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mention a time frame in its developer rules, but based on the other apps in line for removal, Texas Hold’em is out of date.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.

Bottom of the Page

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.