Archive for April 2022

The Forgotten-Apps Edition Saturday, April 30, 2022

Apple Gives Developers More Time To Update 'Outdated' Apps Before Removal, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Apple has now shared a new developer update clarifying its ‌App Store‌ Improvements policies and extending the amount of time it is giving developers to update their affected apps from 30 days to 90 days.

Apple says that apps that have not been updated within the past three years and which do not meet a minimum threshold for downloads (“not been downloaded at all or extremely few times during a rolling 12 month period”) are subject to the policy, with developers receiving notices via email.

Apple To Developers: If We Deleted Your Old App, It Deserved It, by Mitchell Clark, The Verge

From one angle, this reasoning doesn’t necessarily gel with the first half of Apple’s post, where it says it removes old apps to ensure “user trust in quality apps,” and to improve discoverability, security and privacy, and user experience. After all — if an app is problematic because it’s outdated, more downloads would make a bad app a bigger issue. Who’s being harmed if there’s an outdated app almost no one is downloading?

But Apple says it doesn’t want the App Store cluttered up with apps that both developers and users have forgotten about. It has enough problems making it easy for users to find good apps as it is, and it’s easy to imagine Apple seeing deleting old, seemingly irrelevant apps as a good solution.


Using A Synology NAS To Escape The Cloud, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Running a home server isn’t for everyone, but Synology makes doing so about as accessible as possible, and you can be up and running within an hour. It’s still a big investment in both money and time, but it’s well worth it if you have a lot of data you access from multiple computers. Your files are right there in your home and you don’t have to transfer them over the Internet to carry over your work to another device. A NAS makes even more sense for a small office where multiple people might be running into the same problems with needing easy access to a centralized set of files.

Logitech's New Lift Vertical Mouse For Mac Makes All The Right Compromises, by Rikka Altland, 9to5Toys

Actual usage keeps up the notable first impression, with a responsive sensor that’s the same as you’ll find on the higher-end version. Buttons on the other hand aren’t as clicky or tactile as I would have liked to see, though they’re still quite responsive all the same. On the flip side of speaking to another one of my favorite aspects of the Logitech Lift, the two side buttons are a nice inclusion.

Grid Studio Frames Review: The Best Way To Memorialize Classic Apple Devices, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

Any iPhone or Apple lover will appreciate Grid Studio's nostalgic art pieces that are made of vintage devices such as the original iPhone or Apple Watch.


Apple Has A Little Time On Its Side, by Dan Gallagher, Wall Street Journal

More shutdowns could pose some risk to this year’s new iPhone models expected to come out in the fall. But Chris Caso of Raymond James says builds on new models typically don’t start until August, which gives Apple some breathing room in getting its factories back on line.

This Is What Apple Retail Employees In Atlanta Are Fighting For, by Zoe Schiffer, The Verge

The Apple Store, located in Atlanta’s Cumberland Mall, is the first of the company’s 272 retail locations to file for a union election. Employees have written an open letter explaining what changes they are pushing for: fair compensation and transparency on alleged pay inequality within the company, a commitment to promote more BIPOC employees into leadership positions, and increased COVID-19 safety measures in stores.

Apple Employees Demand More Flexibility From Company As Three-day Office Return Looms, by Sara Ashley O'Brien, CNN

The employees, organizing under a newly-formed group known as Apple Together that advocates for workers’ well-being and rights, are petitioning leadership for more flexibility. They’re also calling out a disconnect between the company’s external marketing to customers that its products allow people to “work from anywhere” and its internal messaging to staffers. “How can we understand what problems of remote work need solving in our products, if we don’t live it?” reads an open letter addressed to company leadership and published Friday on Apple Together’s website.

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Given all the scrutiny Apple is under nowadays, the company really need to be more transparent in all its dealings with third-party developers.


Thanks for reading.

The Disturbance-in-the-Force Edition Friday, April 29, 2022

Apple’s Q2 2022 Results Help Brighten Dark Times, by Michael E. Cohen, Josh Centers, TidBITS

Apple has announced financial results for the second fiscal quarter of 2022, and they aren’t too shabby: profits of $25 billion ($1.52 per diluted share) on revenues of $97.3 billion. The company’s revenues are up 9% compared to the year-ago quarter with profits up by more than 5%.

Tim Cook Says Supply Chain Constraints Are Easing, Despite ‘Significant’ Impact On iPad Sales, by Allison McDaniel, 9to5Mac

Easing supply chain troubles helped the company grow revenue this quarter. “The supply constraints were significantly lower than what we had experienced during the December quarter,” CEO Tim Cook said in an interview Thursday. The supply issues aren’t over, unfortunately, as Cook also mentioned Apple anticipates a supply chain impact of $4-$8 billion in revenue for Q3.

Apple's Future Is Suddenly Freight–er Fraught With Peril, by Jason Snell, Macworld

And yet, despite all the great numbers, I sense a disturbance in the force. The analysts of Apple’s quarterly conference call to discuss its results felt it, too. Thus far, through unprecedented global instability, Apple has managed to keep on keeping on. But can it continue floating above it all, or is it about to face hard times?

Tim Cook Says Apple Won’t Rule Out Acquiring Large Companies, But Its Focus Is On IP And Talent, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Although Tim Cook said that Apple doesn’t rule out acquiring large companies, he mentioned that Apple’s focus is on acquiring companies in search of IP and talent – which is something Apple also finds in smaller companies and startups.

This Is Tim: Q2 2022 Financial Call Transcript, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Fundamentally, our work is about making technology that enriches people’s lives and unlocks the full creative potential of humanity. And though the twists and turns of the future may be uncertain, what is certain is that we will never stop striving to be a force for good in the world in everything we do and everything we are.


Mac Studio Owners Complain Of Irritating High-Pitched Noise, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Users who are experiencing issues have described the noise as a high-frequency sound that is difficult to ignore, and it is in addition to the standard fan noise.

Latest AirTags Firmware Update Tunes The Unwanted Tracking Sound For Easier Detection, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Earlier this week, Apple began rolling out a firmware update for AirTags, and while it wasn't clear at the time what changes were included in the update, Apple has now revealed in a new support document that it tweaks the sound made by unknown ‌AirTags‌ found to be traveling with you.

Hazel Review: Folder-based Automation That Makes Life Easier On macOS, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Hazel’s rule-based folder watching lets you perform from simple to incredibly sophisticated actions as the result of files or folders being added or removed from a folder.

Little Snitch 5.4, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Objective Development has released Little Snitch 5.4, improving detection of iCloud Private Relay connections on computers with IPv6 connectivity. The connection alert also now indicates when a connection was established via iCloud Private Relay.

Best Stargazing And Astronomy Apps, 2022, by Jamie Carter, BBC

Stargazing and astronomy apps can be a vital resource for beginners who want to get to know the night sky, or indeed for experienced observers who need to quickly locate a target.

I Worked Out With Megan Thee Stallion On This Fitness App, by Annie Blay, TZR

Using the app, I don’t have to worry about planning the sequence of my exercise and stressing if my chosen sessions are the most effective for my goals of toning my abs, arms, and glutes — and just getting back into the habit of being active. The instructors are knowledgeable with years of experience, and the workouts are packaged into digestible, easy-to-follow sequences that you can do virtually anywhere — the guesswork is taken out of the equation leaving much more time to actually enjoy the workout.

Knotwords Offers Crossword Puzzles… Without Clues, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Knotwords, by Gage and Jack Schlesinger, is a crossword-puzzle style game with a twist: instead of filling the puzzle via clues, you have to fill various regions of the board with a limited selection of letters.


Netflix, Apple TV+ To Be Ofcom Regulated, by Jon Creamer, Televisual

The government will give Ofcom powers to draft and enforce a new Video-on-Demand Code, similar to the Broadcasting Code and in line with its standards, to make sure VoD services are subject to stricter rules protecting UK audiences from harmful material.

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Remember when Apple's problems were all demand-side?


Thanks for reading.

The Store-Treasures Edition Thursday, April 28, 2022

Apple Is On The Brink Of Destroying A Rich Legacy Of Mobile Games, by David Price, Macworld

We still watch silent films and read poems in dead languages. Many artists have struggled to be taken seriously in their own lifetime. But Apple, for some reason, still thinks games have a lifespan shorter than a good pair of shoes. And its repeated purging of the App Store’s treasures is nothing less than cultural vandalism.

Apple Is Culling Apps From The App Store That Haven’t Been Updated In Two Years, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

It’s a hard problem and I can see the upsides of Apple automating the clearing of truly abandoned apps from the App Store, but it seems like there ought to be a way for developers of not-updated-for-a-while apps and games to just log into Apple’s developer portal and hit a button to vouch that they still work and don’t need an update. Apple could then only cull the apps from developers who didn’t respond.


Apple’s DIY Repair Parts Are Only Slightly Cheaper Than Its Repair Prices, by Jon Porter, The Verge

But if you were expecting a DIY repair to be a way of saving money, then you might be a little disappointed. Apple’s pricing for some of the most common replacement parts is very similar to what it’ll charge you to do the repairs at an Apple Store, even when you’re the one delicately taking your phone apart to swap out a broken part. Only once you factor in the credit you get for sending in a replaced part do you stand to see a more significant saving.

Apple’s Self-Repair Vision Is Here, And It’s Got A Catch, by Elizabeth Chamberlain, iFixIt

The biggest problem? Apple is doubling down on their parts pairing strategy, enabling only very limited, serial number-authorized repairs. You cannot purchase key parts without a serial number or IMEI. If you use an aftermarket part, there’s an “unable to verify” warning waiting for you. This strategy hamstrings third-party repair with feature loss and scare tactics and could dramatically limit options for recyclers and refurbishers, short-circuiting the circular economy.


Sofa 3.3 Adds Extensive Customization Options, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Sofa 3.3, the media organizer app for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, is out, and the update is all about customization.


Apple Invites Developers To Try Out New Swift Playgrounds 4.1 Beta For Mac And iPad, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

With Swift Playgrounds 4, the iPad version of the app received a bunch of new features, such as the ability to upload projects to App Store Connect, live app previews, and more. Now these features are coming to the Mac with version 4.1, which will also let developers create apps from scratch with the tool.

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I'm thinking of an art project: just an app that shows the number of seconds it has been deployed on the App Store since the last update without Apple pulling it down. I wonder if Apple will approve such an 'useless' app; "If your app is not particularly useful [...] it doesn't belong on the App Store," reads Apple's guidelines 4.2.

Maybe the art project should just throw in a clock widget and a simple calculator, just in case.


Thanks for reading.

The Cases-on-Wheels Edition Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Apple Unveils Its Self Service Repair Program, by John Voorhees, MacStories

In a press release, Apple announced that Self Service Repair is now available in the US, with more countries being added later this year, beginning in Europe.


Both the parts and the tools available in the Self Service Repair Store are the same ones used by Apple’s repair network, according to the company. Tool kits can be rented for one-week periods for $49 with free shipping too.

Here's The Massive Kit Apple Will Send To Your House So You Can Fix Your iPhone, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Stacked on top of each other, the cases will measure 20 inches in width and 47 inches in height. Thankfully, both cases include wheels for easy transportation.

Apple’s New Self Service Repair Program Is Now Live, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

I browsed through the new site out of curiosity, and it struck me that while the replacement parts are affordable for most people, the tools are quite expensive.

On App Stores

Stricter App Store Rules May Force Apple To Remove Its Own Classic Card Game, by David Price, Macworld

Texas Hold’em, one of the first games to appear on the App Store and a “popular classic” in Apple’s own words, was last updated to version 2.1 in October 2019. That appears to be the threshold for removal, as the apps receiving the warning letters hadn’t been updated in the past two years. Apple doesn’t specifically mention a time frame in its developer rules, but based on the other apps in line for removal, Texas Hold’em is out of date.

Apple-Commissioned Report Says App Tracking Transparency Hasn't Significantly Benefitted Company, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple is unlikely to have seen a significant financial benefit from App Tracking Transparency since the privacy feature launched last year, according to Kinshuk Jerath, Professor of Business in the Marketing Division at Columbia Business School.

In an Apple-commissioned report, Jerath said claims that billions of advertising dollars moved from companies like Meta to Apple due to the introduction of App Tracking Transparency are “speculative” and “lack supporting evidence.”

Fine Tuning

Apple Releases Fix For Studio Display Webcam In Latest macOS Beta, by Richard Lawler, The Verge

Apple spokesperson Jennie Orphanopoulos tells The Verge that “an update to the Studio Display firmware is now available with today’s beta release of macOS Monterey 12.4. This beta update has refinements to the Studio Display camera tuning, including improved noise reduction, contrast, and framing.”

Hands On With Apple’s Studio Display Firmware Update, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

In general, I’d say the new firmware generates a better picture. A lot of that is down to the fact that it seems to prefer a wider crop. That’s good, because it means it’s using a larger portion of the Center Stage camera’s 12 megapixel image. More pixels should equate to a better image.


So is all forgiven? Not really. Anyone who thought that a firmware update would transform the Center Stage camera into a different camera was probably fooling themselves. This is still a 12 megapixel wide angle camera that’s being dynamically cropped, and while firmware fixes can definitely improve the image output, there are limits to those changes.


Apple Releases New Firmware Update For AirTag Item Trackers, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

It’s unclear what’s new in this updated firmware version.

11 Of The Best Word Game Apps 2022 Has To Offer, by Yashvi Peeti, Book Riot

Thanks to tech, a lot of our favourite word games are now available online. There’s endless scrabble boards, crosswords and word searches contained in our singular devices. There are also so many clever variations of these classic games to try out! And then there are word game apps that build on familiar concepts to create something entirely new and unique. I’ve tried every single game recommended here (which means I was playing games on my phone in the name of research for about a week!). Every last one of them was quite fun and possibly improved my brain function. So I’m not complaining. I hope you like them too!

How To Find Online Radio Stations Run By Real Human DJs, by Justin Pot, Popular Science

Algorithms are smart but they’re also kind of stupid. They don’t know who you want to be, or who you might become—they only know who you were. They see your past behavior as indicative of your future preferences. Human DJs don’t do that. The good ones just play whatever they feel like, which exposes you to artists and songs no automated system would even consider.

Jamf Announces New Security-focused Tools For Business, Education, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Jamf has unveiled a slate of new updates to its mobile device management platforms, including a new Jamf Trust app and additional features for Jamf protect.

This Studio On Wheels Is Filled With Apple Gear And Costs $324,000+, by Daniel O'Neil, PetaPixel

It’s essentially a combined portable office and apartment that is ready to travel wherever a full-sized pickup can tow it.


Apple Slows Hiring Of Genius Employees At Some Retail Stores, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

In recent weeks, Apple informed some stores that it won’t be filling Genius positions that became available after employee departures, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the situation is private. The company also retracted verbal job offers for such roles in some cases. Still, Apple hasn’t laid off workers or enacted a widespread hiring freeze, according to the people.


The slowdown has resulted in five or more technical-support positions going unfilled at individual stores, according to employees. The employees described the changes as part of an effort to lower headcount at locations that aren’t seeing as many customers as they did before the pandemic.

Tech Giants Duped Into Giving Up Data Used To Sexually Extort Minors, by William Turton, Bloomberg

Major technology companies have been duped into providing sensitive personal information about their customers in response to fraudulent legal requests, and the data has been used to harass and even sexually extort minors, according to four federal law enforcement officials and two industry investigators.

Apple Beats Currency App Developer’s Competition Claims Again, by Isaiah Poritz, Bloomberg Law

Chen also said Reilly’s fraud theory fails because Konvarti couldn’t reasonably rely on Apple’s statements that it complied with store policies when investing money into developing the app. There was also no evidence that Apple intended to induce Konvarti into relying on those statements, the judge said.

Apple’s guidelines include language that warns app developers that it is their responsibility to make sure an app complies with local laws, Chen said.

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Maybe there should be two different App Store team over at Apple.

One team should focus on getting the apps with the best quality onto Apple's platform. This team should make sure Apple has the best selection of apps than other platforms, and Apple should give the extra push -- whether technical or marketing or whatnot -- to get these apps to be the best they can be.

The other team should focus on getting the most apps onto Apple's platform. This team should help developers not get rejected. It should solve the most fundamental problems, whether these problems are due to developers' lack of knowledge, or the problems are mostly created by Apple.

Team One is to make Apple's devices attractive to consumers. Team Two is to make Apple's App Stores doesn't invite too many anti-trust probes. What they do are necessary in conflict with each other, and that's why two different teams are needed.



Thanks for reading.

The Escalating-Fight Edition Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Apple Hires Anti-union Lawyers In Escalating Union Fight, by Zoe Schiffer, The Verge

Apple is working with anti-union lawyers at Littler Mendelson in an escalating fight with retail workers in Atlanta who have filed for a union election. Though the company has not publicly stated its stance on Apple Stores unionizing, the move sends a strong signal that it plans to oppose workers organizing for better pay and working conditions.

Japan Panel Backs Possibility Of New Regulations On Smartphone OS Developers, by The Japan Times

The council said that the government will consider ways to prohibit acts that could have a negative impact on competition, without being bound by limits under current regulations.


In response, Apple lodged a protest the same day, saying in a statement, "We respectfully disagree with a number of conclusions" in the government report. Apple added that it is facing "intense competition in every business segment" in which it operates.


iPad Mini Review: A Compact, Modern Design And Fast Performance Make A Perfect Balance Of Tablet Power And Portability, by Antonio Villas-Boas, Business Insider

That designation of "perfect" is subjective, to be sure — the iPad Mini and its 8.3-inch screen might be too small for some. On the other hand, the standard iPad and its 10.2-inch screen might be too large for others.

What's objective, however, is that the iPad Mini still offers a bigger screen than any phone I know about, thus fulfilling its purpose as a tablet. It's also incredibly light and portable, making it the easiest tablet to carry around anywhere — much easier than the comparatively bulky and cumbersome 10.2-inch iPad.

Gentler Streak For Apple Watch Improves Heart Rate Monitoring, Adds Widgets For iPhone App, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Gentler Streak is an Apple Watch workout app that wants to bring compassion to your fitness goals.


How Apple Can Make Sunday Ticket Work, by Gavin Bridge, Variety

When eyed through the lens of a content acquisition and not as a distinctive sell-on business, Apple’s purported Sunday Ticket gain is a smart play. It will give Apple TV+ instant credibility in millions more homes and also help sate Apple’s desire to be seen as a force in the sports world, matching Amazon in a key part of entertainment.

While the two companies compete for prestigious movie and TV awards for high-end content, sports is a way to be relevant to the masses and there’s no greater sport in the U.S. to achieve that than the NFL.

It's Time For Apple To Bring Back Safari For Windows, by Corbin Davenport, XDA

There are reasons beyond the health of the open web for Apple to port Safari to more platforms. There are millions of people that use an iPhone or iPad, but use Windows PCs instead of Mac computers. Keeping Safari exclusive to macOS might encourage some of those people to buy a Mac, but Safari on Windows (and other platforms) could also act as a loss leader that encourages future Apple hardware purchases — much like the original iTunes for Windows nearly two decades ago.

Used Device Retailer's Creepy Campaign Saw It AirDrop Ads To Apple Stores, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

A used device retailer used AirDrop to send ads to iPhones in Apple Stores in an attempt to get buyers to go refurbished instead of buying new. Apple Stores in London, Paris, and Berlin were bombarded with the AirDropped link that opened a Black Market website.

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I think Apple will bring Safari to Android first before it even considers brining Safari back to Windows. It definitely looks like in Apple's mind, Windows is a dying platform, not deserving of any significant new development. Look at Apple TV app: available everywhere (even Xbox!), except Windows.

Oh, and Apple is never bringing Safari to Android.


When you are rebranding your app with a single letter, try not to use the letter X, because that has become a cliché. But, there is something, obviously, worse than the letter X: the letter Z.

(Well, it was not too obvious for at least one company.)


Is there a betting pool on when Twitter will have a higher tweet limitation of 420 characters?


Thanks for reading.

The Ripest-Margins Edition Monday, April 25, 2022

The Finance Secrets Of Big Tech, by The Economist

What emerges is a picture of big tech in which the titans appear more vulnerable than their superficial omnipotence suggests. Their secretive profit pools are indeed deep. But the firms’ finance secrets betray weaknesses, too. Three stand out: a high concentration of profits, waning customer loyalty and the sheer sums at risk from assorted antitrust actions.


Many attempts to check the power of the platforms have gone nowhere. The current crop is likely to be watered down and could take years to take effect. But just a few successful tech-bashing efforts could make a meaningful dent in the firms’ prospects. And by lifting the veil on tech titans’ secret finances, they are already alerting challengers to where exactly margins are ripest for eating into.

It's Time For Apple To Start Thinking Different Again–and A Little Weird, by Dan Moren, Macworld

So Apple shouldn’t stop being weird. If it has a great idea for a robot that walks your dog, or a giant table-sized iPad, or a speaker that you wear in a hat, it should give it a go, because you never know what the upside might be.

Apple’s Private Relay Can Cause The System To Ignore Firewall Rules, by Mullvad VPN

It is hard to speculate about the severity of this leak since the traffic is encrypted, meaning we cannot really know what it contains. This does however signal to your local network and ISP that you are using a macOS device. If your threat model forbids this, you should disable the Private Relay.


Latest 'Shot On iPhone 13 Pro' Video Highlights Singapore's Chicken Rice War, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Released on Sunday to the official Apple YouTube channel, "Shot on iPhone 13 Pro - Poached" explores food served at hawker centers, food halls in Singapore, with the main focus being on chicken rice.

Belkin's Wemo Smart Video Doorbell With HomeKit Secure Video Now Available From Apple, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

The Wemo Smart Video Doorbell, which is also available directly from Belkin, is one of the few doorbells on the market so far to support ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌, which not only allows video feeds to show up directly in the Home app on your devices, but with a paid iCloud+ subscription, video activity for the past 10 days can be securely uploaded for viewing and sharing.


Apple Supplier Foxconn Suspends Production At Two China Factories, SCMP Reports, by Ben Blanchard and Yimou Lee, Rhea Binoy, Reuters

A source familiar with the situation said the plant is not a major supplier for Apple products and the company was able to shift production to other facilities.

Was Steve Jobs The Soul Of Apple Inc.? Reporter Says Yes And Charts The Aftermath, by Kevin Canfield, San Francisco Chronicles

In March 2019, Apple Inc. invited reporters and celebrities to its grand headquarters in Cupertino, where CEO Tim Cook announced the launch of Apple TV+, one of several subscription services designed to complement the company’s ubiquitous personal devices.

To Tripp Mickle, the author of “After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul,” this signaled a distinct shift in priorities. “After years of being hounded by the same question — What’s the next new device? — Cook finally delivered his answer: There isn’t one,” Mickle writes.

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FYI, Find My network will minimize the risks of leaving your unreleased devices behind in a bar. Google, get with the program.



As far as I can remember, I have never eaten at the two Chicken Rice hawker stalls featured in the Apple's "Shot on iPhone 13 Pro" video. For one, the hawker centre is actually quite far from where I stay and work here in Singapore. Also: I don't fancy queuing up for food, and if I hear correctly, there is always long queue at these two stalls during meal time. (I'm not sure what's the situation is like during the past two years; but even during relatively brief lockdown, we were still able to go out and buy food.)

If you ask one hundred Singaporeans what is the best part of a good Chicken Rice meal, you will get back two hundred different answers. For me, the savory of the rice -- usually cooked with chicken stock, among other ingredients -- is quintessential of what makes Chicken Rice great. My spouse, on the other hand, judges how good the chef is mostly on the quality of the chili dipping sauce.


My favorite Singapore street food changes every once in a while, but my current favorite is Bak chor mee, or minced meat noodles. Yummy.


Thanks for reading.

The Respect-the-Work Edition Sunday, April 24, 2022

Apple App Store Appears To Be Widely Removing Outdated Apps, by Emma Roth, The Verge

Apple may be cracking down on apps that no longer receive updates. In a screenshotted email sent to affected developers, titled “App Improvement Notice,” Apple warns it will remove apps from the App Store that haven’t been “updated in a significant amount of time” and gives developers just 30 days to update them.


Critics of this policy argue that mobile apps should remain available no matter their age, much like old video games remain playable on consoles. Others say the policy is unnecessarily tough on developers, and claim Apple doesn’t fully respect the work that goes into indie games.

From Amazon To Apple, Tech Giants Turn To Old-school Union Busting, by Nitasha Tiku, Reed Albergotti, Greg Jaffe and Rachel Lerman, Washington Post

When Apple announced this year that it was offering raises for retail employees across the country, employees at New York’s Grand Central Terminal store who appeared disappointed were taken aside by managers and given a speech about the pitfalls of unionization there, according to employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

In meetings, managers warned that unionization would mean the loss of benefits, such as the ability to do stints at Apple’s corporate headquarters, known as a “career experience.”

The Opposite Of Small Business Saturday, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

Again, everyone is free to do as they wish, but for my part, my default is to use a third party whenever possible.


How To Make Sure You Can Recover Your iCloud Data, by David Nield, Wired

The worst sometimes does happen, and with that in mind, it's important to make sure you're prepared for it. When it comes to the iCloud data being backed up from your Apple device, that means having a recovery plan in place should you find yourself locked out from your backups.

These 19 Apps Can Help You Live A More Sustainable Life, by Nishtha Grover, Prestige

When it comes to building a new habit, apps are so useful in keeping you entertained through gamification or shaping your environment by sending reminders. For those taking steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle, these apps are a great way to start!

Eat More Greens With These 5 Apps For Plant-Based Recipes, by Lindsay E. Mack, MakeUseOf

If you’re trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, then it's a good idea to make them as tasty and appealing as possible. Once you learn a few tricks about preparing palatable plant-based meals, eating more of them will be no challenge at all. These plant-based recipe apps will give you all the meal ideas you need to make eating your veggies a joy.


Foxconn’s Key iPhone Plant Operating In Locked-Down China Region, by Debby Wu, Bloomberg

Officials locked down the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone that hosts Foxconn’s iPhone City campus on Thursday for an indefinite period, according to a government notice viewed by Bloomberg News. Residents are not allowed to leave their homes unless it is considered necessary during the lockdown, the notice said, but workers for key businesses can commute with permits.


Foxconn’s smaller rival Pegatron Corp. suspended operations at its iPhone plants in Shanghai and Kunshan. Apple laptop maker Quanta Computer Inc. only recently resumed some production after halting work for a few days in Shanghai.

Apple Will Lend You $5000 If You Forget Your Wallet At Home, by Chris Matyszczyk, ZDNet

How many other companies are generous enough to sell you something revolutionary and then magnanimous enough to help you in your greatest hour of distress?

We're here today, you see, to consider one man's desperate plight.

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After two years and some months, I think I no longer can stand crowds.


Thanks for reading.

The White-Screen Edition Saturday, April 23, 2022

Apple Announces Service Program For Apple Watch Series 6 'Blank Screen Issue', by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Apple on Friday announced a new service program for some Apple Watch Series 6 units that were affected by a “white screen issue.” Affected customers will be able to request a free repair through Apple or authorized service providers (AASP).

Hackers Are Exploiting 0-days More Than Ever, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

“We started seeing a spike early in 2021, and a lot of the questions I was getting all through the year were, ‘What the heck is going on?!’” says Maddie Stone, a security researcher at Project Zero. “My first reaction was, ‘Oh my goodness, there’s so much.’ But when I took a step back and looked at it in the context of previous years, to see such a big jump, that growth actually more likely is due to increased detection, transparency, and public knowledge about zero-days.”


Apple Arcade Is A Perfect Travel Companion, by Bob Levitus, Houston Chronicle

I probably wouldn’t have subscribed to Arcade, but it is part of my Apple One Premier subscription, and I’m happy to have it now. I’m a “casual” gamer with no strong genre preference. So, I have enjoyed checking out a variety of games for free. And I love that Arcade games have no ads or in-app purchases, so unlike many “freemium” games in the App Store, Arcade games never pester you to watch or buy anything.

Apple's Thunderbolt 4 Pro Cable Teardown Shows Why The Accessory Is Expensive, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

ChargerLAB explains that Apple’s Thunderbolt 4 Pro Cable is very well built with premium materials that make it more durable and less susceptible to interference, not to mention the licensed Intel chip that stabilizes signal transmission.

The 5 Best Password Managers To Organize Your Log-ins, by Sam Hill, Input

While paying for a password service might seem silly — you’ve gotten by this far on your own! — it will save you so much time and grief resetting passwords that you won’t miss the few dollars a month it costs for a subscription. Plus, putting your data in an encrypted vault is more secure than whatever Post-it note situation you’re running right now.

Review: iPad Pro And Air Get Premium Leather Protection With Nomad's Modern Case And Folio, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Nomad recently launched its high-end Modern Leather Case and Modern Leather Folio for the iPad Pro and Air. Both feature a clean and minimal design without sacrificing protection.


Apple's Whipping Out The Big Guns To Kill Antitrust Legislation, by Mack DeGeurin, Gizmodo

Apple, Meta, and Amazon all amped up their lobbying spending in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same time last year, with Apple increasing its spending by nearly 100%. That massive shift comes as all of these companies stare down a looming salvo of antitrust legislation crawling their way through the U.S. House and Senate which, if passed, threaten to bludgeon critical parts of Big Tech’s business models.

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Netflix getting into mobile games business is the wrong strategy. To have a good selection of mobile games that encourage existing Netflix subscribers to stay around is very difficult, with a lot of 'free' mobile games already in the market, and with other companies, including Microsoft, already way ahead of the game. (I don't think Netflix is harboring thoughts of using mobile games to attract new subscribers. That's way harder, and it's current game selections are definitely not at that level.)

Instead, Netflix can really build up new businesses revolving not-too-diffficult-to-license media: music streaming, e-books, audio-books, and perhaps podcasts. The idea is not to add them to the existing subscription, but to build up a bundle that encourage subscribers to stay around even when there is a lull in Netflix programming.


Thanks for reading.

The No-Longer-Updated Edition Friday, April 22, 2022

End Of The Road: Apple Is Killing macOS Server, The Place Where Mac OS X Began, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Apple announced today that it is formally discontinuing macOS Server after 23 years. The app, which offers device management services and a few other features to people using multiple Macs, iPhones, and iPads on the same network, can still be bought, downloaded, and used with macOS Monterey. It is also still currently available at its normal $20 retail price but will no longer be updated with new features or security fixes.

Apple Pulling The Plug On Fleetsmith Device Management Service In October, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Existing users of Apple's Fleetsmith device management service have been notified that it will be discontinued on October 21, and no new users can now be added.

In principle, Fleetsmith is similar to both Jamf and the new Apple Business Essentials, in that it aimed to help large companies manage the Apple devices they distribute to their staff. Originally a third-party service, it was bought by Apple in 2020.

New Apple Cash Accounts Now Branded As Visa Cards, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Over the past few days, several Apple Cash virtual card images on Apple’s website have been swapped out for new ones displaying a Visa debit logo, and the transition to the more widely accepted network appears to be underway.


It's Earth Day, And Apple Website Highlights Progress In Everything From Apple Watch To iMac, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

The company kicked things off earlier this month by announcing that it would donate $1 to the World Wildlife Fund for every Apple Pay transaction made in Apple Stores, through the Apple Store app, or on its website from April 14 to today.

Apple Fitness+ New Artist Spotlight Series Highlights Dance Workouts With ABBA, BTS, Queen, More, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Apple Fitness+ is highlighting a new Dance Collection, a limited-edition award, and a special Artist Spotlight featuring hit songs and iconic moves from artist videos in the lead-up to International Dance Day.

I Visited 14 National Parks Last Year. Here Are The Apps I Used To Plan And Pull Off Those Trips., by Elissa Sanci, New York Times

Last year, I visited 14 national parks spanning from the East Coast to the West Coast and everywhere in between. I’ve hiked up mountains for stunning 360-degree vistas, ventured underground to explore cave systems, and wandered through slot canyons in the desert heat—and to do it all successfully, I’ve relied on a few trusted apps. Whether I’m searching for campsites, organizing a packed itinerary, or navigating long hikes safely, I’ve found these apps extremely useful in pulling off my national park trips. Here are the apps that can help you plan your own adventures.


Apple Details Mangrove Conservation Efforts Made In India Ahead Of World Earth Day, by Darryl Boxberger, AppleInsider

"With our work and awareness around the importance of mangroves," Archana Godbole, director of the AERF explained, "and opportunities to create sustainable income-generating activities, we've provided hope to the coastal communities in Raigad."

"To collaborate with Apple and Conservation International is a great opportunity to explore how mangrove conservation and community benefits can go hand in hand," she says.

Apple Actively Planning To Expand Supply Chain Locations After Lockdown Strains Reliance On China, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

With constant lockdowns in China due to the rise of COVID-19 cases, Apple is now in ”action plan” to diversify its supply chain management risks out of the country, according to a new report by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

HomePod, Studio Display, And Filling The Right Niche, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

The original HomePod and the Studio Display are both outliers in their product categories. In one case, there just weren’t enough people to fill that niche, leading Apple to refactor the product to try to find a larger audience with a cheaper, lower-quality version. In the other, there is enough pent-up demand for the product to be a success.

They may both be weird outlier products, but both of them have communities that love them. Sometimes that’s enough. And sometimes it’s not.

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The weekend is here. Time to watch new episodes over at Apple TV+... and, watch all episodes over at Netflix.

My menu:
Slow Horses
Russian Doll


Thanks for reading.

The Update-Within-Five-Minutes Edition Thursday, April 21, 2022

MagSafe Battery Pack Now Able To Charge At Faster 7.5W Speed After Firmware Update, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple yesterday released a firmware update designed for the MagSafe Battery Pack, and it turns out the new firmware enables 7.5W charging while on the go, up from the previous 5W limit.


Updating the ‌MagSafe Battery Pack‌ can be done by attaching it to an iPhone and waiting (a process that can take up to a week), or using a Mac or an iPad to update within five minutes. Apple suggests users attach a Lightning cable to a ‌MagSafe Battery Pack‌ and then plug in the USB side to an ‌iPad‌ or Mac to initiate the update process.

Apple To Roll Out Child Safety Feature That Scans Messages For Nudity To UK iPhones, by Alex Hern, The Guardian

A safety feature that uses AI technology to scan messages sent to and from children will soon hit British iPhones, Apple has announced.

The feature, referred to as “communication safety in Messages”, allows parents to turn on warnings for their children’s iPhones. When enabled, all photos sent or received by the child using the Messages app will be scanned for nudity.


Criminals Abuse Apple Pay In Spending Sprees, by Joseph Cox, Motherboard

Recently criminals have started using bots that automatically place phone calls to victims and trick people into handing over their multi-factor authentication codes. Now, various fraudsters selling access to these underground bots are highlighting a particular money making scheme: using the bots to link stolen credit cards to contactless payment systems like Apple, Samsung, and Google Pay and then buying items at the victim’s expense.

Apple Adds New Fraud Prevention Features To Apple Pay, by Dennis Seller, Apple World Today

Apple is upgrading its Apple Pay fraud prevention features for cards stored in the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch. However, there’s a downside: the features are, for now, only for Visa cards.


Learning To Love Ecamm’s Live, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

While it’s true that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, I’m glad I revisited Live two years on. In the intervening time, Ecamm has removed every stumbling block that made it an impractical app for me. Live is now my live-streaming app of choice. It feels good to add a new, Mac-only app to my toolbox.

Pok Pok Playroom iOS App For Kids Gets New Content And Experiences For Earth Day, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Today’s release brings fresh content and experiences in Pok Pok’s Town toy to celebrate Earth Day and help kids learn about things like urban gardening, recycling and composting, and even beekeeping.

Runance Is A Simple, Free Running App For Apple Watch, by Brent Dirks, AppAdvice

While running you can view live metrics on the watch screen including heart rate, training zones, distance, tempo, and elapsed time.


Why Doesn't Apple Music On iOS Have Crossfade, But The Android App Does?, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

I was a bit afraid about what to expect from the Apple Music experience on Android – after all, we all know that using Apple Music on Windows is a nightmare. Luckily, everything works quite well. I haven’t had any issues other than those I also have using Apple Music on iOS – like having to constantly confirm that I allow explicit songs on my device.

But here’s where things start to get interesting. In some cases, it seems that the Apple Music app for Android has more features than the iOS app, which is a native app with access to all of the iOS private APIs.

Apple Store In Atlanta First To File To Form A Union, by Reed Albergotti, Washington Post

An Apple retail store in Atlanta filed a petition to unionize Wednesday, becoming the first of the iPhone maker’s locations to undertake an official attempt to do so.

The store, in the Cumberland Mall, has been gathering support for unionization for months, according to an employee at the store working to organize the effort and others familiar with the effort.

The Original HomePod’s Demise Is A Slow And Sad One (Despite Appreciating Value), by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The HomePod sound quality is still excellent today, but that A8 processor inside shows its age when it comes to things like Siri requests, HomeKit control, and AirPlay playback with multiple speakers.

Furthermore, during the last several months, we’ve seen a growing number of reports of HomePod units failing completely, with a so-called “popping” sound now infamous among users. If your HomePod starts making popping noises, chances are it’s about to bite the dust.

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I miss reading user manuals of new software that I've purchased. A lot of times, I have to figure out how things are done in the software by actually trying out different settings and see what happens.

(Quick: If you want to only download new podcast episodes on Wi-fi, except when you've listening to a podcast playlist and you've reached the point of the new episode, and then you are okay for that episode to be downloaded by celluar -- do you know if your podcast player can do that, and if so what settings to toggle?)


Thanks for reading.

The Future-of-Industry Edition Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Half Of Apple Suppliers Operating In China's Lockdown-hit Areas, by Lauly Li, Cheng Ting-Fang, and Shunsuke Tabeta, Nikkei Asia

More than 70 companies own manufacturing plants in Jiangsu Province that directly supply the U.S. tech giant, according to an analysis of Apple's latest available Supplier List. The majority of these are in Kunshan and Suzhou, the two cities near Shanghai. A further 30 or so Apple suppliers have facilities in Shanghai itself, the latest epicenter of the COVID-19 surge in China.

These suppliers run the gamut from major iPhone assembler Pegatron and iPad maker Compal Electronics to makers of components such as displays, printed circuit boards, thermal parts, batteries and acoustic components.

Apple’s Zipped Lips On Chips, by Shira Ovide, New York Times

Government officials might be overstating the risks of concentrating chip-making in Taiwan, or chip buyers like Apple might be underestimating them. Or maybe these companies find it too daunting to shift more quickly away from the expertise of Taiwan’s chip factories. Whatever the reason, it’s as if elected leaders and the companies that need chips the most are working from a different sense of what is possible and necessary for the future of this essential industry.


Apple Watch Activity Challenge Set For International Dance Day With Exclusive Awards, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

For International Dance Day on April 29, Apple will hold an Activity Challenge that requires to do a Dance workout of 20 minutes or more.

Apple Releases New Firmware For MagSafe Battery Pack, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Firmware updates are done quietly over the air and Apple does not provide release notes, so we do not know what features or bug fixes might be included in the software.

MindNode For Mac And iOS Updated With Dynamic Nodes, Quick Entry Improvements, More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

MindNode is out with a nice update for its mind-mapping software for Mac and iOS today. The latest release brings improvements to how nodes look, feel, and work, quick entry changes that make it easier to jot down ideas, and more.

Twelve South Refreshes SurfacePad iPhone 13 Leather Folio Case With Two New Spring Colors, by Blair Altland, 9to5Toys

Today, Twelve South is refreshing one of the more unique offerings in its lineup. Perfect for spring, two new styles of the SurfacePad folio case have arrived to coat your iPhone 13 series device in a signature Twelve South leather form-factor.


Incredibly, Your Apple HomePod May Now Be Worth More Than Its $299 MSRP, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

We took a look at eBay sales numbers after spotting 9to5Mac editor-in-chief Chance Miller’s tweet, and we soon discovered it wasn’t just a joke: on average, an Apple HomePod fetched $375 this past week. That’s 25 percent more than Apple charged.

An Open Letter To Apple: Will It Publicly Stand Behind The Use Of Final Cut Pro In TV And Film?, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

While Final Cut Pro is very popular among the education world, YouTubers, and other small businesses, it’s less likely to be used for TV shows and movies destined for popular streaming platforms, and even more unlikely to be the NLE of choice for major Hollywood productions. The reason for the slow adoption is multifaceted, but it largely stems from the lack of industry-standard workflows and integration, along with insufficient promotion within industry circles.

The Risk Of Relying On Smart-Home Companies To Keep The Lights On, by Boone Ashworth, Wired

For users who rely on connected door locks, security cameras, and light bulbs around the house, the Insteon debacle is a reminder that full control of one’s devices may be an illusion in the era of the cloud. But Kozak says that while Insteon’s mess is certainly a black eye for the smart-home industry, it’s an avoidable one.

Never Trust A Number, by Climateer

Like, seriously. Whenever you see a number – in a tweet, newspaper headline, office email, technical report, textbook, anywhere – assume it is wrong. Treat it as enemy misinformation, deliberate sabotage of your understanding of the world, and disregard it.

You're thinking, ha ha, I'm exaggerating for effect. I’m not. Seriously I am not. I mean, of course not not all numbers are literally incorrect; but it happens so very, very much more often than your intuition, that I do literally mean it is a good practice to treat all numbers as incorrect by default.

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To get ready for the new season, I've just rewatched the first season of Russian Doll on Netflix. And I can't think of a good way for Netflix to insert any advertisement into any of the episodes. So, if Netflix is going to introduce a new ad-supported tier, many of its new shows will have to find ways to break their episodes into multiple segments, with the expectations that some viewers are going to watch ads between the segments.

This will make many new shows less good, even for subscribers who paid more for the no-advertisement tier.


Thanks for reading.

The Recycled-Gold Edition Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Apple Spotlights Recycling Efforts In 2022 Environmental Progress Report, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

The company highlighted that in 2021, 59 percent of the aluminum, 45 percent of the rare earth elements, 30 percent of the tin, and 13 percent of the cobalt Apple shipped in its products came from recycled sources, and plastics accounted for just four percent of packaging. All new iPhone, iPad, AirPods, and Mac models feature 100 percent recycled tin in the solder of their main logic boards, and Apple is using recycled gold in the plating of the main logic board and wire in the front camera and the rear cameras of iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro.

A Year After Apple Enforces App Tracking Policy, Covert iOS Tracking Remains, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Last week’s research paper said that while ATT in many ways works as intended, loopholes in the framework also provided the opportunity for companies, particularly large ones like Google and Facebook, to work around the protections and stockpile even more data. The paper also warned that despite Apple’s promise for more transparency, ATT might give many users a false sense of security.

The Birth, Life, Death, And Possible Resurrection Of The Thunderbolt eGPU In macOS, by Mike Wuerthele and Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

While Apple embraced Thunderbolt 3 eGPU technology for years, it doesn't have the same love for the upgrade option for its Macs since the launch of Apple Silicon. Here's how Apple's relationship with eGPUs started, matured, died — and could come back.

Sunday Ticket

Rupert’s Age, Apple/NFL, And The Bomb Of The Pandemic, by Matthew Belloni, Puck

My sources say it’s Apple’s to lose, at this point. (One source told me this weekend that the deal is actually done and is being kept quiet at Apple’s request, which I haven’t confirmed and don’t know for a fact; Apple isn’t commenting.) That would make sense: Even after winning top Emmys and the best picture Oscar, C.E.O. Tim Cook has said Apple is merely in its early days of premium video, and nothing is more premium than NFL football. Plus, it would explain Apple’s recent foray into live events and advertising with MLB games. (Note to Apple: Your baseball broadcasters are bush league; no way will the NFL tolerate a C-level crew.)

Report: NFL Sunday Ticket To Apple TV+ May Be Done Deal, by Matt Tamanini, The Streamable

The NFL has long looked to diversify where fans can find its content, so adding a partnership with the world’s largest company would make sense. If Apple TV+ does become the NFL’s newest broadcast, the question then becomes how the streamer will price the football package. Their new MLB deal is included with the standard $4.99 per month subscription, but it would seem unlikely that Apple would continue that practice with Sunday Ticket included; but this is Apple after all, and they often have different economic goalposts than other companies.


However, Apple TV+ has been open about its strategy of using high-quality, high-cost content as a way to bring people to the platform, and there is no bigger bait in the broadcast world than NFL Sunday Ticket.

More Rumors On Apple Obtaining The Rights To NFL Sunday Ticket, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

If Apple does get the rights to Sunday Ticket, and they do choose to charge subscribers a premium for access to it, I think there’s a good chance that they’ll charge substantially less than DirecTV’s rates — that Apple will still try to make it more of a mass-market play for regular NFL fans, not just for superfans and gambling junkies.


To me, that should be the point of Apple securing the rights to Sunday Ticket. Not just to get NFL games on Apple TV+, but to further cement TV+ as a dominant force in streaming video.

Working in Retail

Apple Retail Union Organizers Want To Be Paid At Least $30 Per Hour, by Kif Leswing, CNBC

Workers who hope to organize a union at Apple's Grand Central Terminal store want workers to be paid a minimum of $30 per hour, according to a website for the group, Fruit Stand Workers United, that was updated on Monday.


The request for increased wages shows Apple's wage workers believe they're more valuable in a tight labor market.

Apple Retail Careers Page Overhauled To Highlight Benefits, Testimonials, More, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

While Apple Store employees at Grand Central Terminal in New York are taking the first steps to unionize, the Cupertino company has recently revamped its retail careers page by highlighting benefits, employees’ testimonials, and lots of info on what roles are available in its retail stores.


Five Solutions For Pasting Plain Text On A Mac, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

By default, pasting text into many Mac apps brings with it any styling that had been applied. Maintaining text styles is often desirable—particularly when duplicating or moving text around within a document—but it’s often an annoying waste of time when you’re bringing content into a document from another app. In such situations, it’s best if you can paste just the text itself and have it take on the styling of the text around it.

There are numerous ways to solve this problem. Some are free, and others take advantage of a commercial utility that you may already have for another purpose. If the built-in solutions don’t work in your particular workflow, turn to one of the alternatives.

You Should Try ‘Zest,’ The Duolingo Of Cooking, by Jake Peterson, Lifehacker

The app looks great, the videos are helpful: It feels like an app made by people who want to teach people how to cook. While the free app is a bit limited (the $9.99/month option includes all lessons and recipes, and new meals every week), it’s enough to make a few dishes on your own.


TidBITS 32nd Anniversary And The 32K Text Barrier, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

In the early years of TidBITS, the Mac’s built-in editing capabilities for text fields were limited to 32 kilobytes of text. That limitation trickled down to numerous apps and systems—for instance, early versions of Eudora couldn’t display more than 32K of text in a single message. Unsurprisingly, the venerable BBEdit, which was released on 12 April 1992 and recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, had a custom text engine that never suffered from the 32K limit.

That size restriction also hampered the email gateways that allowed messages to flow between the Internet and commercial online services like AOL, AppleLink, and CompuServe. For years, we had a self-imposed limit on the size of a TidBITS issue to ensure it wouldn’t be bounced, truncated, or prevented from display because of being too large.

iPhone City Is Operating Normally Despite China Covid Lockdowns, by Debby Wu, Bloomberg

The world’s biggest iPhone assembly campus, on the outskirts of the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, is operating normally despite lockdowns and mass Covid-19 testing in the area that began last week, the official Henan Daily reported.

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Are we sure Apple can keep something like the NFL Sunday Ticket a secret?


Thanks for reading.

The Gimmicks-and-Features Edition Monday, April 18, 2022

5 Free Zoom Alternatives That Break The 40-minute Barrier, by Doug Aamoth, Fast Company

If you’re using the free version of Zoom and you’re not a huge fan of meetings to begin with, the 40-minute meeting limit could arguably be seen as a feature.

But sometimes you’ve just got to meet for longer than two-thirds of an hour, right? And if you’re looking for free Zoom alternatives that are more generous, have we got a list for you.

Use The Right Tools, by Matt Gemmell

You should absolutely use multiple tools when one would technically do. You should absolutely prioritise effective creativity, and efficient facilitation of thought, over some notional and irrelevant benefit of having fewer tools. A sketch isn’t a mind map, and a mind map isn’t a linear outline, and an outline isn’t a novel. When the shape of the information changes, that’s your cue that you should be checking for the optimal tool to fit your way of working.

Apple Rivals Add Tricks And Treats To Compete In Noisy Earbud Space, by Tim Biggs, Sydney Morning Herald

Against Apple’s third-generation AirPods, brands are pulling out all the stops to attract switchers and upgraders with a range of new gimmicks and features.

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Personally, what I like to see is a new MacBook Air, one that lives out the promise of the 'Air' modifier. Apple has been adding weight and thickness to many of its product lines recently, which, in my humble opinion, is the right thing to do. (More ports! Longer battery life!) But Apple should still have an 'Air' product line that compromises in favor of thinness and lightness. There need to be a MacBook Air that approaches the lightness and thinness of an iPad Pro.

There shouldn't be a need for iPad Pros to 'replace your laptop', as many critics have been asking since day one. Let iPads be iPads -- a third device for doing things more suited for a tablet, and let the laptop-replacement be... well, a laptop running macOS.


Thanks for reading.

The Add-New-Powers Edition Sunday, April 17, 2022

Workers At Apple’s Grand Central Terminal Store Move Toward Unionizing, by Reed Albergotti, Washington Post

Workers at Apple’s flagship Grand Central Terminal retail location in Manhattan have begun to formally collect signatures to form a union, according to a newly-updated website launched by the organizers, setting the stage for a showdown between the iPhone maker and the employees who sell them.


Apple retail employees interviewed by The Post have said that despite the company’s success, their pay has not kept up with inflation, and some complain of difficult working conditions, including the inability to hold managers accountable for alleged unfair or abusive practices. Apple retail employees can earn from $17 to more than $30 per hour, depending on their market and position, and receive between $1,000 and around $2,000 in stock, they said. Employees say Apple’s hourly rates are usually in line with other retail jobs in the regions where they’re employed. But Apple, valued at $2.7 trillion, is no ordinary company. An apple spokeswoman said the minimum hourly rate at Apple retail stores is $20.


How To Give macOS Quick Look New Powers, by Justin Pot, Wired

You can, while browsing files on your Mac, hit the spacebar to see a preview. This works for images, documents, and media files, and there are even some basic editing capabilities.

It’s great, but there are all kinds of files the format doesn’t support. Fortunately, you can change that. There are plenty of free applications that add new powers to Quick Look—here are a few of the best ones.

I Got Married This Week, And These Five iOS Apps Helped Reduce Our Stress Levels, by Daryl Baxter, TechRadar

Planning a wedding involves tasks that you would never expect to have to sort out – from agreeing on the music that would play while you sign the marriage certificate, to checking if the right tree logs for the table have been picked up by the best man.

If we didn't have our iPhones and apps at hand, we may have had to hire a wedding planner to avoid the multiple moments of stress we would have inevitably had.


Teen Phone Tricks Parents Should Know About, by Jamey Tucker, WPSD

The other day I heard a mom say her kids can't use TikTok because she deleted the app from their phones. Do you know what her kids are saying? Aw, mom, you're adorable. Good try though." Your kids may hate me for telling you this, but deleting an app isn't going to stop them.

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We went out for dinner last night, followed by a scroll to the newly-returned night market near our home. All the queues to all the street food stalls were extremely long, so we didn't buy any.


Thanks for reading.

The Not-Allowed-to-Quit Edition Saturday, April 16, 2022

Apple’s Still Not Catching Scammy Apps, And This Time They’re On The Mac, by Mitchell Clark, The Verge

Scam app hunter / developer Kosta Eleftheriou, known for catching egregious scams that make it past Apple’s review process, has once again brought attention to a new crop of shady apps being peddled through the App Store. This time they’re on the Mac, and they’re using pop-ups that make it extremely difficult to quit an app without agreeing to outrageous subscription prices — all without Apple noticing, despite its argument that its App Review process keeps devices and users safe.

'I Didn't Want To Die': Founder Of Wolomi App Created It To Help Black Moms Find Joy In Pregnancy Again, by Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence

The Wolomi: Pregnancy Companion App has since been born and become a light for many moms-to-be and new moms looking to take control of their birthing and mothering experience as opposed to just taking whatever healthcare providers offer. Among other offerings, the app allows them to stay abreast of events where they can find community, to undergo mental health screenings to ensure they’re being supported, to speak with experts like a pediatrician instead of going down a scary rabbit hole online, and to hear from a midwife to be educated about their pregnancy journey. George has equipped mothers with the tools necessary to take full ownership of and have confidence about their journey, as opposed to being in fear before, during and after.

Stream Different

Apple TV+ Friday Night Baseball Curveball Start Could Still Lead To A Home Run, by Lance Ulanoff, TechRadar

Apple is purposely not doing things exactly as they've been done for decades of game broadcasts. It's intentionally widening the diversity and perspective of the typical game announcers. It purposely pulled together teams that offer new faces demographics and fresh perspectives.

That can take some getting used to but Apple, which appears to have grander baseball plans than just this Friday night slot (though we're guessing here), not only wants the traditional baseball fan to enjoy these games but is also hoping to build the audience beyond the endemic.

Apple TV+ In Talks To Land MLS Broadcasting Rights; ESPN, Turner Also Interested, by Matt Tamanini, The Streamable

The strategy for most sports leagues has recently been to diversify their broadcasting options by having games available on multiple networks and platforms, especially as streaming has become more viable. While leagues see this as a way to reach viewers across various age and socioeconomic demographics, fans see it as leagues unnecessarily complicating how they watch their favorite teams.

This Is As Good As Movies Are Going To Get, by Peter Kafka, Vox

So. We’re looking at a future where 1) most movies that show in movie theaters will be made for an audience that goes to movie theaters — that means young people who like superheroes, young people who like being scared, and families with kids who need to get out of the house, and 2) everything else is meant to be watched at home. But, eventually, there won’t be as much of that stuff as there is now.


Apple Promotes Apple Card In New 'Chocolate' Ad, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today shared a new ad focused on the Apple Card, highlighting the convenience of having a card-free payment option and the simple sign up process.

The 6 Best To-do List Apps Of 2022: Get Organized, by Lena Borrelli, ZDNet

There have been many different to-do lists and apps throughout the years, but each year, it seems like there is a rush of new apps vying for the title of best to-do app. We took our time, carefully analyzing and testing the market's top choices to help you find the best to-do lists and apps to organize your life, however, and whenever you need them.


Despite Thunderbolt, iPad To Mac Communication Is Still A Mess, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

The latest iPad Pros have Thunderbolt ports, so you'd expect improved performance when connecting to a Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Pro. Instead, it's a buggy mess.

Apple And Privacy, by David Sparks, MacSparky

At the leading edge, however, Apple will always be a little constrained as it makes privacy a priority. That used to bother me. Now it doesn’t. Constraints often make things better. Apple will figure this out in a way that does serve consumers and protect our privacy. The other guys aren’t bothering. This is one more reason why I’m using Apple gear.

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So, Apple TV+ is chasing after talent and 'prestige television' shows. It seems like it is also chasing sports programming. That's like two-thirds of the (earlier non-Max) HBO rulebook, if I remember what I've read in the book about HBO, Tinderbox, correctly. (Tennis and Boxing was what I recall.)

Are we expecting Apple TV+ competing in the documentary genre next?


Thanks for reading.

The Persistent-Lockdowns Edition Friday, April 15, 2022

Apple, Others Face Shipment Delays As China COVID Curbs Squeeze Suppliers - Analysts, by Josh Horwitz and Sarah Wu, Reuters

Shipments of some Apple products, as well as Dell and Lenovo laptops are likely to face delays if China's COVID-19 lockdowns persist, analysts said, as curbs force assemblers to shut down and closed-loop arrangements get harder to maintain.


As a worst-case scenario, Pegatron may fall behind on 6 million to 10 million iPhone units if the lockdowns last two months and Apple cannot reroute orders, Han said.


Apple Celebrating Earth Day With $1 Donation For Every Apple Store Purchase Made With Apple Pay, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

From now until Earth Day on April 22, Apple is planning to donate $1 to the World Wildlife Fund for every Apple Pay transaction made in Apple Stores, through the Apple Store app, or on the website.

Squash Review: Process, Adjust, And Optimize Photos In A Snap, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Realmac Software’s Squash is a single-minded batch-processing imaging app that offers configurable compression along with automatic application of image correction, color and monochrome grading effects, and stripping out metadata. If you work with lots of images regularly, it could hit the spot with the combination of simplicity, power, and price.

Satechi Launches Aluminum Dual Vertical Laptop Stand For Mac, iPad, And iPhone, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Satechi is out today with a new accessory to keep your Mac, iPad, or iPhone organized and easily accessible on your desk. The new Dual Vertical Laptop Stand supports two devices securely with a sleek and simple design.


Apple Tests Several New Macs With Next-generation M2 Chips - Bloomberg News, by Sabahatjahan Contractor, Reuters

The company is testing at least nine Mac models with four different M2-based chips - the successors to the current M1 line - with third-party apps in its App store, according to the logs which were corroborated by people familiar with the matter, the report said.

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Remember the patented Apple Pizza Box? Now, get ready for Microsoft Wok: all the wok hei, without needing any hei.



Thanks for reading.

The Passionate-Stance Edition Thursday, April 14, 2022

Apple Has Good Privacy Arguments, But Critics Aren't Listening, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

The problem with Apple’s passionate stance on privacy and user security is that the people attacking its position aren’t interested in the same thing. Apple sees how responsible tech can enable a connected and convenient world, generating millions of new business opportunities, protecting people, and coalescing around shared, collective values.

Apple’s critics don’t see it the same way. In their world, privacy and security aren’t human rights, and the data generated as we go about our digital lives should be a business opportunity for them. If your online security or the fabric of your society suffers as a result, that’s just a consequence of them doing business with your destiny.

The Surprising Legacy Of The HomePod, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

The HomePod was all about sound quality, and since then you can see major improvements in sound in basically everything from iPads to MacBooks to iPhones. [...] The other thing is high quality power cables.

Apple Helped Suppliers Double Clean Energy Use In 2021, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Apple has announced that through its renewable energy efforts, its supply chain avoided 13.9 million metric tons of carbon emissions during 2021.

Through efforts such as using the world's first low-carbon aluminium in the iPhone SE, Apple is continuing to progress toward a goal of becoming entirely carbon-neutral by 2030. Now it has announced that over the course of 2021, the efforts of its suppliers meant the equivalent of removing three million cars from the road for one year.


Apple Reveals Winning 'Shot On iPhone' Macro Challenge Photos, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Apple today unveiled the 10 winning photos from the Shot on iPhone Macro Challenge that the company launched earlier this year.

Studio Display, One Month In, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

But “pull the power cord out of the wall” is not exactly an intuitive solution to glitchy audio. It is fascinating that the Studio Display is, under the hood, a self-contained iOS computer, but the overwhelming majority of Studio Display owners will never know that, nor should they. A monitor is the sort of thing you expect to plug in and never need to unplug — certainly not just to get sound working.

Some MacBook Pro Models Seeing Significantly Extended Delivery Times Due To Lockdowns In China, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

High-end MacBook Pro models are experiencing extended delivery times due to component shortages and ongoing lockdowns in China caused by the global pandemic, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

5 Mind Mapping Tools For Project Management, by Andy Wolber, TechRepublic

Mind mapping software makes it simple to capture a core concept, then add related ideas and details. Unlike a printed page or dry erase board, mind mapping software redraws layouts rapidly: No need to erase or redraw anything as you add or restructure connections. Additionally, most mind mapping software lets you quickly switch between map and outline views, as well as add links, notes and additional content (e.g., images, video or audio files) to individual map nodes.

Launching Multiple Apps At Once With Bunch, by Joe Buhlig, The Sweet Setup

At its heart, Bunch is an app launcher and quitter that uses plain text files to tell it what to do. It can do much more, so if you want to be super nerdy, you can get really deep into automating workspaces with Bunch.


Yelp, Citi, Apple And More Are Expanding Employee Benefits To Cover Abortion Care, by Jennifer Liu, CNBC

More employers are taking steps to show that supporting employees in abortion care is a workplace issue.

Q&A: What's The Deal Behind Apple TV's Deal To Broadcast Baseball Games? We Asked MLB, by Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times

I think the conversation a few years ago of, ‘Hey, you’re streaming something and that is somehow going to negatively impact the viewership,’ I don’t think that’s the reality any more. That’s certainly not what we see, across a wide variety of content.

In this case, Apple reaches into every single home, with their products and their app. Taking some of these games and making them national just gives more people the ability to watch them.

Facebook Parent Meta Set To Take Nearly 50% Cut From Virtual Sales -- And Apple Is Calling It Out, by Jon Swartz, Marketwatch

“Meta has repeatedly taken aim at Apple for charging developers a 30% commission for in-app purchases in the App Store — and have used small businesses and creators as a scapegoat at every turn,” Apple spokesman Fred Sainz said in an email to MarketWatch. “Now — Meta seeks to charge those same creators significantly more than any other platform. [Meta’s] announcement lays bare Meta’s hypocrisy. It goes to show that while they seek to use Apple’s platform for free, they happily take from the creators and small businesses that use their own.”

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If you are arguing forcing Apple to allow side-loading equates to having more choice, then you are likely someone who is privileged and can afford to either not do any side-loading, or is able to dictate what apps you want and don't want to side-load. As opposed to someone else who is less privileged and who is likely to have side-loaded apps forced upon them by their employees or government or schools or parents or spouses.


Thanks for reading.

The Taking-Away-Options Edition Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Apple CEO Escalates Fight Over App Store Regulation In Rare D.C. Speech, by Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post

The remarks amounted to Cook’s most visible efforts to date to fight legislation that would fundamentally loosen the iPhone maker’s grip on app downloads — forcing Apple to overhaul a key line of business. In the Washington D.C. speech, the CEO leveraged Apple’s image as a privacy-friendly tech giant, arguing that the proposals would allow app makers to circumvent the App Store’s privacy and security protections, leaving people with insecure apps or malware on their devices.

“Taking away a more secure option will leave users with less choice, not more,” he said.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Criticizes Antitrust Regulation, Says Some Policies Would Hurt iPhone Users, by Kif Leswing, CNBC

"Here in Washington and elsewhere, policymakers are taking steps in the name of competition that would force Apple to let apps on the iPhone that circumvent the App Store through a process called sideloading," Cook said. "That means data-hungry companies would be able to avoid our privacy rules, and once again track our users against their will."

Cook's remarks Tuesday highlight Apple's strategy to soften the sideloading requirements in pending antitrust regulation by focusing on the risks it presents to users.


Storyboards And Magic Movie Features Now Available With iMovie 3.0 Update, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

These iMovie features make it easier than ever to create beautifully edited videos on iPhone and iPad. Storyboards, for example, help content creators and moviemakers learn to edit and improve their video storytelling skills with pre-made templates for popular types of videos shared on social, with colleagues, or with classmates.

Apple Releases Final Cut Pro 10.6.2 Featuring Duplicate Detection, Voice Isolation, And Optimized Mac Studio Performance, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

The FCP update includes two primary new features – Duplicate Detection and Voice Isolation. Duplicate Detection is a feature that will be much appreciated for those editing long-form content and documentaries, while Voice Isolation wields machine learning to help isolate voice frequencies.

Studio Buds The ‘Fastest-selling’ Beats Product To Date, Now In Three New Colors, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The Apple-owned company has announced that Beats Studio Buds will be available in Moon Gray, Ocean Blue, and Sunset Pink starting tomorrow.

Pixelmator Pro Adds Color Adjustments And Effects Layers, 200 New Vector Shapes, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Pixelmator Pro is out today with another significant update, this time focused on layers. This includes a redesign of the Layers sidebar to make it easier to manage all your layers in a document. Plus, there’s brand new capabilities with the addition of Colur Adjustments and Effects layers.

Darkroom 6 Changes The Photo Editing Game With New Masking Features, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

An update that brings improvements to all three versions of the app, Darkroom 6.0 adds four new types of masks including "AI-generated Depth Masks, Smart Masks for Portrait & ProRAW photos, Gradient Masks, and Range masks." The idea is simple — users select a region of a particular photo and then edit it completely independent of the rest of the image.

How To Create A Writing Habit Inside Of Notion, by Chloe Roberts, The Sweet Setup

When you develop a system, it helps you to create and enforce the habit you need to actually get stuff done. When I create a new system or habit, I want to automate as much as possible so I can spend more time actually doing stuff… In this case: writing.

Here is how I’m using Notion to build a system that helps me to write more.

Nomad’s Base One Max Adds An Apple Watch Stand To Its Fancy MagSafe Wireless Charging Pad, by Dan Seifert, The Verge

The Base One Max effectively looks like what happens when you double the width of the Base One and add an integrated Apple Watch charger. Unlike the MagSafe section, which remains flat, the Apple Watch charger sits vertically so your Watch can display its nightstand mode and show the time.


How To Use Block Scheduling To Revamp Your Workflow, by Kenneth R. Rosen, Wired

Why is block scheduling effective? It promotes focused work, like programming, studying, researching, or writing a business proposal, while setting less important tasks aside for later.

It’s a productivity method that requires no special mobile or web app (though there are plenty) and works fine on any handwritten or digital calendar you currently use. (If you’re not using a calendar—how?!) Downloading another app—signing up, creating a profile, tinkering with settings, receiving all those pesky newsletters and notifications—would simply be distracting busywork.


The Future Of The Mac Is Bright–thanks To The Pains Of The Past, by Jason Snell, Macworld

Over the last few years, I’ve spent a little time buying a few old Mac models and getting them up to speed. Within five feet of me as I write this are a working G4 Cube, G4 iMac, Mac Plus, PowerBook 170, and even a Power Computing Mac clone.

As much as using old computers can be a fun nostalgia trip, it also makes me appreciate what we have today all the more. You remember the good times, but forget the bad! As someone who recently had to figure out how to boot a SCSI drive, let me tell you how good we’ve got it.

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My first Mac was a Quadra 630, which, according to Wikipedia, did have a SCSI interface. I didn't have much money, so I didn't have any external SCSI devices. I did bought a lot of floppies though.

My second Mac was the Bondi Blue iMac which, famously, didn't have anything but USB.

So, I guess I never had to deal with SCSI and its famous Terminator.


Thanks for reading.

The Well-Secured Edition Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Moving From 1Password To KeePas, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

If all this sounds like I left a smooth and perfectly functional app for a hodgepodge of cobbled-together solutions, it’s because I did. But now that I’ve hashed out the kinks, it works pretty well. I’ve created and changed several passwords on both my Mac and iPhone since switching from 1Password, and I have experienced no data corruption or loss.

The upside of doing all of this is that I now have total control over my password database. It’s stored in Synology Drive, which keeps revisions and syncs a local copy to my Mac, where Time Machine also stores revisions. Plus, my Synology NAS backs up remotely to IDrive (unrelated to Apple’s old cloud storage offering) and locally to a 14 TB external drive, and they also keep revisions, so my password database is well secured.


Our First Look At Bento, A New Task Managing App, by Matt Birchler, The Sweet Setup

Bento is technically a task manager, but it’s not exactly a replacement for any of the apps listed above. Instead, Bento wants you to think about what you must do today, add those things to a list, and use the Bento app to focus on getting them done today.

FlipKit Brings Flipbook Creation To Your iPhone, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

The big new FlipKit 2.0 update is now in the App Store and it brings with it a new user interface and design that should give existing users something new to enjoy. But it's the addition of an iPhone app that really changes the game, allowing people to create and edit their flipbooks from anywhere, anytime.

Clever Stabilized Web Browser Makes Reading On iPad Easier For Users Dealing With Hand Tremors, by Andrew Liszewski, Gizmodo

The app was developed by Havas New York and Havas Germany who spent two years working with the German Parkinson’s Association and Parkinson’s patients in Germany and the US to test and optimize the app. At its core, it relies on an iPad’s accelerometer to detect the subtle movements of hand tremors and then move an on-screen web browser window in the opposite direction to cancel out those movements providing the user with a stabilized and steady view of a web page while holding a mobile device.

New Square Stand Combines iPad With Built-In Apple Pay And Credit Card Reader, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The second-generation Square Stand combines an iPad, the Square POS app, and built-in payment readers for contactless payments like Apple Pay and chip-enabled credit and debit cards. The original Square Stand required separate payment readers.


Thousands Of Apple AirPods Returned Through Walmart And Other Retailers Are Being Stockpiled Due To An Apparent Security Issue, by Caroline Haskins, Business Insider

Malka said he told Apple about the problem by emailing customer support but got no response. He noted that Apple is notoriously uncommunicative and unfriendly toward recyclers and refurbishers.

Patrick Wardle, an independent Mac OS security researcher, told Insider the issue may actually be something set up by Apple on purpose. Without this hurdle, a set of stolen AirPods could be factory reset to make make them immediately usable by the thief, or at least untraceable by the victim, he explained.

Shanghai, Kunshan Lockdowns Hit iPhone, Mac And iPad Makers, by Lauly Li, Nikkei Asia

Three key Apple suppliers have suspended production in and near Shanghai as strict COVID-19 lockdown measures show signs of affecting the U.S. tech giant's supply chain in China.

Email Is Slow And Creates Distance. That’s Why It’s Great., by Jay Caspian Kang, New York Times

Perhaps email will never again be the preferred form of digital communication, but much like vinyl records, it may be able to provide a pleasant ritual that slows down the flood of notifications, if only for a moment.

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Just when I finally have some semblance of taking control of my email inbox, along came these strange times and everyone is using text messages and video chats for work.



Thanks for reading.

The Lego-Like Edition Monday, April 11, 2022

How Apple’s Monster M1 Ultra Chip Keeps Moore’s Law Alive, by Will Knight, Wired

As it becomes more difficult to shrink transistors in size, and impractical to make individual chips much bigger, chipmakers are beginning to stitch components together to boost processing power. The Lego-like approach is a key way the computer industry aims to progress. And Apple’s M1 Ultra shows that new techniques can produce big leaps in performance.


Studio Display Update Issue Fixed As Apple Addresses Code-Signing Issue, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

As highlighted on Twitter and confirmed by MacRumors, iOS 15.4, the latest software update for the Studio Display, had been unsigned by Apple as of late last week, making software updates for the display impossible. A few hours later, Apple resigned iOS 15.4 for the Studio Display, making software updates for customers once again possible.

An Ode To Apple's Hide My Email, by Mike Lapidakis, Empty Coffee

I’m a huge fan of the service and think the practice of a unique email per site is nearly as essential as using a unique password. When it’s this easy, you have no excuse.

Logitech Circle View Review: The Best HomeKit Security Camera Around. Period., by John Velasco, Spy

The Logitech Circle View represents the best of what a HomeKit-powered security camera could offer. It’s a reliable security camera made better by the fact that you don’t have to fumble around a third-party app in order to use it.


The Joy Of Small Projects, by Dominick Schroer

When was the last time you completed a project? When was the last time you started a project? Have you every felt that you were trapped working on something that you don’t enjoy anymore? Size is something that I’m sure most developers with the drive to do side projects have felt. Recently I have been completing more projects with more success than ever before. This is my new process.


Here's Why Apple Classical, And Not iOS 16, Could Be The Biggest WWDC News, by Tom Bedford, TechRadar

Classical music is complicated — apparently Mozart didn't write his classics with streaming services in mind — and so making these works easily parsable by the average music listener is a big ask. But isn't Apple's modus operandi that it makes things simple?

Apple Starts Manufacturing iPhone 13 In India, by Munsif Vengattil, Reuters

Apple Inc has started making the iPhone 13 in India, the company said on Monday, as the U.S tech giant tries to reduce reliance on its Chinese supply chain.

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Yes, I noticed the name Will Smith in the credits of the new Apple TV+ show, Slow Horses. Of course, a quick check over at IMDB revealed that this is a different Will Smith from you-know-who.

After watching the first three episodes (so far so great), I searched for reviews of the show on the intenet, and read three of the top results. Two out of the three reviews did assured their readers that, yes, this is a different Will Smith from you-know-who.


I didn't watch See so this may not be true, but Slow Horses is probably the most violent show on Apple TV+ thus far.


Thanks for reading.

The Tipping-Point Edition Sunday, April 10, 2022

The Era Of Fixing Your Own Phone Has Nearly Arrived, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

What changed? Weren’t these companies fighting tooth and nail to keep right-for-repair off the table, sometimes sneakily stopping bills at the last minute? Sure. But some legislation is getting through anyhow... and one French law in particular might have been the tipping point.

How The Apple TV+ Broadcast Of Baseball Could Improve, by Chris McShane, Amazin' Avenue

There’s no need to rattle off a bunch of Apple product placement during the game.


Some Studio Display Owners Reporting Issues Updating Display To Latest iOS Firmware, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Some owners of the new Studio Display are facing issues when attempting to update Apple’s newest monitor to its latest firmware, causing some customers to be told by Apple Support to bring in their display for repair at an Apple Store or authorized repair center.

For A Small Business Without An IT Staff, Here's How To Keep Your Macs Secure, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Small businesses might lack the dedicated IT support to keep their Macs secure. Here is a round-up of tips and tricks for securing your Mac at work if you lack a dedicated IT staff.

A Versatile, Economical Way To Backup Your Mac, by Bob Levitus, Houston Chronicle

I’ve used ChronoSync for more than a decade and have always found it reliable and robust. Version 10 is no exception. ChronoSync 10 offers a versatile, reasonably priced solution to most (or all) of your backup needs.

Pestle For iOS Updated With New Options For Sharing Recipes, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Pestle lets you import recipes from any website, so the app turns them into a step-by-step process automatically. The app comes with some great features like SharPlay support for cooking with other people using FaceTime and voice commands to skip to the next step in the recipe.

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At this point, I think Apple TV+ (the service) is a more recognizable brand than Apple TV (the hardware). It may be time to rename the hardware. Either that, or replace it with something new and value-worthy. How about combining the HomePod and the Apple TV, and call it HomePod TV?


Thanks for reading.

The Prime-Generator Edition Saturday, April 9, 2022

Apple TV+ To Integrate Apple Music, Siri Into Live Baseball Broadcasts, by Doug Greenberg, Front Office Sports

Apple plans to integrate several of its most notable features during the broadcasts.

Apple Music will provide on-screen callouts for batters’ walk-up songs, while Siri will present baseball trivia.

Apple Lets You Watch MLB Games For Free Now So It Can Sell You Another iPhone Later, by Steve Kovach, CNBC

All that comes back to the same story we've seen play out at Apple since it started its push into online services several years ago. The iPhone remains the prime profit generator, while everything else, from AirPods to Apple TV+, is designed to keep customers locked in and upgrading their devices.

Apple TV+ Strikes Out In First MLB Game, Goes Down For Portion Of Viewers, by Bruce Haring, Deadline

The free service went out shortly before 5 PM Pacific time for some viewers watching the Washington Nationals and New York Mets game. reported a sudden spike in complaints of outages and inability to log in.

Coming Soon?

Apple Support Doc Reveals Unreleased Dual USB-C 35W Power Adapter; Releasing Soon?, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

It’s unclear when Apple plans to release this accessory, and it’s also possible that it has been scrapped altogether. The support document, however, makes it clear that the accessory does exist.


SF Menu Bar Is A Handy New Mac App For Finding And Using SF Symbols, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

SF Menu Bar is a new Mac menu bar app that makes it easier and quicker to browse and search for SF Symbols. Once a symbol has been found users can have its name copied straight to the clipboard, ready to be pasted into Xcode or anywhere else.

Review: Mophie Brings MagSafe To A Foldable And Flexible Stand For Your iPhone, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The mophie magnetic portable stand is super light and convenient to pack in a bag with a weight of just 5.6 ounces, yet it feels sturdy and durable with a rigid core and metal hinges.

Package Tracking App Deliveries Warns Of Shaky Future As Shipping Companies Break Compatibility, by Allison McDaniel, 9to5Mac

Deliveries, the popular package tracking app, is losing many of its core functionalities as shipping companies refuse to provide critical shipping information. In a blog post from earlier this week, the developer of the app, Mike Piontek, provided details of its future.


The Angry Birds Remake Is No Love Letter To Mobile Gaming’s Past – It’s A Reminder Of Its Hideous Present, by Craig Grannell, Stuff

The flip side is it feels like a dangerous reminder of where Rovio started and where it went – and how the purity of old-school mobile was more widely corrupted and transformed into a monster. This is hinted at right in-app store descriptions of Rovio Classics: Angry Birds, which state “no IAPs” (in-app purchases) and “no ads”. It’s easy to forget games on Android and iPhone used to be a straight value swap: money for entertainment.

What China's Covid Lockdowns Could Mean For Apple, by Debby Wu, Bloomberg

Eventually, even Apple may not be immune to the logistical mess now afflicting parts of the country. Covid Zero policies have the potential to waylay the company’s hardware components, a scenario that could have rippling consequences, particularly during peak season when assemblers like Foxconn Technology Group and Quanta Computer Inc. need to secure all the components they can to make iPhones and Macbooks and ship the products.

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Once upon a time, I regularly open the App Store app on my iPod Touch / iPhone to 'discover' new games to play. That was a long time ago.


Thanks for reading.

The App-Store-Success Edition Friday, April 8, 2022

Apple Cites Report Showing Third-party Apps Often Beat Built-in Services Amid Scrutiny, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple is out with a new press release and report today in which it again touts the success of third-party apps on the App Store. The study, which was conducted by the Analysis Group and funded by Apple, concludes that “third-party apps experience broad regional and global success on the App Store.”

Apple’s App Store Stubbornness May Be iOS’s Greatest Security Vulnerability, by Rich Mogull, TidBITS

Sadly, from my perspective as a security expert, I think that within the next few years Apple will be forced to support both alternative app stores and sideloading. This will materially increase the security risk on iOS devices, especially for those less familiar with technology who don’t understand the security risks. It will start in Europe, but spread to other regions quickly, including the US. It could also have larger implications in markets like China, where the government will likely try to exert even more control over what Chinese citizens can buy—imagine a highly regulated Great Bazaar to match China’s Great Firewall.

As Apple customers, we can still protect ourselves. Personally, I plan to stick with Apple’s official App Store and will continue to recommend the same to anyone willing to listen. I fully expect Apple to default to the same level of security we have today and require users to jump through a (hopefully) painful process to authorize other app stores and sideloading. I also fear that, at least at the start, the technical updates required to support alternative app stores will create new attack surfaces and security vulnerabilities that could have broader impacts.


Apple Brings Modern Automation To iWork For Mac With Shortcuts, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Pages, Numbers, and Keynote now offer Shortcuts automation with version 12.0. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

This Is My Favorite Portable Battery Pack For The iPhone. Here's Why, by Tucker Bowe, Gear Patrol

The biggest advantage of the MagSafe Battery Pack is its tight integration with iOS — which means it works in ways with your iPhone that other portable batteries simply cannot. It's the only portable battery that spurs the reveal of a big "MagSafe" icon on your iPhone's display when connected. It's only the portable battery that you can check its exact power level from the Control Center, just like you can from a connected Apple Watch or AirPods. And it's smart enough to stop charging your iPhone when it reaches 90 percent to preserve its battery life.

Apple Support App Updated With Support For Business Essentials Customers With AppleCare+, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

This update makes the app available for Business Essentials customers with Apple Care+ alongside performance enhancements.

PopChar X Review: Find The Character You Need In A Font Without Fuss, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Few pieces of Mac software can claim the history of PopChar, a utility that makes it a click and a hover to see the appearance of individual characters in fonts installed on your Mac. Released in 1987 for System 5 and revamped as PopChar X for Mac OS X 10.2 in 2002, many current users weren’t born when some of us relied on PopChar as a critical part of our daily workflow in PageMaker, QuarkXPress, and InDesign. (Or even Ready, Set, Go!)

HBO Max Is Rolling Out An Updated Apple TV App That Promises Better Stability, New Features, by Todd Spangler, Variety

Visually, the new tvOS app is not all that different from the previous iteration of HBO Max on the platform. But WarnerMedia promises that the app, rebuilt on its next-generation platform, is more stable than the prior version. In addition, it adds a number of enhancements, such as easier sign-in and sign-up; the ability to skip credits (aka “binge mode”); and a new homepage view with a scrollable “hero” banner.


Apple Drops Out Of Industry Trade Group Over 'Weak Privacy Laws', by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple is dropping out of a privacy trade group that has shifted towards more “industry-friendly data privacy laws.” The news was first reported by Politico and Apple confirmed the decision through a spokesperson. The change comes ahead of Apple CEO Tim Cook headlining a global privacy summit next week.

The trade group, which is dubbed the State Privacy and Security Coalition, is notoriously secretive. The trade group is run by the law firm DLA Piper and has been criticized for pushing privacy legislation that favors members of the industry rather than consumers.

Russia’s War On Google And Apple Maps, by Justin Sherman, Slate

Moscow’s information war on mobile maps underscores that companies may need better policies to deal with these kinds of events. Apple and Google, for example, appeared to have clear policies—albeit playing into a false idea of “neutrality”—around how to mark disputed territories in years past. Yet when the Putin regime launched an all-out war on Ukraine, and Western governments responded with an array of sanctions, Apple decided it could no longer display the maps as it had—raising questions about what, in general, prompts companies to suddenly undo a years-long “disputed territory” classification and whether those decisions are rooted in comprehensive policies as opposed to ad hoc calculations. Technology companies managing maps need to better develop contingency plans and policies for this kind of war and crisis in the future—and figure out in advance (to the extent possible, at least) how to best respond to promote justice and support the oppressed. Policymakers likewise should think more about maps and other online visualizations and historical records when thinking about information operations, conflicts, and Big Tech power.

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Some of us will have the luxury of sticking with Apple's App Store, and can refuse 'alternate' app stores and sideloading, which definitely will contain more malware and creepy stuff.

But then, many will not have this luxury. They may need to install work apps that may have questionable privacy or security protection. Some governments may force their citizens install apps in order to live their lives. Look at all the contact-tracing apps out there today. It doesn't take much imagination to come up with worse scenarios. Athletics may be forced to install apps when they participate in Olympics or other events. This list is unending.

Regulators who forces Apple and other platform owners to weaken their security in the name of 'competition' are, sadly, contributing to the abuse of vulnerable people.


Thanks for reading.

The Detection-of-Trackers Edition Thursday, April 7, 2022

Police Records Show Women Are Being Stalked With Apple AirTags Across The Country, by Samantha Cole, Motherboard

“The thing that I am most looking forward to is seeing the makers of physical trackers agree on a standard that can then be implemented in operating systems, so that people have detection of trackers working in the background all the time, automatically, no matter what kind of phone that they have,” she said. “I think that's the only reasonable and effective mitigation to this mess we're in.”

And people who go to the police to report being stalked or harassed should have better resources to protect themselves from abusers if they do go to the police. In most of these reports, when a woman reported a stalker, the responding officer either offered them a domestic violence hotline phone number, or advised them to file (or re-file) for a protective order. Some of the officers wrote that they’d heard of AirTags being used to steal from people before, but others seemed to not understand what an AirTag was or how to disable it.

Apple Reveals First Look At New Apple Myeongdong Store, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

"We are thrilled to deepen our relationship with our Korean customers with the opening of this special store in Myeongdong," said Deirdre O'Brien, Apple's senior vice president of Retail + People, in a statement. "Our incredible retail team is ready to welcome the local community, and we invite everyone to find endless inspiration as they explore Apple's innovative products and services."

That exploration includes a Today at Apple Remix series of sessions in store. As with the US Apple Stores and their Lady Gaga remix sessions, this special Today at Apple event will see users remixing a track by K-pop group Seventeen.

Apple Restores Opposition App To Its App Store In Russia, by Joseph Menn and Greg Miller, Washington Post

The reversal comes amid escalating tensions between Russia and outside companies, many of which have withdrawn from the market or curtailed activities there since Russia invaded Ukraine. But civil liberties groups and American officials are pushing the other way, arguing that Apple and other tech 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.

Coming Soon

iOS 15.5 Includes Support For Apps With External Purchases To Satisfy Regulators, Code Confirms, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

The latest beta version of Apple’s operating system has full support for the new entitlement used by apps to indicate that they let users make external purchases. For instance, if the user deletes an app that offers external purchases, iOS will show an alert saying that it is not possible to manage purchases and subscriptions through the App Store.


The Studio Display Vesa Mount Is A Very Un-Apple Design, by Charlie Sorrel, Lifewire

A correctly-positioned monitor is as important for user health and comfort as the correct height for a keyboard and mouse. Forcing users to add another $400 to a $1,600 monitor just to get adjustability is a poor choice. Which is a shame because this really is a beautiful monitor in every other way. Even if it does look weird on a VESA mount.

Ninox For Mac Review: Easy, Simple, Yet Powerful Database Software, by Jon L. Jacobi, Macworld

The Ninox relational database is modern in appearance and easy to use, yet delivers all the power and features that most users will ever need. Even better, it does so for a remarkably low price.

Home Widget For HomeKit Updated With Support For Cameras, Sensor Battery Level, More, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

One of the main additions of this update is support for HomeKit Cameras. Users can now get a live stream or snapshot preview of all their cameras just by tapping the widget in the app.

Satechi Slim X3 Bluetooth Backlit Keyboard Review: A More Affordable Alternative To The Magic Keyboard, by Allison McDaniel, 9to5Mac

It not only looks nice but types nice as well. As someone who types about 60 WPM, I find my use of it fast and efficient. The additional features like backlit keys, the option to pair to multiple Bluetooth devices, and its slim, modern design make it a fantastic bang-for-your-buck accessory.

Incase Launches New Woolenex Cases For AirTag And AirPods 3, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The Incase Key Clip with Woolenex is designed for the AirTag, and it is a lightweight, form-fitting case that covers the AirTag in Woolenex and adds a TPU snap enclosure with key ring.


Mac Pro Historical Perspective, by Jeff Johnson

I don't understand why we have to make these painful tradeoffs in 2022 when they weren't necessary in 2012. Ten years ago we had relatively affordable, conveniently upgradable Mac Pro models. Since then we gained a faster CPU, but otherwise we've lost everything else great about the Mac Pro.

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Is Apple preparing the raise the price of Apple TV+? Many assumed that Apple has to start the service at a low price as it is building its catalog from zero without licensing or buying a back-catalog. But, now, Apple has slowly build up a, still small, but increasingly larger catalog that includes Emmy and Oscar-winning shows. It has gotten into sports programming that are not only more expensive, but where the licensing fee will definitely increase over each contract. Will Apple continue to treat Apple TV+ as a loss leader?

Maybe Apple is working with Disney to trial App Store subscription price changes because the App Store team has another customer in mind?


Thanks for reading.

The Online-Only Edition Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Apple Announces That WWDC 2022 Will Be Online-Only From June 6 - 10, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple has announced that WWDC will be an online-only event again this year, running from June 6-10, 2022, but with a limited in-person event for developers and students. The company also opened submissions for the Swift Student Challenge from now through April 25.

Coming Soon

Apple Pilot Tests Feature That Allows Developers To Automatically Charge Users For Subscription Price Increases , by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

An Apple spokesperson did not dispute the accuracy of the developers’ claims we presented and said this was part of a pilot test.

“We are piloting a new commerce feature we plan to launch very soon. The pilot includes developers across various app categories, organization sizes, and regions to help test an upcoming enhancement that we believe will be great for both developers and users, and we’ll have more details to share in the coming weeks,” the spokesperson said.

Everything New In iOS 15.5 Beta 1: Apple Classical References, Apple Pay Cash Updates And More, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

There are references to the upcoming “Apple Classical” app that Apple has in development to complement Apple Music, suggesting the standalone app could soon see a launch. There are “Open in Apple Classical” and “Open this in the new app designed for classical music” in the Music app code, but the Classical app has not yet launched.

Apple To Rebrand iTunes Pass In Wallet App With iOS 15.5, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

As analyzed by 9to5Mac, iTunes Pass will become a new card called “Apple Account.” This card will be displayed in the Wallet app just like the Apple Card and the Apple Cash card. This way, instead of having to show the QR Code when shopping at an Apple Store, the user will be able to complete the purchase using Apple Pay.


Why AirTags Should Be An Essential Part Of Any Frequent Traveler’s Kit, by Jason Barnette, Matador

After a thousand miles of road trips, shuffling between hotels, restaurants, and hiking trails, AirTags have kept track of my belongings. It has given me peace of mind to know that I would likely recover my stuff if something was forgotten, lost, or stolen.

Traveling with AirTags is now an indispensable part of my routine.

Penbook Is The Digital Notebook Your iPad Needs For Just About Anything, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

There is no shortage of note-taking apps in the App Store and plenty of them are built for use alongside an Apple Pencil. But Penbook comes with almost 1,000 different types of stationery to ensure that there is one that's perfectly suited to your needs. Looking for ruled or graph paper? Penbook has it. Something more specialist like chemistry or perspective paper? No problem!

Everything You Need To Game On A Mac, by Brendan Hesse, LifeHacker

Are Macs good gaming machines? Sorta. Macs, and MacBooks especially, aren’t optimized for gaming to say the least, and many games simply do not support macOS. That said, Mac gaming has come a long way in the past few years, and it’s easier than ever to find and play games on an Apple computers (you know, relatively).

Review: This iMac Stand And USB-C Hub Combo Is Great For iMac Owners, by Luke Filipowicz, iMore

After using Satechi's USB-C hub aluminum iMac stand for a few weeks, It's become a staple in my work setup because it accomplishes two things: raising my iMac up a little bit and giving me extra ports.


Apple, Meta, And Discord All Handed User Data Over To Hackers. Now What?, by Josephine Wolff, Slate

But it’s difficult to see how companies could decide to stop responding to such requests entirely, or even implement a very time-intensive vetting process to establish their authenticity, given the urgency of these requests. In the end, it’s quite possible that responding to a few fraudulent requests will be seen as a reasonable price to pay for being able to help law enforcement in emergency situations—and it’s quite possible that calculus will be correct.

Spreadsheets Are Hot—and Cranking Out Complex Code, by Clive Thompson, Wired

Suddenly, the field has begun to bloom. A small cluster of startups have in the past year released spreadsheet products–such as Rows,, and Grist–with newfangled robot superpowers, like automatically hoovering up data from other sites or sending emails when the logic in a formula triggers. In a strange way, they’ve taken spreadsheets and turned them into all-purpose, helpful bots–crafted from rows and columns.

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Looks like I am again very much looking forward to the next version of iOS. This time round, it's Apple Classical, the app, that is the main attraction for me. I hope I will not be disappointed too much.

(I was just a little disappointed with the FaceID with masks, the main attraction of the current version of iOS that I was looking forward to. Somehow, it can't reliably unlock the phone with my face+mask.)


Thanks for reading.

The Don't-Have-to-Settle Edition Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Mac Studio Is Apple’s Overdue Apology To Neglected Creatives, by Karen Haslam, Macworld

This has been quite a journey, but pro creatives finally have the Mac they need. The Mac Studio gives them the power they crave at a reasonable price that doesn’t take up much space. At last, they don’t have to settle for an iMac because they can’t afford a Mac Pro.

But the question is do they want a desktop in this day and age? The two creatives I spoke to would prefer a laptop, and Apple offers a laptop with the M1 Max should they feel that they need that much power. While it’s no longer the case that a laptop can’t be as powerful as a desktop, it is unlikely that Apple would put an M1 Ultra in a MacBook, so for those users who want power, a Mac Studio looks like the best option.


Finally: A To-do List App That Wants You To Do Less, by Lizzy Lawrence, Protocol

Bento’s leaders are pitching it as a methodology, not just an app. With Bento, you focus only on three tasks which comprise a single Bento box. The Bento box can be any unit of time. You might build five Bento boxes for each workday, or build three at the start of a day, representing the morning, afternoon and evening. You can have only seven boxes at any given time.

Each box contains a small, medium and large task, and Bento users have three workflows to choose from. Eat That Frog, a productivity concept from Brian Tracy, encourages you to start with the largest, most important task first. Slow Burn tells you to start with your smallest task and work your way up. Climb The Summit chooses the medium task first, then the large task followed by the small one. You assign a number of minutes to each task, and when you click the task, it starts a timer.

Keychron Q3 Review: An Excellent Base For Mechanical Keyboard Customization, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

To put it plainly, this is one of the best mechanical keyboards you can get without needing to deal with a ton of customizing or compromising with a Windows-focused mechanical keyboard.

App Lets You Crank The New MacBook Pro’s Brightness To Over 1,000 Nits, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

The Vivid effect is impressive when it works, though. It's vibrant, looks great, and can fight sunlight glare as hard as any laptop. There's even a nice, elegant extension to macOS's normal on-screen brightness meter that indicates whether you're within the normal range of brightness or the newly unlocked extended range.

Western Australia Police Can Now Use CarPlay To Respond To Emergencies, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Apple's CarPlay is being used for an unusual purpose, with Motorola Solutions and Western Australia Police creating an app for law enforcement that takes advantage of the in-vehicle display.


Five Years Ago, Apple Redefined 'Pro.' Is It Time For Them To Do It Again?, by Lance Ulanoff, TechRadar

For professionals looking across a range of Apple gear - and Apple itself will tell you it sees products like the iPad Pro and Mac Pro as "complementary" - the picture is getting muddier, not clearer.

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When Apple brands a product as 'Pro', it means this is the most expensive, most capable, most feature-ful version of the product.

Except when Apple is talking about its M1 chip, where Pro is just better than non-Pro, but there's still Max and Ultra ahead.


Thanks for reading.

The Do-Not-Understand-Technology Edition Monday, April 4, 2022

Even When Apple Implements Change, Nothing Really Changes, by Dan Moren, Macworld

And thus we get to the root of the problem: the people in charge of regulating and legislating these kinds of changes might mean well, but they fundamentally don’t understand technology well enough to not only formulate their rules effectively but also fundamentally to even ask the right questions about how they can accomplish their goals.

This doesn’t necessarily mean they should abrogate their responsibility altogether and let tech companies regulate themselves: we’ve already seen how that’s working and the answer is generally not great. But just as those big tech companies finagle their taxes to pay as little as they can legally get away with, loopholes and inspecific regulations allow them to do the bare minimum, without even getting close to fixing the underlying problem.


Apple Adds Workouts For New Parents To Fitness+, by C. Low, Engadget

Apple continues to expand its Fitness+ workout video service with more content catering to people with different needs and lifestyles. Today, the company is adding seven ten-minute videos for new parents, in a series called "Get back to fitness after having a baby." The activities are a mix of core, strength and Apple's "Mindful Cooldown" workouts that are led by Fitness+ trainer Betina Gozo, who is a new mom.

Apple Maps Becomes A Better Waze Alternative With New Real-Time Traffic Alerts, by Bogdan Popa, Autoevolution

The company has joined forces with HAAS Alert for the integration of Safety Cloud real-time roadway hazard information right into Apple Maps, with users to therefore receive notifications right in the app when approaching a flagged location.

Upon My Death, Delete: How To Plan Your Digital Legacy, by Ritesh Chugh, The Guardian

While it is a morbid thought, taking stock of your digital life and planning what will happen when you’re no longer there to log in is critical to ensuring that your information can be easily and responsibly taken care of.

This is an issue that online platforms are increasingly aware of, and many now allow you to issue instructions for what should happen in the event of your death.


Seoul's Largest Apple Store Opens Its Doors April 9, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Apple will be opening its largest Apple Store in South Korea on April 9, with customers able to make reservations to the opening of the outlet in Myeongdong,in the heart of Seoul.

Following an initial tease in March about its upcoming opening, the store page for Apple Myeongdong updated over the weekend with a confirmation it is opening on April 9 at 10am local time.

Apple Makes It Easy To Work Remotely (Unless You Work For Apple), by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The majority of Apple corporate jobs, from hardware engineering and design to marketing to software development, still require a Bay Area address. This partially reflects the specific needs of a company that is, at its core, a hardware designer. Despite the two-plus years of the pandemic, Apple hasn’t shipped a major new product category developed remotely. An Apple Car is still at least three years away, and the company’s long-in-development mixed-reality headset has seen multiple delays and may not ship until 2023.

Apple is also pushing for at-office work to protect its culture of secrecy, which is easier to maintain when everyone is in the same physical space. It was also a hallmark of the culture developed by Steve Jobs, whose name marks the on-campus auditorium where the company introduces products. He heralded the circular-shaped Apple Park design as a way to spark random conversations and ideas.

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There are many ways to promote competition. Cutting the legs off the front-runners is but just one of the method.

If you feel interoperability between messaging apps, how about at least doing a proof-of-concept with a few messaging app providers first? Let's see if, firstly, it is technically feasible. Secondly, see if there's a business case. (I am skeptical if there are any companies that can earn healthy profits just by doing messaging apps.) If you are just throwing laws and regulations around while handwaving the technical and business challenges away, don't be surprised you will face resistance from both companies and consumers.

Government-sponsored researches. Peer reviews. These are not new ideas.


Thanks for reading.

The Shining-Light Edition Sunday, April 3, 2022

Tim Cook Promotes Model Car iPhone Photographer On World Autism Awareness Day, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Apple CEO Tim Cook has marked World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Acceptance Month with a tweet, showcasing the talents of a young iPhone photographer shooting model cars.

April is Autism Acceptance Month, with April 2 designated as World Autism Awareness Day. To mark the two, Tim Cook tweeted on subject by shining light on an inventive iPhone photographer.


Apple TV+'s 'Prehistoric Planet' Set For Week-long Series Premiere From May 23, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Apple has teased its upcoming release of "Prehistoric Planet," a five-episode series about dinosaurs that will premiere on Apple TV over the course of a week.

The 8 Best Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Apps, by Herby Jasmin, Gotechtor

So we’ve gathered the 8 best Apple Watch sleep tracking apps that we felt performed best in various ways, and put together this helpful list for you. Let’s talk about them and what makes them a great choice.

Leverage Machine Learning On Your iPhone To Translate Braille With This Free App, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Braille Scanner allows users to take a photo of a piece of paper with Braille on it using their iPhones and then within seconds, it’s translated to text.

Using Web Apps On macOS Is Streamlined With Site Specific Browser Applications, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

If your company uses a solution without a robust desktop app, you can help users quickly access it by building a site-specific browser app and packaging it up. Apps like Fluid, Unite, and Chromeless can all accomplish this task.


Is The End Nigh For End-to-end For Encryption?, by Alex Hern, The Guardian

But bad platforms come and go, while bad laws have an unfortunate habit of sticking around. The EU has too big an opportunity to waste it by laying incoherent demands to a few key players. Interoperability, open platforms and a level playing field for all are worthy goals, but let’s get it right first time.

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Books that I've read in the first three months of the year, and that I do recommend for your reading pleasure:

The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found, by Frank Bruni
How to be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question, by Michael Schur
Light Perpetual, by Francis Spufford
When We Cease to Understand the World, by Benjamín Labatut

In recent years, I have given myself permission to abandon books half-way if I feel like it. I am happy to note that I didn't have to do that so far this year. I did read a story collection where some of the stories were not that good. But that's the nature of story collection, especially for a collection from multiple authors, and it was easy to fast-forward (by setting the audiobook's speed to 1.5x) to the next story.


Thanks for reading.

The Extra-Speed Edition Saturday, April 2, 2022

How The New Mac Studio Works For This Content Creator, by Justin Eastzer, CNET

I spent a few days editing on the M1 Max Mac Studio at the CNET office. I opened up a project in Final Cut and deleted all the cache files to see how it would run. Editing with unrendered footage and graphics felt more robust than doing it on my MacBook Pro. Final Cut reacted instantaneously to mouse and keyboard clicks, bringing a smile to my face. I was surprised by how much faster the cut played over multilayered graphics and how much faster exports finished.

For my workflow, I don't see the need for power beyond the M1 Max -- I won't be coming close to editing the 18 streams of 8k video that the M1 Ultra claims to support. The base model would be just fine, and while I don't need the extra speed, it definitely wouldn't hurt. Faster rendering and exports will give me a lot of time back to work on other projects.

Apple iPad Air (2022) Review: Sweet Spot, by Stan Schroeder, Mashable

Apple already put that chip into its iPad Pro devices, which are meant to cross the line from casual use into professional-grade machines. We know how well those work. So the story of this new iPad Air, which is now the most affordable tablet – most affordable device of any kind, that is – to come with the M1 chip, boils down to this: Has Apple watered it down too much, or made compromises that make the iPad Pro a better purchase?

The answer is no.

Our Favorite Language Learning Apps (And A Pocket Translator), by Simon Hill, Wired

Hola, bonjour, konnichiwa, as-salamu alaykum, and hello! Whatever language you are trying to pick up, a learning app can help you build your vocabulary and improve your understanding of a country’s culture and manners. I've tested several apps and courses in my effort to learn Spanish, and while the quality might vary depending on the language you pick, these are my favorites.

The Real Magic Mouse Is Made By Logitech, Not Apple, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

When I want to charge my wireless mouse now, I don’t need to plug in a cord or place it on a dock. In fact, I don’t think about charging at all. It just... does.


These Services Help Kids Shape The Future Through Code, by Suzie Glassman, Wired

“Future generations are going to do things with technology that we can only imagine. The more folks we have at the table as it’s being built, the better chance we have at building something that’s different from what we had before,” says Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code.

The good news is that many apps and services, both nonprofit and for-profit, are working hard to inspire all children to love computer science and build diversity into the landscape of what’s to come.

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I hope Apple hasn't totally given up tinnest-and-lightest. I hope there will still be a mini iPhone. I hope there will be a laptop smaller than the MacBook Air, and a Mac nano that is so small for no practical needs except for Apple to boost it has the smallest environment footprint.


Thanks for reading.

The Issue-is-Fixed Edition Friday, April 1, 2022

Apple Has Released Monterey 12.3.1 Update, by Howard Oakley, Eclectic Light Company

It claims to address two issues: for Mac mini 2018 systems, it ensures that a USB-C or Thunderbolt display used as a second display turns on properly, and it fixes an incompatibility between some Beats headphones and other Bluetooth devices such as game controllers, which may disconnect after playing audio through the headphones.

Apple Fixes iOS 15.4 Battery-drain Issue With Software Update, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Apple released a small iPhone software update Thursday to address an issue iPhone users have struggled with since iOS 15.4 reached devices. Users took to forums, Reddit, social media platforms, and Apple support channels to complain that their iPhones' batteries were draining unusually quickly after updating to iOS 15.4. With the update, Apple now says the issue is fixed, along with a couple of issues with accessibility features.

Apple Rushes Out Patches For Two Zero-days Threatening iOS And macOS Users, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

The first vulnerability, CVE-2022-22675, resides in macOS for Monterey and in iOS or iPadOS for most iPhone and iPad models. The flaw, which stems from an out-of-bounds write issue, gives hackers the ability to execute malicious code that runs with privileges of the kernel, the most security-sensitive region of the OS. CVE-2022-22674, meanwhile, also results from an out-of-bounds read issue that can lead to the disclosure of kernel memory.

Apple Releases HomePod 15.4.1 Software With Siri Fix, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

According to Apple’s release notes, the ‌HomePod‌ 15.4.1 software update fixes an issue that could cause some HomeKit accessories to fail to respond when controlled via Siri voice commands.

Apple Releases watchOS 8.5.1 With Security Updates And Bug Fixes, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

According to Apple’s release notes for the update, watchOS 8.5.1 adds security updates and bug fixes for the Apple Watch.


Apple Business Essentials Is Now Available To All Small Businesses In The US, Google Workspace Integration Coming This Spring, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

After a beta period with thousands of businesses, Apple is ready to extend simplified device management, iCloud Drive storage, and device repair solution to all small businesses. Originally launching in beta in November of 2021, Apple Business Essentials is designed to take the headache out of device management for growing organizations using Apple.

Audio Hijack 4 Arrives: The Definitive Mac Audio Utility Just Got Better, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Rogue Amoeba has built a JavaScript-based scripting system into the app itself. It’s accessible from the new Script Library window. Scripts can be run manually, or automatically on a per-session basis based on starting or stopping of sessions or recordings. The scripting engine lets you turn sessions and even individual blocks within a session on and off, and while it doesn’t reach into every single setting in every single block yet, it covers a lot of ground.

Adobe CC Express Update Brings Quick Actions And Productivity Features, by Darryl Boxberger, AppleInsider

Customizable basic shapes are now available, allowing users to select from a library of shapes that can be resized while keeping the design consistent.

The new Adobe Color integration allows users access to a large collection of preset palettes and themes. Users can also search and see suggestions by Adobe to fit different themes and moods.

AirBuddy Review: Effortless Audio Control For Apple And Beats Devices, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

The AirBuddy app offers a low-effort way in macOS to view the status of your Apple and Beats audio devices, quickly connect their audio to your Mac, and stay on top of their current charges. It’s a nearly frictionless addition to macOS, one that makes you wonder (as many Mac Gems do) why Apple hasn’t built in these controls.

Schlage’s Latest Smart Lock Makes Unlocking Your Door As Easy As Using Apple Pay, by Dan Seifert, The Verge

As one of the first smart locks to take advantage of Apple’s Home Key standard announced at WWDC 2021, unlocking the Encode Plus is as simple as tapping your phone or watch against the keypad and waiting a moment for the green light. You don’t have to open an app, tap a button, or even unlock your phone. The whole process is similar to, but even simpler than, buying something with Apple Pay.


Independence Day, by John Siracusa, Hypercritical

Over the past few years, something has started to change. When I’ve been presented with interesting opportunities that I’ve had to turn down (“Sorry, I’m at my maximum capacity right now…”) it has started to feel less like disciplined life-management and more like disappointment. It’s felt similarly lousy when I’ve had to reject my own ideas for new things I’d like to try. And when I’ve ignored those feelings and said yes when I knew I should say no (e.g., when I decided to make two Mac apps in two months), I’ve quickly bumped into my limits yet again—both physical and mental.

A few years ago, I started to question some of my assumptions. My decades of work on my “second career” had slowly built it up to the point where it was plausibly viable on its own. Was my day job really necessary? I started formulating a plan to quit.

The Real Reason To ‘Learn To Code’? Automating Your Life, by Clive Thompson, Medium

If you’re thinking you want to learn to program because you want to do it full-time — to change your career, and work as a developer — then sure, you could. But learning to develop software at that level isn’t easy. You have to really want to. I wouldn’t tell someone “no” outright, but if their goal is to shift full-time into software development, they should prepare for a really long period of transition. They’d ideally want to do some formal education, or at least block aside a year or two to make a serious transition.

So, it’s not something you’d do lightly.

But there’s a whole other possibility — which is to learn just a bit of coding.


Apple Wields Its Lobbying Might Against LGBTQ Laws, by Emily Birnbaum, Politico

Apple is quietly mobilizing its vast resources to lobby against anti-LGBTQ legislation proliferating across the country — an unusual push by one of the world’s most valuable companies into a consequential political debate.

The company, whose CEO, Tim Cook, is the nation’s most visible gay executive, has deployed its lobbyists to oppose legislation that limits protections for trans and gay people or their families in Iowa, Florida, Texas and at least six other states.

Apple, Meta And Amazon Drop Off Comparably’s 2022 Best Company Cultures List After Topping Last Year’s Ranking—here’s Why, by Morgan Smith, CNBC

On Comparably, Apple received a "C" rating for its office culture, and ranked 6th in office culture among its competitors — IBM, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Samsung are all ranked higher.

Workers at several Apple stores throughout the U.S. are planning to unionize, the Washington Post reported last month, pointing to stagnant wages and a lack of professional development opportunities.

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We are still doing April Fools news articles and launching Gmails?


Thanks for reading.