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.

Bottom of the Page

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.