.

Lumen's Metabolic Analyzer iOS App Gets Food Log To Show How Nutrition Impacts You In Real-time, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Lumen is an affordable and pocket-sized device that measures your metabolism to help achieve your health and fitness goals. Now the iOS-supported device that integrates with Apple Health has received an update that includes a built-in food log to help you understand how what you eat impacts your metabolism in real-time, decide what to eat and when, and more.


Most Apple Watch Users Won’t Get Health Benefits From AFib Detection, Study Finds, by Nicole Wetsman, The Verge

One promised benefit of the Apple Watch is early detection of a heart condition called atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heart rhythm. But most people who wear the watch are in a demographic that wouldn’t actually be able to do much with that information, according to a new study — most doctors wouldn’t prescribe them the medication usually given for that condition, which is usually detected in older people.

Wordle Rip-offs Are Running Rampant On The App Store Again, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

None of the new games are actively passing themselves off as Wordle — at least, not in name. Instead, the clones have creatively rebranded to “Wordus,” “Word Guess,” “Wordl,” and other thinly veiled references to the original game. But all of them offer some variant on Wordle’s gameplay, down to the same gameplay, UI, design, and color scheme.

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Okay, so there's an event.


I am eager to see what's next for the Mac during the event, if there are any new Mac introduced. Thanks to the rumors, I think we have a pretty good idea what the next iPhone SE and iPad Air will be, it seems.

But I am most eager to find out when the next iOS -- the one where FaceID works with masks -- will be launched.


I don't envy Apple's marketing one bit. Whatever Apple is introducing, this event has to strike a tone that can be very difficult to gauge. And who knows what will happen between now and March 8th that may force changes to Apple's script.


Thanks for reading.

The Not-Enough Edition Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Apple On Russian Invasion Of Ukraine: All Product Sales Paused, RT And Sputnik News Apps Pulled, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has also followed Google’s lead in disabling live traffic and incident reporting in Ukraine, in collaboration with local authorities.

Read Tim Cook’s Email To Employees On Ukraine, by Mitchell Clark and Zoe Schiffer, The Verge

Cook also mentions that Apple has been in contact with “every employee” based in Ukraine, and is working to help them and their families. Internally, some employees have discussed getting their families out of Ukraine.

Apple Stops Sales In Russia—and Takes A Rare Stand, by Lauren Goode, Wired

“Apple has chafed under some of the pressures that have been placed on it prior to this very acute conflict,” Barker says, noting that last year both Apple and Google removed jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's voting app from their app stores. Last year Apple also agreed to show an extra step during the setup process on iPhones sold in Russia that prompted users to download state-run apps.

In doing so, Apple was compromised against its “core company values,” Barker says. “The geopolitical environment was already becoming extremely hostile. And now, this even more kinetic geopolitical overlay just made it intolerable.”

Coming Soon?

Apple’s Spring Event Probably Isn’t Happening Next Week, by Michael Simon, Macworld

Apple used to give nearly two weeks between an invite and event back when reporters needed to travel to Cupertino and needed time for travel arrangements. Since the pandemic has forced events to be online, Apple has moved to a week-long lead between the invite and the event, which means the spring event will either be next Wednesday or later in the month.

Siri Shares Words Of Wisdom When Asked About Apple's Rumored March Event, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

If you ask the personal assistant “What is going to be announced at the Apple Event?” Siri gives you this answer: “You can’t hurry news. No, you’ll just have to wait.”

5G iPhone SE Case Appears Online With March 10 Release Date, by Stephen Warwick, iMore

Despite Tuesday passing without the expected Apple March event announcement, an iPhone SE '3rd generation' case has shown up online, possibly indicating Apple still plans to release the new device soon.

On Security

AirTags Are Dangerous — Here’s How Apple Could Fix Them, by Monica Chin and Victoria Song, The Verge

So, to an extent, Apple’s safeguards work, and improvements have been promised. However, in their current form, they’re not enough. I tested these features in a safe environment, with consent built into every step of the process. Even in my bubble, these safeguards had too many loopholes. These obviously need to be fixed, but if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s this: any solution, if one even exists, needs the input of those who understand abuse best.


But despite this fact, many of the advocates we spoke to do feel that the release of AirTags is a net positive. Their hyper-accuracy makes them more effective than any key tracker has been before — but there’s also a huge amount of scrutiny on Apple that there isn’t on the myriad other companies selling such products on Amazon. The safeguards we recommend won’t just make AirTags safer; they’ll push competitors like Tile to follow their lead.


Apple Maps Enables Accident And Hazard Reporting In France, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Users of Apple Maps in France can now report accidents as the feature introduced to the US in iOS 14.5 continues to be rolled out internationally.

Apple Planning Apple Watch Activity Challenge For International Women's Day In March, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

To win the International Women’s Day award, Apple Watch users will need to complete a workout of any kind with a length of at least 20 minutes.

OutlineEdit 3 Offers A Fast, Keyboard-Driven Way To Outline Your Thoughts, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The app has one of strongest keyboard-driven editing cores I’ve seen for organizing your thoughts into outlines.

Use One Switch To Quickly Access Often Used System Preferences In macOS, by Josh Ginter, The Sweet Setup

One Switch lives in your menu bar and provides — you guessed it — one click access to a variety of settings. The app is customizable and even comes with hot key customization, ensuring you don’t even need to click to toggle certain system settings.

Figma Brings Whiteboarding To The iPad, by Jordan Crook, TechCrunch

FigJam is a whiteboarding tool that launched in early 2021 that allows folks within an organization (not just designers) to brainstorm and work together on projects.


Apple To Increase Covid Testing For Vaccinated Retail Employees, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. plans to begin testing vaccinated retail staff twice a week for Covid-19, a step toward dropping its mask requirement for employees.

The company announced the plan in a memo to U.S. retail staff Tuesday, changing a policy that had required vaccinated workers to test once a week. Unvaccinated staff had already been required to test twice weekly. At the same time, the company is now allowing employees to verify their results independently rather than providing proof.

Tinder Pricing Scandal: Dutch Regulator Should Also Investigate Apple Antitrust Foe Match Group If 'C' In 'ACM' Truly Stands For Dutch 'Consumers', Not American 'Companies', by Florian Mueller, FOSS Patent

The ACM should build a better story, a better case, and ultimately impose better remedies--remedies that can clearly be enforced in a way that makes a positive impact. Apple is playing sort of a legalistic game, but it's a pretty universal rule--which the European Commission is also perfectly aware of--that if someone has to comply with a ruling, anything counts as compliance that is not based on a wholly unreasonable interpretation or application of the underlying decision. The standard is not whether another position may make more sense. I would even agree that the ACM's apparent position on what Apple should be doing in the Dutch dating-app market is more reasonable than Apple's--but that doesn't make Apple's wholly unreasonable.

Write Plain Text Files, by Derek Sivers

Plain text is un-commercial. It removes you from the world of subscriptions and hype. There will always be plenty of free, non-commercial software in the public domain for reading and editing text files.

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Press releases, then?


Thanks for reading.

The Digital-Footprint Edition Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Who Is Policing The Location Data Industry?, by Alfred Ng and Jon Keegan, The Markup

Workers in the location data industry told The Markup that data brokers are increasingly collecting data directly from app developers instead of relying on SDKs, which often leave a digital footprint. And it’s unclear how Apple and Google could even monitor how apps are sharing and selling data once they obtain it.

Apple's Latest Women's Health Study Results Focus On PCOS, by C. Low, Engadget

According to co-principal investigator Dr. Shruthi Mahalingaiah, "The Apple Women’s Health Study is one of the first studies where we can look at the connection between menstrual health, polycystic ovary syndrome, and heart health at a population level.”

Mahalingaiah also said "Despite the association between PCOS and heart-related conditions, historically, research studies about heart health have not included information about menstrual cycles," adding that the study "is important for having a better understanding of PCOS and its health impacts, including for people with PCOS and those that might have PCOS, but do not know.”


Best Running Phone Holders To Carry Your Tech On The Run, by Hollie Sick, Tom's Guide

Often, the main requirement when it comes to finding the best running phone holder is a carrier you can set in place, and forget for the entire run. You don’t want to worry about your phone chafing your arm, or bouncing against you as you move. All of the carriers on this list are adjustable, and we tested them on the run, in different weather conditions, using an iPhone 11 in a phone case.

The Beatles Compilation Album '1' Has Been Remastered For Apple Music Spatial Audio, by I. Bonifacic, Engadget

Fans of the fab four, take note. Apple has uploaded a new version of the band’s 1 compilation album that includes support for spatial audio with Dolby Atmos. First released in 2000, 1 brings together nearly every number-one single the Beatles released between 1962 and their breakup in 1970.


Tim Cook Pens Essay In Italian Magazine Focused On Healthcare, Innovation, And Privacy, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook has penned an in-depth essay for the first edition of the Italian magazine Login from Corriere della Sera. In the essay, Cook says that the current generation has a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape the future we want to live.”

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What is Apple's goal here? Is Apple trying to hit a $1300-ish price point for a laptop, or is Apple trying to hit a $1300-ish price point for a 'pro' laptop?

Or, put in the other way, does the 13-inch MacBook pro 'deserves' the Pro moniker because of the technology inside the machine, or because of the attractiveness of its label outside?

I think the answer is obvious -- at least based on the current iteration. And if the next iteration is not going to bring significant differentiation, Apple should let it be an Air rather than a Pro.


Thanks for reading.