Archive for May 2022

The War-and-Peace Edition Tuesday, May 31, 2022

I Tried To Read All My App Privacy Policies. It Was 1 Million Words., by Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post

The deeper I dug into them, the clearer it became that understandability isn’t our biggest privacy problem. Being overwhelmed is.


As an experiment, I tallied up all of the privacy policies just for the apps on my phone. It totaled nearly 1 million words. “War and Peace” is about half as long.

And that’s just my phone.

Ranking Every Default iOS Wallpaper, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

iOS 16 is just around the corner (in beta form, at least) and that means I'll be using its new wallpaper on my phone for at least a few weeks. I thought it would be fun to rank the previous default iOS wallpapers from best to worst. All of these are pretty solid, and the middle of this list is a bit fuzzy, but I think the top and bottom ones really stand out.

Analyst Doubts Apple Will Reveal AR Headset At WWDC, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Ming-Chi Kuo cautions that Apple is unlikely to unveil its first Apple AR headset at WWDC, saying it would give time for rivals to copy the design before launch.

BTS Sets New Apple Music 1 Record For Biggest Show, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

Not even including after-air streams, K-Pop band BTS has established a new record for Apple Music 1 for its first episode of the band's origin story.

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If you are going to WWDC as press, be prepared to not able to take notes during the keynote. It may not happen, but you may find yourself in the metav... oops... Appleverse, and you can't use your notebook or MacBook or iPad at all.



I've never used any of Apple's wallpaper on my iPhone ever since Apple started doing replaceable wallpapers... except the all-black wallpaper that I've started using since my iPhone X.

(And I'm glad Apple has moved away from X as a brand; I'm feeling icky just typing the phrase iPhone X. I wonder when Apple will rebrand Xcode.)


Thanks for reading.

The So-Many-Great-Products Edition Monday, May 30, 2022

These Are The Best Cheap Products For Entering The Apple Ecosystem, by Tony Polanco, Tom's Guide

At the time of writing, everything on this list will cost $2,084. If we take away the Homepod Mini, the total comes to $1,985. That amount is still hefty, but considering how the entry-level MacBook Pro 14-inch alone costs $1,999, spending nearly that much on so many great products lessens the blow.

Apple’s products aren’t always the most budget-friendly, but if you can spring a little over $2,000 for what we’ve listed here, then you can enter the company’s consumer-friendly ecosystem.

Gurman: iOS 16 To Include Always-on Display Feature Ahead Of iPhone 14 Pro, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

In his latest edition of the Power On newsletter, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman says iOS 16 could finally include an always-on display feature for the future iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Once rumored to arrive with the iPhone 13 Pro, it seems the next flagship phone from Apple could feature this long-awaited function.

Remembering Apple’s Newton, 30 Years On, by Jeremy Reimer, Ars Technica

Today, the Newton is barely remembered. It’s considered a failed project, as it only lasted a few years before being shut down.

But the truth isn't so simple. Many people who worked on the Newton went on to become key players on the iPhone team; Mike Culbert, Greg Christie, and even Jony Ive worked on Newton. Many of the ideas that originated in the Newton made their way into the iPhone and iPad. Some of these are minor, like the “puff of smoke” animation when you delete something, which eventually found its way to the MacOS dock, or the live-updating clock icon that Steve Capps challenged the iPhone team to recreate.

But other influences went far deeper.

Reality Check

RealityOS Trademark Timing A Legal Requirement, Not (Necessarily) A WWDC Hint, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

This doesn’t mean that Apple won’t announce the product at WWDC 2022, but does mean we don’t have persuasive evidence for it.

Our IP Report Covers Apple’s Latest Design Patents While Revealing The U.S. Company That Has Multiple Trademark Filings On Record For ‘RealityOS’, by Jack Purcher, Patently Apple

Whether Realityo Systems is an IP holding company hoping for a company like Apple to acquire it or is actually acting on behalf of Apple is unknown at this time. Interestingly enough the company is located in Delaware where Apple has hidden other trademarks in the past like “iPad” in 2010.

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It didn't cross my mind to look at how cheaply can one get into the Apple ecosystem by buying one of everything, but I am a little surprised how relatively inexpensive this exercise is. I will quibble on the choice of an Apple Watch Series 3, but many will probably agree there is no good cheap choice of an Apple Watch today. I hope that will change soon.

Also, depending on what one already owns before getting into Apple's ecosystem, one may want to budget a charger or two. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Trademark-Filing Edition Sunday, May 29, 2022

'realityOS' Trademark Filing Hints At Possible WWDC Announcement, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Ahead of WWDC kicking off in a little over one week, interesting trademark filing details for “realityOS,” the name for Apple’s upcoming AR/VR headset operating system, have been resurfaced online, offering a clue as to what Apple may have in store to share at this year’s conference.


“realityOS” was accidentally referenced by Apple in App Store update logs earlier this year, confirming its existence in some capacity. rOS, short for realityOS, was first reported by Bloomberg in 2017 with the internal codename “Oak.”

Apple Store Showdown: Inside The Battle For Union Representation, by Tripp Mickle, New York Times

In May, store managers increased their counteroffensive, posting a letter in the break room from an employee of the Grand Central Terminal store who expressed opposition to unions, Mr. Bowles said.


Managers also included anti-union comments in their morning briefings of staff, according to a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board. In a statement to reporters about the meetings, Mr. Bowles said Apple was “putting its thumb on the scale.”

The pressure has divided employees. On a recent Sunday evening at the Cumberland Mall store, about 15 employees in blue T-shirts with a white Apple logo attended to customers browsing rows of colorful watchbands. None of the employees wore a “Stronger Together” bracelet.

Inventor Of Brain Injury App Wins Second Young Innovators Prize, by Robin McKie, The Guardian

Identical twins Luke and Ellis Parry were studying engineering at Oxford in 2012 when Luke suffered a devastating brain injury after falling from a balcony. Doctors told Ellis that his brother only had hours to live.

A decade later, Luke is now in work and is training to be a Paralympic athlete. Much of this remarkable recovery is due to his own strength of character, although his recuperation has also been helped by his brother. Ellis has set up Neumind, a company developing a next-generation app to help individuals with neurological conditions live independent lives.

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Is this why there will be a WWDC viewing party over at Apple Park? You will not just be watching a video at Steve Jobs' Theatre. Rather, you will be right in the metav... I mean.... Appleverse, and you can hold you hands out and touch Tim Cook.

(Not that you should touch Tim Cook.)


Thanks for reading.

The More-Accessible Edition Saturday, May 28, 2022

Accessibility Tools A ‘Core Value’ For Apple, Says Director, by Martyn Landi, Evening Standard

Making technology more accessible for everyone is a “core value” of Apple, the company has said, revealing that the pandemic accelerated some of the work the company has been doing in the area.

Sarah Herrlinger, the tech giant’s senior director of accessibility policy and initiatives, said that by making devices more accessible for those with disabilities, Apple was ultimately making better products.

Senators Urge Apple And Google CEOs To Stop Apps From Collecting Data That Could ID Those Seeking Abortions, by Bree Fowler, CNET

A group of senators is urging the CEOs of both Apple and Google to prohibit the apps in their app stores from collecting data that could be used to identify women seeking abortions.

Friday's letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook, signed by five Democratic and independent senators, comes in the wake of a leaked draft of an upcoming majority opinion that indicates that the Supreme Court plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision establishing the constitutional right to an abortion.


BTS Launching Apple Music Weekly Series: ‘BTS Radio: Past & Present’, by Associated Press

The Grammy Award-nominated band will take listeners on their quest to stardom while sharing stories and songs that helped shaped them.

Apple Maps Japan Receives Cycling Directions, Look Around Expansions, by Stephen Warwick, iMore

The report notes that while Apple's own image collection is not as extensive in Japan as it is in the U.S. and Europe, Apple's cycling data offers fastest route suggestions, routes with less traffic, no walking sections, and more.


Apple Atlanta Workers Drop Bid For Union Vote Next Week, Claiming Intimidation, by Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg

The Communications Workers of America said it took the step “because Apple’s repeated violations of the National Labor Relations Act have made a free and fair election impossible,” according to an emailed statement Friday. The labor group also cited Covid-19 infections among staff at the store, located at the city’s Cumberland Mall, which it said “have raised concerns about the ability of eligible employees to vote and the safety of in-person voting.”

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Perhaps Apple Music should stop acting like it's a native app, and start embracing the conventions of a web app.

For starters, I wish I can 'bookmark' certain 'pages', and not having to do tons of navigation and searches each time I open the app.


Thanks for reading.

The Massive-Disparity Edition Friday, May 27, 2022

Tech Industry Groups Are Watering Down Attempts At Privacy Regulation, One State At A Time, by Todd Feathers and Alfred Ng, The Markup

It’s common for industries to lobby lawmakers on issues affecting their business. But there is a massive disparity in the state-by-state battle over privacy legislation between well-funded, well-organized tech lobbyists and their opposition of relatively scattered consumer advocates and privacy-minded politicians, The Markup has found.

During the 2021 and 2022 Utah legislative sessions—when Cullimore’s bill made its way through the legislature—Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft collectively registered 23 active lobbyists in the state, according to their lobbying disclosures. Thirteen of those lobbyists had never previously registered to work in the state, and some of them were influential in shaping Cullimore’s legislation.

The Grave Insult Of Being Sent The Proper Tools To Perform A Complicated Task, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

As I take it, the people who’ve long asked for Apple to support self-service repair have been asking for respect. Don’t treat us like babies who need help. Treat us with respect and give us what we need to repair our devices ourselves.

That’s exactly what Apple’s done. It’s not an insult to send you 79 pounds of professional equipment. It’s respect.


A Year With The Elgato Stream Deck, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

It turns out that, yes, the concept of wiring up commands I could never recall from the keyboard shortcuts, of placing front and center all the macros and shortcuts and scripts I spent hours building and then promptly forgot existed, made it all worthwhile. I had gone from a skeptic to a convert, and it only took a few months—and a bunch of lessons learned.

Morpho Review: Worldwide Unit Conversions Quick And Easy On Your Mac, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

For those who work across nations, whether from a desk or traveling by car, plane, train, or bus, keeping track of local differences can be a bear to memorize and prepare for. Even European Union countries that have adopted the euro vary in electrical plug types, languages, and time zones.

Morpho from Think Tap Work combines every useful fact and conversion into an app, letting you set countries, currencies, and units you use preferentially as pinned items or presets.

Logitech MX Master 3S Review: The Best Mac Mouse Gets Better, by Jason Cross, Macworld

Logitech has taken what we still think is the best all-around mouse for Mac users and made it even better with a higher-resolution sensor and awesome quiet-click buttons that still feel great.

Microsoft's Popular Platform Adventure 'Psychonauts 2' Launches On Mac, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Psychonauts 2 continues gameplay as Raz, a “trained acrobat and powerful young psychic” to solve “quirky missions and mysterious conspiracies.”


Apple Developer App Updated Ahead Of WWDC 2022, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Developers can watch WWDC content together over FaceTime using the SharePlay function that has been added to the Apple Developer app.

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If I can travel back in time to my younger self, I will tell him to not bother collecting CDs and DVDs and books and whatnots. By the time he retires, there will be so much music and radio programmes and television programmes that he will not have the time, even at retirement, to finish reading and listening and watching them all. Even without stepping out of the house.

On the other hand: cinemas. Maybe spend some time there to watch movies with strangers.


Thanks for reading.

The Channeling-Creativity Edition Thursday, May 26, 2022

How Andy To Shoots And Edits His Incredible iPhone Films, by Raymond Wong, Input

A self-taught filmmaker and creator from Oakland, California, Andy To could have ended up in a life of crime had it not been for a single iMac that was not stolen from his high school’s computer lab.

That iMac was ultimately what led Andy to channel his creativity into making videos — telling stories — and later, even impress Apple CEO Tim Cook with his incredible travel films shot entirely with iPhone (like this one).

Apple To Keep iPhone Production Flat As Market Grows Tougher, by Debby Wu, Bloomberg

The company is asking suppliers to assemble roughly 220 million iPhones, about the same as last year, according to people familiar with its projections, who asked not to be named as they’re not public. Market forecasts have hovered closer to 240 million units, driven by an expected major update to the iPhone in the fall. But the mobile industry has gotten off to a difficult start to the year and production estimates are down across the board.

Help The Aged: From Car Parking To Banking And GP Visits, We Must Stop Punishing The Elderly For The Crime Of Not Being Able To Work An App, by Baroness Altmann, Daily Mail

The majority of those left behind by the drive to digitise even the most vital services are elderly or disabled. For assorted reasons they cannot — or do not feel confident enough — to embrace digital technology and, as a result, they find themselves excluded from accessing vital services.


Apple Updates tvOS And HomePod Software To 15.5.1 To Address Music Bug, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Apple has released tvOS 15.5.1 and HomePod Software 15.5.1 to fix a bug where music could “stop playing after a short time.” Neither update includes any security fixes.

Apple's iTunes Pass Is Now Rebranded As 'Apple Account Card' For iOS 15.5 Users, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

The Apple Account card functions the same way as iTunes Pass did and can be used to purchase subscriptions, music, movies, apps, and Apple products.

However, one notable change is that the Apple Account card can be used with Apple Pay. This allows users to check out at the Apple Store using tap to pay, rather than using the previous QR code system.

iPhone Driver's License Feature In Wallet App Now Available In Maryland, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Maryland residents can now add their driver’s license or state ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch, providing a convenient and contactless way to display proof of identity or age. The feature first launched in Arizona back in March.


Apple To Boost Pay For US Workers As Inflation Bites, by Mark Gurman and Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg

The Cupertino, California-based company is expanding its overall compensation budget this year, it said in a statement Wednesday. It will hike minimum hourly pay for its staff to at least $22, up 10% on last year. The move follows a pay bump in February after inflation woes and complaints from some staffers about working conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Companies often announce improvements while battling unionization campaigns, and by doing so may interfere with employees’ free choice, Seattle University labor law professor Charlotte Garden said in an email. “The risk is that workers perceive that keeping the improvements is contingent on voting against union representation, and that if they vote for the union, the company will play hardball.”

Apple VP Discourages Retail Workers From Joining A Union In Leaked Video, by Mitchell Clark and Zoe Schiffer, The Verge

In the video, O’Brien shares common anti-union talking points, including that a union would slow the company’s ability to respond to employee concerns. “Apple moves incredibly fast,” she said. “It’s one thing I love about our work in retail. It means that we need to be able to move fast too. And I worry that because the union will bring its own legally mandated rules that would determine how we work through issues it could make it harder for us to act swiftly to address things that you raise. I’m committed to and proud of our ability to act fast to support our teams, to support you. But I don’t know that we could have moved as quickly under a collective bargaining agreement, as it could limit our ability to make immediate widespread changes to improve your experience. And I think that’s what really is at stake here.”

iPod Touch Now Removed From Apple Website As Old URL Redirects Users To Apple Support, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

When we try to access the iPod touch webpage through Google results or even by typing the old URL, it redirects users to the Apple Support website with links to the user manual, iPod technical specifications, and easy access to AppleCare options.

The ‘Form’ Element Created The Modern Web. Was It A Big Mistake?, by Paul Ford, Wired

I have argued many times, to the despair of anyone within range, that the <form> element was a pivot point for the entire technology industry. It is what changed the web from a read-only medium for physics papers into a read-write medium for anything. But lately I’m not so sure I think that was a good idea. Perhaps the <form> element was a terrible mistake, the original sin of the web industry. We weren’t ready. Nearly every problem we face on the internet—in society—comes back to this one HTML element.

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I support a new internet protocol that is an uni-directional read-only medium. No <form>. No Javascript. No CSS. No nothing.

We haven't been inventing new internet protocols lately, have we?


Thanks for reading.

The Viewing-Event Edition Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote To Take Place June 6 At 10:00 A.m PT, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event.

Apple Begins Notifying WWDC 2022 Swift Student Challenge Winners, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The lucky winners receive exclusive WWDC 2022 outerwear, a customized WWDC 2022 pin set, and a one-year membership in the Apple Developer Program. As an unexpected bonus, Apple is also providing winners with free AirPods Pro.

I Tried Apple’s Self-Repair Program With My iPhone. Disaster Ensued., by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

There are some benefits that will lead to higher-quality, cheaper repairs for everyone. Now all independent repair technicians, including Mr. Taiyab, have access to Apple’s tools. (He said he would probably buy Apple’s press for sealing up iPhones.) And everyone can now read the official instructions on how to do repairs, which eliminates guesswork.

But the entire experience was far from simple, and even for those who try, Apple exerts too much control by requiring approval of its repairs. If we install Apple parts, like a working screen taken from another iPhone, they should work — period.


Beats Studio Buds Get Special Edition With Daily Paper Collab, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Released last summer, Beats Studio Buds just got a new special edition, this time in partnership with the Amsterdam clothing brand Daily Paper. In this version, the Buds have a graffiti-looking case with white earbuds and a Daily Paper sign in red.

Apple Music Now Available Via Waze, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Apple Music is now available directly within Google-owned Waze, offering Waze users easier and safer access to enjoy the ‌Apple Music‌ catalog as they commute from within the Waze app on iOS.

Keep Track Of The Songs You Want To Listen To Later With ‘MusicBox’, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

If there’s a song you just heard and want to keep it for later, but without adding it to your music library, MusicBox will do it for you. The app works with links from Apple Music and Spotify, so you can simply paste the song or album URL there to save it for later.

Mario Guzman’s Music MiniPlayer Lets You Control Apple’s Music App In iTunes 10 Style, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Called Music MiniPlayer, the utility is a remote control for Apple’s Music app, not a music player itself, that takes its inspiration from iTunes 10’s MiniPlayer. With the exception of some minor tweaks to the background of the playback controls, Music MiniPlayer is a pixel-perfect recreation of the iTunes 10 MiniPlayer written almost entirely using the Core Graphics and Core Animation frameworks to ensure crisp rendering on Retina and non-Retina displays.


Apple’s New App Store Rule For Easier Account And Data Deletion Hits June 30th, by Richard Lawler, The Verge

During its WWDC 2021 event, Apple laid down a slew of policy changes for the App Store, adjusting the rules for everything from bounty hunting to whether or not Roblox is a game. Now, with the WWDC 2022 event ready to start on June 6th, Apple is reminding developers that it’s ready to flip the switch on some policy updates that were previously delayed.


'Girls Just Want To Have Speech': How One Teen Uses Music And Technology To Communicate, by Meredith Willse, York Dispatch

Valerie Alonso Rosado, 19, who has visual and communication impairments, often repurposes pop music — such as the lyrics to the iconic '80s song by Cyndi Lauper — in order to describe her thoughts, feelings and needs.

She also relies heavily on an iPad to communicate at home and with staff at Spring Grove Area High School. However, her visual challenges made it difficult to differentiate the keys she needs to press on the screen.

What many people take for granted — the ability to tap, tap, tap on their devices — is a challenge. But, thanks to a keyguard that a fellow student developed for Rosado, that process is a lot easier now.

Apple-Commissioned Study Touts App Store Job Growth And Success Of Small Developers, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today shared details on developer studies sourced from economists at Analysis Group (commissioned by Apple) and the Progressive Policy Group, with the reports aimed at highlighting the successes of small businesses and independent developers on the App Store.

Leaked Agency Doc Reveals What Apple TV+ Wants In Its New Series, As It Looks For 'Poppy' Fare With A-list Talent Like 'WeCrashed', by Elaine Low and Natalie Jarvey, Business Insider

According to agency sources, including an internal agency document reviewed by Insider, the streamer is in search of female-driven soaps like Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon's "The Morning Show," broad but prestige-y dramas à la Chris Evans vehicle "Defending Jacob," and fizzier fare like WeWork dramatization "WeCrashed," starring Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway.

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Seven years, Apple took to the stage of WWDC to announce Apple Music.

Will Apple announce Apple Classical Music this year?

Can't wait.


Thanks for reading.

The Coordinated-Colors Edition Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Apple Releases Two Pride Watch Bands, New Dynamic Pride Watch Faces, And Special Shot On iPhone Campaign, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple has released two Pride Edition Apple Watch bands and new dynamic Pride watch faces that coordinate with the colors of the new Pride Edition Sports Loop and Nike Sports Loop bands. The company also announced a new Shot on iPhone Pride campaign.

Today At Apple Creative Studios Expanding To Seven New Locations, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Today at Apple Creative Studios initiative is set to expand to more stores around the world to help young creatives from underrepresented communities with career-building mentorship, training, and resources across a wide range of artistic disciplines.

This year, Today at Apple Creative Studios will launch in seven new cities, including Nashville, Miami, Berlin, Milan, Taipei, Tokyo, and Sydney. It will also return for its second year in Chicago; Washington, D.C.; New York City; London; Paris; Bangkok; and Beijing.

The Full Saga Of Apple’s Troubled Mixed Reality Headset Has Been Revealed, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

A series of reports in The Information paint a detailed picture of progression, politics, and problems facing Apple's plan to develop a virtual, augmented, or mixed reality headset since the initiative picked up steam back in 2015.

Citing several people familiar with the product, including some who worked on it directly, the reports describe a contest of wills over the direction of the device. The standoff was between Apple's mixed reality product team (called the "Technology Development Group") and famed Apple designer Jony Ive and his industrial design team. The report sheds light on Apple's direction for the device, which Bloomberg recently reported is nearing launch.


The Five Best Digital Art Apps For iPad Artists, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

A great app should be intuitive, highly customizable, and offer enough features to make your art stand out without so many that you get bogged down.

'Grocery' Smart Shopping List App Updated With New Design And Features, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Grocery 3.0 introduces new features so that users can quickly add price and quantity to list items, as well as allowing users to track changes between shopping trips.

The Nine Volt AirCap Camera Body Cap Hides An Apple AirTag, by Jaron Schneider, PetaPixel

Camera and computer accessory brand Nine Volt has created a camera body cap that on the surface looks normal, but secretly hides a slot to hold an Apple AirTag so that photographers can always locate their equipment.


Apple To Open Retail In New Jersey, First Store In Almost A Year In The US, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Apple will soon open a brand new store in East Rutherford, New Jersey, as the company has opened positions in this location on the Apple Jobs site. This will be the company’s first new retail location in the US after almost a year.

How GDPR Is Failing, by Matt Burgess, Wired

One thousand four hundred and fifty-nine days have passed since data rights nonprofit NOYB fired off its first complaints under Europe’s flagship data regulation, GDPR. The complaints allege Google, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram forced people into giving up their data without obtaining proper consent, says Romain Robert, a program director at the nonprofit. The complaints landed on May 25, 2018, the day GDPR came into force and bolstered the privacy rights of 740 million Europeans. Four years later, NOYB is still waiting for final decisions to be made. And it’s not the only one.

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Speaking as someone who doesn't own a single Apple Watch, and someone who doesn't have any fashion sense (sorry, Sir Ive), the new Pride bands looks great.

The new watch face, on the other hand, doesn't.

(But then, what do I know.)


Thanks for reading.

The Decade-at-the-Helm Edition Monday, May 23, 2022

The 100 Most Influential People Of 2022: Tim Cook, by Laurene Powell Jobs, Time

After more than a decade at the helm, Tim has carved out a place as not only one of the world’s most admired CEOs but an exemplar of moral leadership, technological imagination, environmental stewardship, and humanitarianism. To paraphrase a famous speech by Theodore Roosevelt: Tim strives valiantly, dares greatly, and spends himself in a grand cause.

Apple Health VP Promotes Apple Watch Monitoring In Wearables TV Spot, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

On the subject of detecting symptoms for future medical problems, Desai gives examples of how the Apple Watch could help. "If you're sleeping more or sleeping less than you used to, if your heart rate is at a different baseline heart rate than it was, those are early signs of things that may be going on," the doctor offers.

"If we notice changes in your gait we can actually give you an early notification where you can do something about it," Desai continued. She then pointed out that atrial fibrillation detection is useful as the user's wearing the Apple Watch all the time, instead of it potentially appearing during a visit to a physician.

Eufy’s Treat-Dispensing Pet Camera Sends You Highlight Reels, by Medea Giordano, Wired

I'm gonna let the cat out of the bag. Eufy advertises its Pet Camera as a dog camera, with features like Doggy Diary and bark alerts. I don't own a dog. I used it to spy on my two cats while on vacation and on nights out, luring them into view with the promise of treats.

It detected them just fine, even if it did refer to them as dogs. If my cats could read, they wouldn't like that. I really don't know why Eufy didn't just use the catchall term pet instead of “dog” to be more inclusive, but it doesn't really matter. This is an excellent way to keep an eye on your fluffy friends when they're home alone.

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Maybe I do want an Apple Watch, even though I haven't been wearing watch for more than a decade?


Thanks for reading.

The Try-to-Imagine Edition Sunday, May 22, 2022

Apple Increases Apple Music Subscription Price For Students In Several Countries, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

The price change is not widespread and, based on MacRumors’ findings, will impact ‌Apple Music‌ student subscribers in but not limited to Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Indonesia, Israel, and Kenya.

Forget The Baby Apps. These Are The Apps Every New Parent Should Have, by Jessica Sillers—Zapier, Fast Company

These aren’t baby apps—I’ve tried those, and the focus on diapers and feedings felt more like extra pressure than relief. The apps I’m suggesting here integrate with the rest of your life to lighten your mental load and make you feel functional as a person as well as a parent.

Apple Looks To Boost Production Outside China, Wall Street Journal Reports, by Nishit Jogi, Reuters

Apple Inc has told some of its contract manufacturers that it wants to increase production outside China, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

India and Vietnam, which are already sites of Apple production, are among the countries short-listed by the company as alternatives, the report added.

FCC Filings Reveal Apple's Mysterious 'Network Adapter' That Runs iOS, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Of course, this doesn’t mean that Apple’s Network Adapter will ever see the light of day – at least for regular consumers. Apple has multiple devices registered with the FCC that are intended for internal purposes, such as tools used by technicians to repair iPhones and Macs. Still, it’s impossible not to try to imagine what this adapter is capable of doing.

Apple Store Opens In Wuhan With China's First Apple Pickup Area, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

The store is the first in China to include a dedicated Apple Pickup area, so customers can quickly and easily get their online orders.

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Well, I didn't expect the first Apple's services to raise prices to be Apple Music. Well.... Apple Music Student's Edition. However, I am still expecting Apple TV+ to either raise prices, or to introduce tiered pricing with the addition of sports programming.


Thanks for reading.

The Stacked-the-Deck Edition Saturday, May 21, 2022

Apple Shipped Us A 79-pound iPhone Repair Kit To Fix A 1.1-ounce Battery, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

I don’t think Apple expects anyone to seriously take it up on the offer of self-service repair kits. It stacked the deck in favor of taking your phone to an Apple Store, where it can tempt you to buy something new instead. The real victory will come months or years down the road, though. That’s when Apple can tell legislators it tried to give right-to-repair advocates what they wanted — but that consumers overwhelmingly decided Apple knows best.


How To Use Your iPhone As A White Noise Machine, by Allison Johnson, The Verge

There’s nothing quite like settling into a hotel room bed and dozing off to sleep — only to be woken up by the sound of your neighbor in the room next door trimming their nails at a hundred decibels or doing some late-night furniture rearranging.

For just these kinds of occasions, seasoned travelers will sometimes pack a travel white noise machine or use an app to help get a little peace. But if you’re carrying an iPhone running iOS 15, you’ve already got a white noise feature built right into your phone’s operating system.

Why 1Password Is Now The Best Password Manager For Mac, by Khamosh Pathak, Lifehacker

The app feels at home on Mac, and offers unique features the competition simply doesn’t. Mac’s built-in Passwords tool is excellent (and it keeps getting better every year), but 1Password now integrates seamlessly across all Apple products, Windows, and Linux, providing feature parity and instant sync.

App To Provide Verified Sightings Of Sharks Off New England, by Patrick Whittle, AP

Shark’s in the water. But is it near swimmers? Soon, New England beachgoers will know.


This New Technology Reveals Classic iPods From The Inside Out, by Harry McCracken, Fast Company

For Tony Fadell, however, memories of iPods are just as likely to involve their insides. Fadell is one of the creators of the iPhone, the cofounder and former CEO of Nest, a busy investor, and—as of this month—a book author. But he’s probably most often described as the “father of the iPod.”

Consequently, looking at a picture of any particular iPod model’s innards reminds him of the design challenges it presented. “You go, ‘Oh, I remember we had to move this because of this reason, we had to move that, or we had noise issues,'” he says. “When you see those things, it just takes you back.”

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Apple: the company that (tried) to sell us over-engineered products such as the G4 Cube, Mac Pro (trashcan edition), HomePod, and AirPod Max. The company that (re-)invented machineries to make products to be more precise and more beautiful. The company that uses non-standard parts just to get devices to be thinner and lighter.

And you are surprised that the self-repair process requires out-of-the-ordinary expensive tools?


Thanks for reading.

The Nano-Texture Edition Friday, May 20, 2022

Some First Impressions Of Apple’s Studio Display, by Josh Ginter, The Sweet Setup

I especially love this Studio Display’s nano texture option. It’s a great contrast with the MacBook Pro’s XDR Display — the XDR Display can be used for fine-tuning photographs and watching any video in the absolute best quality, while the Studio Display’s nano texture finish is best for daily work all day long. I truly find an improvement in eye strain throughout the day.

And if you’re a photographer or videographer who shoots the Studio Display itself, I recommend a Studio Display consideration. People with bright offices don’t need to be the only people who should consider the nano texture finish.


Apple Music Adds New Essentials Anniversaries Feature And Radio Show, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple Music was quietly updated today with a new feature: Essentials Anniversaries. The new Apple Music section features landmark albums from artists organized by their anniversaries, from five-year anniversaries all the way to 65-year-old albums.

iPhone eSIM Bug Randomly Deactivating iMessage And FaceTime, Requiring Physical SIM, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

An apparent iPhone eSIM bug is randomly deactivating iMessage and FaceTime. In some cases, the only resolution appears to be to install a physical SIM.

Pixelmator Pro Update Brings Redesigned Photo Browser, Improved PSD And SVG Support, More, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

The popular image editor Pixelmator Pro for Mac has received a major update that introduces a brand new photo browser, as well as other enhancements such as improved support for PSD and SVG files and better management of photos stored in iCloud.

Pebblebee Releases Two New Find My Enabled Trackers With Rechargeable Batteries, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

Both of the new devices are natively supported in Apple's Find My app as well as within the company's own Pebbleebee app. They have rechargeable batteries that do not need to be replaced, and have form factors that differ from Apple's AirTag.


How E Ink Could Pave The Road To Apple's Next Big Things, by Jason Snell, Macworld

As a long-time admirer of E Ink as a technology, I’m excited about the possibility that Apple might use it in future devices. E Ink is a niche technology with some very real limitations, but it’s also got some huge advantages.

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Yes, obviously Apple will investigate all kinds of technologies... but I wondering if Apple has hit a wall with the always-on Apple Watch display technologies? Is that why it is investigating E Ink to do always-on stuff?


Thanks for reading.

The Protect-All-Customers Edition Thursday, May 19, 2022

Apple Highlights iPhone's Latest Privacy Features In New 'Data Auction' Ad, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The ad revolves around a young woman named Ellie who discovers that her personal data is being sold at an auction house, with bids being placed on her iPhone’s emails, purchase history, location data, contacts, browsing history, and more. Upon realizing that her data is being sold, Ellie makes use of App Tracking Transparency and Mail Privacy Protection, at which point the auctioneer and bidders suddenly begin to vanish into thin air.

Apple’s Jane Horvath Is Here To Protect Your Online Privacy, byClaire Stern, Elle

Apple’s business model is so different. From my very first meeting, when we were debating what data the engineers can collect off a device, a colleague said to me, “We might be able to string this data together to all of the other data we’re collecting and somehow identify someone, and we don’t want to do that.” I thought, Wow, I have arrived at a place that really, really protects privacy. During the San Bernardino case, we were asked to open a phone that was found in [the suspect’s] car, and it was a really hard discussion. We would have opened that phone if we could have opened it and not impacted every other phone, but we couldn’t, and so we decided that we wanted to protect all of our customers and resist the government’s ask to build an operating system that would’ve basically made every other phone vulnerable.


Apple Launches Updated Professional Training And Certification For IT Support And Management, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Today, Apple announced new online courses and certifications for Apple device support, deployment, and management to prepare workers for in-demand careers.

Apple Releases iTunes 12.12.4 For Windows With Security Updates, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

According to Apple’s security support document for the new Windows version of iTunes, it includes fixes for AppleGraphicsControl, ImageIO, Mobile Device Service, WebKit, and more.

Bike: An Elegant Outliner For Mac-Focused Workflows, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Bike is a brand new Mac-only outlining app from Hog Bay Software that executes the fundamentals of outlining flawlessly. The outline creation and editing workflows are polished, and the keyboard-focused navigation makes moving around a large outline effortless.

The app’s feature set is limited by design. That focus is part of what makes Bike such a good outliner. The care and attention that has gone into building a solid outlining foundation are immediately evident.

Brave Browser For iOS Gains New 'Privacy Hub' And Enhanced Fingerprinting Protections, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Brave for iOS now protects against fingerprinting by adding small amounts of randomization to fingerprintable APIs rather than disabling them, which can break websites, making for a smoother, more private browser experience.

Anker's Latest USB-C Docking Station Brings Triple-Display Support To M1 Macs, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

While Apple’s early M1-based Macs can only officially support a single external display, there are ways around the limitation. Anker is launching a new 10-in-1 USB-C docking station today which delivers just that.

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Apple has been making commercials about iPhone privacy for quite a while already. I can't help but imagine what kind of commercials Apple will make if it starts to compare Apple's privacy-walled garden versus a world where it is being forced by regulars to do sideloadings and other shenanigans. I bet those commercials will be great.


Thanks for reading.

The Compartmentalize-Stupid Edition Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Apple Celebrates Accessibility Awareness Day With Fitness+, Live Sessions, Shortcut Suggestions, More, by Allison McDaniel, 9to5Mac

Apple is celebrating Accessibility Awareness Day this entire week with new content for Apple lovers of varying abilities. There’s a lot to check out this week from Fitness+, Apple Maps, Apple Music, and more.

How A Burner Browser Hides My Most Embarrassing Internet Searches, by Thorin Klosowski, New York Times

I’ve used this dual-browser setup for years so that every random product, trivia, or health-related search doesn’t follow me around for days or weeks. I still use a standard browser for work, where I want a history, saved logins, and other tracking-based conveniences. But by using a burner browser, I’m compartmentalizing the stupidest part of my brain (the part that searches mostly for nonsensical trivia I’ll immediately forget) from the useful part of my brain (the part that had to write this article).

Researchers Devise iPhone Malware That Runs Even When Device Is Turned Off, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

When you turn off an iPhone, it doesn’t fully power down. Chips inside the device continue to run in a low-power mode that makes it possible to locate lost or stolen devices using the Find My feature or use credit cards and car keys after the battery dies. Now researchers have devised a way to abuse this always-on mechanism to run malware that remains active even when an iPhone appears to be powered down.


The findings have limited real-world value since infections required a jailbroken iPhone, which in itself is a difficult task, particularly in an adversarial setting. Still, targeting the always-on feature in iOS could prove handy in post-exploit scenarios by malware such as Pegasus, the sophisticated smartphone exploit tool from Israel-based NSO Group, which governments worldwide routinely employ to spy on adversaries.

Apple Works

Apple Delays Plan To Have Staff In Office Three Days A Week, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The company also told staff that they must again wear masks in common areas -- at least in Silicon Valley offices. Separately, retail employees were informed Tuesday that about 100 US stores will again require mask wearing by staff members as well.

Apple Accused Of Union Busting In New Labor Board Filing, by Zoe Schiffer, The Verge

Apple retail employees in Atlanta are accusing the company of violating the National Labor Relations Act by holding captive audience meetings to counter an ongoing union drive at the site. The Communications Workers of America, which is working to organize the store, filed an unfair labor practice reporting the activity earlier today.


Apple Music’s New Concert Series Will Livestream Select Performances, Starting With Harry Styles, by Aisha Malik, TechCrunch

Apple is launching a new concert livestreaming series called “Apple Music Live” that will showcase performances from “the biggest stars in music,” the company announced today. The series will kick off on May 20 with a livestream of Harry Styles’ “One Night Only in New York” performance. The concert will be available to stream exclusively to Apple Music subscribers in 167 countries at no extra cost.

Eve Outdoor Cam Brings HomeKit Secure Video To Outdoor Floodlights For The First Time, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

It’s built from the ground up where only authorized HomeKit users can access it remotely using a Home hub (HomePod or iPad). Video recordings are stored securely and fully encrypted in your iCloud account using Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video technology.

Nomad Launches New Sport Band Slim For Apple Watch, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The Sport Band Slim is made from an FKM fluoroelastomer rubber that is 100 percent waterproof. It includes interior ventilation channels to keep it dry and cool when worn, and it features a custom stainless steel closure pin with a pin-and-tuck mechanism.


Apple Releases Swift Playgrounds 4.1 For iPad And Mac, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

On the Mac, Swift Playgrounds 4.1 adds a host of new features including support for building Mac apps with SwiftUI with macOS 12.4 or later, guided walkthroughs that teach SwiftUI app building basics, live updates in App Preview as changes are made, and App Store Connect integration for uploading finished apps to the ‌App Store‌.


How To Silence An Alarm On A Family Member's iPhone Using Your Own iPhone, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

The next time you hear an alarm going off on a family member’s ‌iPhone‌ and your own ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌ is within earshot, simply say “Hey Siri, turn off the alarm on Anna’s ‌iPhone‌” (or the name of whoever’s ‌iPhone‌ it’s likely to be).

Apple Facing Lawsuit After AirPods Allegedly Ruptured Child's Eardrums With Amber Alert, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The child, identified as B.G. in the filing, was watching a movie on Netflix on his iPhone in 2020 while wearing AirPods Pro. The ‌AirPods Pro‌ were allegedly set at a low volume, but an Amber Alert sounded without warning and the high-pitched noise damaged B.G.’s eardrums.

"Disregard The Words", by Internet Blue

Yet looking back on the last decade or two, the most transformative consumer products – and generational changes in behavior – have often been the most difficult to describe. The ones where words escaped us initially.

Sometimes I think of it in this way: if the words already exist to describe something new then maybe it is not truly that novel after all.

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I, too, uses multiple browsers. On my Mac, I uses Safari for personal stuff, and Firefox for work stuff. And I've added Edge to the mix just for Microsoft services -- Outlook, Teams, and Sharepoint. No, using Teams on Edge is not that much better than on other browsers. But at least Microsoft cannot blame me for using an 'unsupported' browser.


Thanks for reading.

The Price-Change Edition Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Apple Releases iOS 15.5, iPadOS 15.5, macOS 12.4, watchOS 8.6, tvOS 15.5, And HomePod Software 15.5, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

These aren’t major releases, but they include some small new features in the Podcasts and Wallet apps along with a few bug fixes and numerous security improvements, none for vulnerabilities that are being actively exploited.

Apple Now Lets Apps Charge Increased Prices For Auto-renewable Subscriptions With Limits, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Of course, as detailed on the Apple Developer website, there will be some limits to prevent developers from abusing this feature. For instance, users will be notified of the subscription price change. Even then, Apple makes it clear that the price increase cannot occur more than once a year.

Other limits include a maximum increase of $5 for regular subscriptions or $50 for annual subscriptions.

Apple Podcasts Gains Storage Clean-up Tools, Support For Annual Subscriptions, And A New Distribution System, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Key among these are features for managing podcast storage across devices, tools to enable annual podcast subscriptions and the newly announced Apple Podcasts Delegated Delivery system — a feature that will soon allow creators to more easily distribute their podcasts directly to Apple Podcasts from third-party hosting providers.

Apple says this latter addition will save creators time and energy as they’ll be able to authorize their hosting provider to deliver both their free and premium podcast episodes to Apple Podcasts using the provider’s own dashboard. But it also gives Apple a means of competing with services like Spotify’s Anchor, which now provides tools for creation, hosting and distribution across all major listening apps.

iOS 15.5 Brings New Apple Cash Update That Lets You Send And Request Money Directly In Wallet, by Aisha Malik, TechCrunch

Apple users can now request and send money from their Apple Cash card directly through the Wallet app with the launch of iOS 15.5.

Apple Releases Studio Display Firmware 15.5 With Webcam Update, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The Studio Display firmware can be updated by connecting it to a Mac running macOS Monterey 12.4, which was also released today.

Coming Soon

Apple Unveils New Accessibility Features Coming This Year: Door Detection, Live Captions, Apple Watch Mirroring, Mor, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple is previewing a number of new accessibility features coming to iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac later this year. The company says that these new features will bring additional ways for users with disabilities to “navigate, connect, and get the most out of Apple products.”

One of the new features is called Door Detection, which Apple says can help users locate a door upon arriving at a new destination. Door Detection can help users understand how far they are from a door and describe its attributes, including whether it’s open or closed. If the door is closed, the feature can inform the user whether the door can be opened by pushing, turning a knob, or pulling a handle.


New App To Help Spot Online Spies, by Gordon Corera, BBC

Designed with the help of behavioural scientists, the app prompts users with a series of questions to help assess if someone who has approached them might be fake.

This includes being on the look-out for flattery or offers which appear too good to be true.

Lumen Metabolic Analyzer iOS App Gets Overhauled Food Logging And Macro Tracking, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The iOS-supported device with Apple Health integration has received a refresh for its built-in food log and macro tracker that lets you see the impact your nutrition has on metabolism in real-time.

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How long do you think before Apple adds a new settings to allow Apple customers to reject any subscription price increases automatically?

Of course, Apple is not exactly a 'neutral' party here, however one defines neutral. The low price of Apple TV+ doesn't seem sustainable to me -- especially if Apple is going to add more sports programming into the service. (Even if Apple introduces an additional tier to watch sports programming, that price is likely to be less stable than the 'regular' Apple TV+.)

So, yes, I'm predicting a price increase for Apple TV+, not in an infinite timescale, but soon-ish.


Thanks for reading.

The Better-Social Edition Monday, May 16, 2022

The Rise Of Photo Widgets: Portals To Your Friends’ iPhone Home Screens, by Dalvin Brown, Wall Street Journal

Photo-sharing widgets are fun to try out, and they might actually help you find a better way to be social, without stressing over likes and followers, or drowning in a river of ads. But they do require discretion and trust. Typically, they allow just a small group of people into your personal network, and the photos those people send appear automatically on your phone.

The early users we talked to didn’t mention any photo high-jinks—though we’re sure it happens. They did say the most fun to be had is surprising someone with an unexpected snapshot.

New iPhone Tap To Pay Feature Already In Use At Apple Park Visitor Center, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

In February, Apple announced a new system called to Tap to Pay on iPhone which allows an individual to take a contactless payment, only using their iPhone as the payment terminal. With the feature active, a customer simply has to tap their NFC iPhone or bank card on the top of the receiving device’s phone, to enact a contactless transaction.

The Apple Store is already trialling a rollout of this feature, at the Apple Park Visitor Center.

Baking Apps To Help Make Oven Life So Much Easier, by Nicholas Yong,

Ahead of World Baking Day (17 May 2022), we've rounded up some apps to make your baking life a piece of cake - whether you’re the master of the oven or you’re still feeling your away around the kitchen.

Dig Into Food-Upcycling Apps, by Amanda Castleman, Sierra

Around 40 percent of America’s food supply winds up unsold or uneaten each year. That’s roughly 219 pounds per person, rotting in fields, swirling down drains, or shunting to incinerators and landfills that contribute to climate change. Not to mention all the resources—the water, energy, fertilizers, pesticides, land, labor and transport—that went into producing those squandered calories. But a new crop of food-upcycling apps intends to change all that.

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Just started listening to yet another new audiobook about Apple, and less than 30 minutes into the book, the narrator has pronounced the operating system as "Mac Oh Ess Ex".

Remember there were newspapers and websites that sticked to calling the MP3 player an Ipod? Maybe there are similar audio style guides out there: We shall pronounce the X as "Ex", regardless of what Apple tells us. We are American company, and we speak English, not Roman numeral.

I wonder if there are audiobooks about Superbowls that also insist in not pronouncing Roman numerals.


Thanks for reading.

The Whole-Experience Edition Sunday, May 15, 2022

What Can A Mac Do That A PC Can't?, by Max Slater-Robins, T3

Honestly, using a MacBook Pro with a trackpad feels in some ways like using an iPhone. Pinching to zoom, swiping this way and that, it's excellent. Head into an Apple Store to give one and try and you'll become a convert.


Apple's insistence on controlling the whole experience means that, by and large, you can be sure that the company will know what's wrong and be able to fix it. There are also a lot of Apple Stores across the land, all of which will help you out.

Here Are 15 Shortcuts For Apple's iWork Apps On Both iOS And macOS, by Matthew Cassinelli, iMore

In iOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3, Apple updated their iWork suite of Pages, Keynote, and the Numbers app to include improved actions for the Shortcuts app across all three applications, bringing the feature to macOS for the first time, and improving on the previous iOS-only set of actions for the suite.

Each app has Open and Create actions to let users open files and generate templates, plus Apple included specialized actions to interact with their Keynote presentations and insert values directly into tables in Numbers.

I Invited Tim Cook To Speak At My Graduation. He Gave Me This Advice, by Molly Feanny, Elite Daily

Keep your curiosity. Curiosity should stay with you your entire lifetime. Keep asking the question “why,” and keep asking it over and over again until you get good answers. And when there isn't a good answer, that’s an indication that something needs to change.

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Mac can do regular copy-and-paste in Terminal. Windows need to reinvent Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V.


Thanks for reading.

The Island-of-Certainty Edition Saturday, May 14, 2022

A World Without iPods, by Steven Levy, Wired

In the post-iPod age, we don’t own songs—we access them. I actually can’t tell you what happened to all the songs I bought digitally or ripped from CDs to fill my various iPods. (Here’s the most recent, not-very-clear explanation Apple provides.) Sure, I like the idea of listening to anything at any time, but Jobs was right when he said that people like to feel ownership of the music they love. These days, I cling to one island of certainty—a still-working iPod Classic (c. 2007) with about 14,000 songs, each of which I personally put there. I’m afraid to use it too much, because if it breaks, it’s gone. When contemplating whether to take the gadget on a road trip, I’m like Elaine in “the sponge” episode of Seinfeld—is this outing iPod worthy?

RIP, iPod: A Tribute To The Device That Revolutionized The Art Of Music Fandom, by Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone

People talk about this device in terms of how it started the digital-music era, or even how it paved the way for the smartphone. But in retrospect, now it looks like the last format designed for old-school pre-streaming trends, where music is something you “have,” rather than something you lease.

Listening to the iPod, you’re off the grid. You are not being tracked, measured, counted, rated, studied, data-mined, or researched. It’s nobody’s business, just you and the tunes. It keeps track of play counts, but that’s just for your personal stat-crunching amusement — it doesn’t judge you.


Apple TV+ Shows Come To Life With ‘Severance’ And ‘Ted Lasso’ Among Pop-ups At The Grove Apple Store , by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

The Grove Apple Store, which is located in Los Angeles and was completely redesigned last year, now has an area with multiple pop-ups themed around the Apple TV+ shows.

For Mental Health Awareness Week, Here Are The iOS Apps That Help My Anxiety, by Daryl Baxter TechRadar

In our low moments, there are plenty of mediums that can help lift us out. It could be our favorite games, music, or films; or perhaps a book that's been written by a mental health expert. Others use exercise to subdue panic attacks and harmful thoughts

For me, it's certain apps on my iPhone that help me manage anxiety attacks whenever they start to rear their head.

'Wdgts' App Update Adds Interactive Widgets To macOS Menu Bar, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Multiple widgets can be added to the macOS Menu Bar with the latest Wdgts update, such as Time Zones, Currency Converter, Calculator, Photo Memories, and Music Controls.

This iPhone Ring Light Is A Must-have MagSafe Add-on For Content Creators,b y Beth Nicholls, Digital Camera World

Ideal for content creators with an iPhone, the ring light can be easily and quickly attached to your phone using MagSafe to light up both the selfie and rear cameras.


Apple CEO Tim Cook To Gallaudet Graduates: ‘Lead With Your Values’, by Lauren Lumpkin, Washington Post

In a video last month, Gallaudet University senior Molly Feanny signed a message to Apple chief executive Tim Cook, inviting him to deliver the school’s commencement address. About an hour later, Cook had accepted — and on Friday he stood in front of the Class of 2022, where he imparted advice, cracked a couple of jokes and wished the outgoing cohort of students good luck.

“I have one important piece of advice I want to share, so important that it’s the only piece of advice I’m going to share today,” Cook said. “And that is this: Whatever you do, lead with your values.”

Watch And Learn: The Apple Watch Needs A Better Upgrade Experience, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

Even if Apple can’t find a way to update the software as part of the migration process—and come on, it should be able to do that—it should at the very least make it more transparent.

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I still have one working iPod nano. I wish Apple Music can sync over to it; that will be cool. After all, the iPod already have the DRM software and everything. But, alas.

Well, the radio still works. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Short-Supply Edition Friday, May 13, 2022

As WWDC Looms, Apple Is Quickly Running Out Of Macs, by Karen Haslam, Macworld

As Apple readies the release of a new macOS beta, many developers are going to be looking for new machines in June to test out their apps, and they could be in for a long wait. Shipping of most MacBook Pros models is delayed for months, and stock of the new Mac Studio, especially the M1 Ultra model, is similarly constrained.

In fact, the only Macs that don’t appear to be in short supply in the U.S. are the older M1 Macs: the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and 24-inch iMac, all of which are mostly available for shipping immediately.

Coming Soon

Apple Releases macOS 12.4 RC With Studio Display Webcam Fix And New Podcasts Feature, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Another change coming with macOS 12.4 RC is a new setting in the Podcasts app to limit the number of episodes stored and automatically delete old content.

Studio Display Firmware 15.5 With Webcam Improvements To Be Available Soon As A Separate Update, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Apple has confirmed that once the update becomes available to the public, it will be available as separate software – so you won’t need to install macOS Monterey 12.4 before updating the Studio Display firmware.

Universal Control No Longer In Beta In macOS Monterey 12.4 And iPadOS 15.5, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Universal Control is no longer a “beta” feature, with the beta labeling removed in the macOS Monterey 12.4 and iPadOS 15.5 release candidate versions that were seeded to developers and public beta testers earlier today.


macOS 12.4 Adds New Studio Display Wallpaper, And You Can Download It Right Here, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

This wallpaper comes from the marketing images of Apple’s Studio Display, which was introduced in March alongside Mac Studio. The image shows the letters of the word “Studio” as if they were folded, and it features shades of blue, purple, and orange.

Ulysses 26, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

A small counter now shows statistics like characters, words, and paragraphs, and dedicated buttons provide quick access to publishing and the publishing preview.

Customize Your Mouse With This Mac App, by Pranay Parab, Lifehacker

If you’re looking for granular control over your external mouse’s scrolling behavior or want to customize it in other ways, BetterMouse is the tool you need.


Apple Sending Notice To Developers Invited To Special WWDC 2022 In-person Event, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Apple last month announced WWDC 2022, another edition of its annual developer conference. This year, however, Apple let developers register for an in-person event at Apple Park. Now the company is sending the notice to developers who have been chosen to join the special event.


Bad Apple #5: iCloud Drive Folder Sharing Risks Data Loss, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Today’s target is the discovery that when collaborators in an iCloud Drive shared folder delete files or folders, those items are destroyed instantaneously, not put in the Trash or added to iCloud Drive’s Recently Deleted folder. They’re just gone, with no option for recovery. If that’s not bad enough—and it is—Apple has recently tweaked its already weak documentation in such a way that further conceals this dangerous implementation. Bad Apple!

Leaked Memo Reveals Apple’s Anti-Union Talking Points For Store Managers, by Lauren Kaori Gurley, Motherboard

In the talking points, obtained by Motherboard, Apple highlights that workers could lose career growth opportunities, the ability to take time off for personal reasons, and merit-based promotions if they vote to unionize. “The quality of your work may not even be a factor,” the talking points read. It has also instructed managers to tell workers that if they unionize they could face "fewer opportunities," have less "flexibility," and that the company will pay "less attention to merit."

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How long will the queue for the upcoming Mac Pro be?


Thanks for reading.

The Perfect-Track Edition Thursday, May 12, 2022

We Need More iPods, by Aaron Gordon, Motherboard

I want more devices like the iPod Classic in my life, ones that are the right tool for the specific job, and fewer devices that are meant to be always around or on me. Smartwatches and the like might work for some people. But I still remember the excitement with which I would take out my iPod, swirl around the wheel as that clicking sound ratcheted in my earbuds, and find the perfect track for that moment in the day. Now, I look at the products Apple makes and I only see things I can’t wait to turn off so I can focus on the things in life I actually enjoy.

iPod Touch Is Now Completely Sold Out In The US Apple Online Store, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

It has only been one day since Apple discontinued the iPod touch forever. And although the company said that customers could still buy the product “while supplies last,” it seems that the supplies didn’t last very long. Right now, the iPod touch is completely sold out in the US Apple Online Store.


Ookla's Speedtest Maps Come To iOS And Give A More Realistic Picture Of Latency, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

This lets you see at-a-glance how different mobile carriers compare in your area, as well as identify problem spots.

Pok Pok Playroom iOS App For Kids Launches 'Shops' Toy For Imaginative Storytelling Fun, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

“Shops” is now available which offers fun open-ended play while encouraging growth with storytelling, imagination, planning, cause and effect, number sense, and much more.


Google’s Flutter 3 Adds Support For macOS And Linux Desktop Apps, by Frederic Lardinois, TechCrunch

At its I/O developer conference, Google today announced the launch of Flutter 3, the latest version of its open source, multiplatform UI development framework for building natively compiled applications. It’s been about four years since the company first launched a beta of Flutter 1.0. At the time, the team’s focus was mostly on helping developers build cross-platform mobile apps. Since then, it started adding web and desktop support, too, and now, with version 3, the team is closing the loop here by making Linux and macOS desktop support generally available, as well as adding support for Apple Silicon, among many other new features.


Apple: Most iOS 15 Users Opt Out Of Personalized Ads; No Impact On App Store Search Ads Conversions, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple is presenting this briefing to advertising partners today, explaining that Apple Search Ads help “advertisers grow their business, while giving users control over how their information is used.” For those unfamiliar, Apple Search Ads are the ads you see in the App Store at the top of search results when you search for a specific app or category of apps.

Apple’s emphasis in today’s presentation, according to a slide deck obtained by 9to5Mac, is that Search Ads rely very little on personalized targeting, and conversion rates are virtually unaffected.

Apple Supplier Foxconn Sees Challenges Ahead In China COVID Curbs, Inflation, by Yimou Lee and Sarah Wu, Reuters

Apple supplier Foxconn warned that current-quarter revenue for its electronics business including smartphones could slip as growth slowed amid rising inflation, cooling demand and escalating supply chain issues partly due to lockdowns in China.

The Taiwanese firm, the world's largest contract electronics maker, has grappled with a severe shortage of chips like other global manufacturers, which has hurt smartphone production including for its major client Apple.

New EU Rules Would Require Chat Apps To Scan Private Messages For Child Abuse, by James Vincent, The Verge

The European Commission has proposed controversial new regulation that would require chat apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to selectively scan users’ private messages for child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and “grooming” behavior. The proposal is similar to plans mooted by Apple last year but, say critics, much more invasive.

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My first iPod was the first-generation iPod mini. I remember not long after I purchased that expensive (to me) gadget, Steve Jobs announced the second-generation.

I watched a lot of movies on that little iPod nano. But ripping DVDs into MP4s were... well... slow.

I have never bought the iPod because it was too expensive for the little music collection that I have. I mostly listen to podcasts and audiobooks anyway.

I have also never bought the iPod shuffle. I need to see my playlists.

Goodbye, iPod. I can't wait to see how Apple recycle your name.


Thanks for reading.

The Phone-Less Edition Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Apple Discontinues The iPod Touch, by John Voorhees, MacStories

As the last iPod in Apple’s lineup, the end of the iPod touch marks the end of an era for Apple. The iPod, which debuted in 2001, played a significant role in Apple’s comeback as a company. The iPod touch was introduced in 2007, the same year as the iPhone, as a sort of phone-less iPhone that became an entry-level iOS device for kids and others who didn’t need or want the iPhone’s mobile phone functionality. Over the years, though, the touch has been updated less frequently as its role was absorbed by hand-me-down iPhones and other products.

Farewell To The iPod, by Tripp Mickle, New York Times

The iPod provided a blueprint for Apple for decades by packaging unrivaled industrial design, hardware engineering, software development and services. It also demonstrated how the company was seldom first to market with a new product but often triumphed.


The iPhone continued to draw on the blend of software and services that made the iPod succeed. The success with iTunes, which allowed customers to back up their iPhone and put music on the device, was mirrored by the development of the App Store, which allowed people to download and pay for software and services.

A Touching Goodbye For iPod, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Turns out, 15 years ago, making an iPhone without the phone meant you could make something remarkably thinner. The original iPhone was 11.6mm thick and weighed 135g. The original iPod Touch was just 8mm thick and weighed 120g. The difference in thickness was particularly remarkable. It was like a vision of the iPhone’s future. This year’s A15-based 3rd-generation iPhone SE is 7.3mm thick and weighs 144g — much closer in size and weight to the original iPod Touch than to the thicker original iPhone.


Apple Releases New Firmware For AirPods 2 And AirPods Pro, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

The firmware release is 4e71, and applies to the AirPods Max, AirPods Pro, and both the second-generation and third-generation AirPods.

Premiere Pro Update Adds GIF Transparency And Hardware Encoding Support, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

In addition to new features such as GIF transparency and HDR proxies, the software now supports hardware encoding for faster exports.

Gentler Streak For Apple Watch Adds Workouts Voice Feedback, Now Tracks Housekeeping, Gardening, More, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

The app already offers more than 100 trackable exercises, including non-conventional workouts, such as dog walking. Now, it’s also bringing support for nordic walk, longboarding, housekeeping, and gardening.

One important feature that is also now available on Gentler Streak is voice feedback on Apple Watch. With that, Siri can now announce splits during a workout – which is really useful for runners or those that can’t look at the screen when exercising.

The iOS App Icon Book Review: A Celebration Of App Icons Of The Past, by Allison McDaniel, 9to5Mac

Throughout, you’ll not only gain an appreciation for the thoughtfulness and the work put into these designs, but you may also learn something. Additionally, the author makes it clear that this is not a textbook on how to design app icons but offers tidbits of information for those who are interested in the craft.


Why Apple Needs To Evict Old And Unsupported App Store Apps, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

Abandoned apps might host malware or other vulnerabilities that have never been patched, as developers lost interest before those flaws were identified.

Apple’s other challenge is that apps that have not been updated might not be completely transparent about privacy and what user data they harvest. Apple’s App Tracking Privacy policy means developers must disclose such information when they publish an app via the App Store, something older apps weren't required to do.

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Apple never released the original iPhone here in Singapore; so I purchased the original iPod touch. I still have fond memories of playing Super Monkey Ball with my daughter on that little device. (Given the size of iPhones today, I think we can definitely call the original iPod touch and iPhone little.)


And it sure looks like Apple discontinued the iPod just in time to recycle the name for its new AR glasses: EyePod.



Thanks for reading.

The Designed-to-be-Addictive Edition Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Meet The Parents Who Refuse To Give Their Kids Smartphones, by Ellen McCarthy, Washington Post

So Stacey, a mother of four, made a decision: Not her kids.

“If they want one when they turn 18 and they have a job and they can afford it, that’s their choice,” she says.

Stacey is a hard-liner in a war being waged in homes everywhere as grown-ups attempt to limit smartphone use that they believe can be harmful to kids, even as they struggle to establish healthy habits with their own phones. And, big surprise, the parents aren’t winning. Because it’s not just their children they’re up against, but also a tech industry pushing products that insiders say are designed to be addictive and a society that has largely capitulated to the norms and urges and expectations all those phones and apps have created.

We Asked People Who Still Use MP3 Players: Why?, by Koh Ewe, Vice

Meet the people toting their portable music players against the barrage of smartphones: students trying to work around classroom regulations on electronic devices, audiophiles on a hunt for superb audio quality, and Type A podcast listeners looking to curate their content consumption. Turns out, there are tons of good reasons why people are still pressing play on their MP3 players.

An Apple-FedEx Debacle Had A Local Man Caught In The Middle, Batted Back And Forth, by Sean P. Murphy, Boston Globe

The Apple manager had been profuse in his apologies, but Son wanted more than words. When he was a salesman, and something got badly messed up, Son tried to make it up to his customers. And so he told the manager that Apple owed him something.


It pleases me that Son got something for all his aggravation. But what really troubles me is the likelihood that the vast majority of consumers finding themselves being bounced between giant corporations, give up and wind up losing money, let alone getting compensated with a “gift” for their lost time.


Adobe Announces Major Updates To Fresco And Photoshop For iPad, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Fresco is adding a magic wand selection tool that allows selections to be made based on color. A slider adjusts the color that defines the selection, which gives artists fine-grained control over what is selected.


The Photoshop update has added a new AI-based Content-Aware Fill tool that can use surrounding parts of an image to remove and fill unwanted sections of an image with a single tap. Content-Aware Fill is one of the marquee Photoshop features on the Mac, so it’s nice to see it added to the iPad now too.

NapBot For Apple Watch Now Provides Sleep Apnea Analysis In New Update, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

It now supports Sleep Apnea analysis, which is a sleep disorder in which pauses in breathing or period of shallow breathing during sleep occur more often than usual.


Why Apple Is Wrong To Dictate Which Days Employees Come To The Office, by Sarah Todd, Quartz

Both Choudhury and Bloom suspect that Apple and other similarly inflexible companies will see high levels of attrition if they don’t adjust their policies. Ideally, they say, in-office and remote-work days should be determined by managers after consulting with their direct reports in order to understand what makes the most sense for the team, given both employees’ individual situations and the nature of the work at hand. That’s pretty much what Apple employees’ latest letter is asking for.

Apple Is Planning To Shake Up Its Massive Services Business To Push Further Into Streaming And Advertising, by Claire Atkinson and Lara O'Reilly, Business Insider

Apple's Eddy Cue is discussing restructuring its $76 billion services business to make a bigger push into lucrative areas like streaming and advertising, and has already elevated executives to that end, sources said.

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Basically, there are four different audio programming that I listen on my iPhone: audiobooks, podcasts, music, and radio. They all come from different apps, each with their own user-interface, and different ways of 'managing' content. In fact, even though there are four different types of content, there are actually more than four different apps here. I do listen to audiobooks on both Audible and Libby apps, and radio programmes come from the BBC Sounds, WNYC, KCRW, and Apple Music apps. All of them have different methods of browsing, searching, and playing programs.

So, perhaps this is nostalgia through rose-colored glasses, but I do miss the old iPod+iTunes just a little bit, with its simple and unified interface to play all sort of audio programming.

(Okay, there weren't internet radio on iPods.)

On the other hand, I do not miss the old iPod that much. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Augmented-Reality-Tools Edition Monday, May 9, 2022

Apple’s China Engineers Keep Products Flowing As Covid Shuts Out Us Staff, by Yoko Kubota, Wall Street Journal

Most U.S.-based Apple engineers have been shut out of China for the past two years by rigid border controls intended to keep the Covid-19 virus at bay. New iPhone models in 2020 were delayed, but since then Apple has largely kept up with its annual product cycle thanks to focusing on localization, people familiar with the matter said.


The iPhone maker has also adopted some technology, including live-streaming, that helps staff based at its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., remotely follow what’s happening on China’s factory floors, the people said. Apple has used iPads to communicate and augmented-reality tools to help technical experts in Cupertino check factory issues, one of the people said.

Apple And Google Hit Back At ACCC's Proposal For Major Antitrust Reforms, by Aimee Chanthadavong, ZDNet

In response to those proposals, Apple expressed its discontent, describing in its submission that the proposed reforms would result in Australian consumers being "net worse off" and that it is "puzzled" about why the agency would "prioritise purported competition concerns", which it believes "lack cogent evidence of harm, over clear and present severe damage to users that they experience every day".


The Cupertino company also criticised the ACCC's reforms as being directed at addressing hypothetical, rather than existing problems, and that the changes would "regrettably" change iPhone and other Apple services, including iOS and the App Store, and result in changes to Apple's privacy and security standards and leave existing users exposed to less secure and private environments.


ReadKit 3 Becomes A Universal App, Adds More Services, And More, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

Some people are talking about the resurgence of RSS but the truth is that it never went away. ReadKit has long been one of the best ways to read RSS feeds and now it's better than ever with a big version 3.0 update that adds a ton of features and changes to the mix.

Excitrus 100W Magnetic Wireless Power Bank Review: The Best Of Wireless And USB Charging In One Device, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

At just over a pound, it’s worth the weight to add flexible, high-wattage charging plus wireless iPhone charging in a single affordable package.


I'm A Fucking Webmaster, by Justin Jackson

Let's take Tim's words and inspire a new generation to love a simple HTML page the same way we do.


Apple Keeps Its Tap-to-Pay Feature To Itself To Protect Revenue, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple has the technical chops to figure out a safe way to free up its NFC capabilities to outside services.

After all, the company is already planning to do just that for merchants, which will be able to use the tap-to-pay feature to accept certain credit cards and smartphones via third-party apps. In other words, Apple will let users take payments via NFC but not make them. The company also has opened up NFC for scanning physical items and unlocking doors.

Without Roe, Data Will Become A Company Headache And A User Nightmare, by Ina Fried, Axios

The treasure troves of data tech companies have spent decades accumulating could put them right in the middle of efforts to prosecute people if the Supreme Court eliminates federal guarantees of abortion rights.

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Not only our dear webmasters need to learn all sort of CSS shenanigans and javascript wizardry, there's also all manners of HTTP headers to keep track.

Things are getting out of hand.

I propose we return to the good old days of gophers.


Thanks for reading.

The Best-Policy Edition Sunday, May 8, 2022

Pages 12: Apple’s Excellent Free Word Processor, by Bill Bennett, Scoop

If you live and work exclusively with Apple devices Pages 12 is potentially the best word processor for your needs. There are simpler alternatives, Markdown editors are a good choice if you crave simplicity and minimalism. And there are more complex alternatives, Word had more features.

Yet for many users Pages 12 is a solid choice and it is free.

Apple's Director Of Machine Learning Resigns Due To Return To Office Work, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Apple’s director of machine learning, Ian Goodfellow, has resigned from his role a little over four years after he joined the company after previously being one of Google’s top AI employees, according to The Verge’s Zoë Schiffer.


"I believe strongly that more flexibility would have been the best policy for my team," Goodfellow said in the email.

First U.S. Apple Store Union Election Is Set For Early June, by Alexandra Garfinkle, Yahoo

The first-ever U.S. union election at an Apple retail store is slated for early June.

Apple retail workers in Atlanta released a statement in the aftermath of filing for a union election. Those workers, who are all at Apple’s Cumberland Mall location in Atlanta, are situated in the wake of the Amazon Labor Union’s historic victory about a month ago – and they’ve been inspired by that, said Sydney Rhodes, a worker and union member.

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I'm glad that many things are back to 'normal' here in Singapore, even though many people are still telling us that the pandemic is not over yet. The major difference is that masks are still mandatory at most indoor places.

Oh, and we are going back to office 'just' three days a week.

And that I have lost the desire to eat out -- where it's usually noisy and full of people and introvert-unfriendly.


Thanks for reading.

The Penetrating-Walls Edition Saturday, May 7, 2022

Apple iPhone Users Got Alerts About Strangers’ AirTags. The Trackers Were Never Found., by Dalvin Brown, Wall Street Journal

In recent weeks, some iPhone users have begun receiving alerts, often in the middle of the night, for AirTags that might not be in their path at all. The pop-up alerts have sparked confusion and concern, and have led recipients on wild goose chases.

The maps on phantom AirTag alerts share a similar pattern: straight red lines radiating out from the user’s location. If an AirTag were in motion (perhaps flying?) along these paths, it would be crossing in the middle of city streets, passing through construction zones, even penetrating walls.

When the maps in these particular notifications are viewed side by side—or compared with clearer examples of AirTag stalking—they appear to be the result of a bug. But it can be alarming for an individual to receive this unexplained alert.

How Apple Works Around Battery Chemistry Limits With Fast Charge And Optimized Battery Charging, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Users have two conflicting desires with regard to batteries, whether or not they realize it. In the short term, they want the device always charged and ready to use—little is more frustrating than running out of power earlier than you’d expect in a day. Long-term, they want the battery to maintain its capacity for as long as possible—replacing a battery to bring a device back to decent daily battery life is expensive and annoying.

In an effort to meet both of these conflicting desires, Apple has developed two seemingly contradictory technologies: fast charge, which does what it says, and Optimized Battery Charging, which actually makes the battery charge more slowly.

Apple's Merger Of 'iCloud Documents And Data' Into iCloud Drive Now Complete, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

The vast majority of ‌iCloud‌ users already have ‌iCloud Drive‌ enabled, so they won't see any changes. But for users who had ‌iCloud‌ accounts prior to the introduction of ‌iCloud Drive‌ in 2014 and never enabled it, perhaps to maintain compatibility with pre-iOS 8 and pre-OS X Yosemite devices that couldn't support ‌iCloud Drive‌, they will now need to turn it on in order to regain access to their files.


Beats Unveils New Powerbeats Pro In Collaboration With London Designer | AppleInsider, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

The special edition Bluetooth headphones feature a special yellow and dark purple pattern inspired by Farzaneh's designs. Farzaneh is an English-Iranian designer based in the U.K.

Some Apple TV Users Complain Of Dolby Atmos Audio Issues, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

According to users, when listening to Dolby Atmos content, audio will sometimes either completely cut out and go silent, goes out of sync with the videos on the screen, or is choppy and stutters.


iOS 15.5 To Reintroduce Apple Music API Used By Third-Party Apps To Adjust Playback Speed, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

iOS 15.5 will include the reintroduction of a popular Apple Music API used by third-party music players that allowed users to change the playback speeds of songs within the app, an Apple software engineer has announced.


Apple Mail Now Blocks Email Tracking. Here’s What It Means For You, by Justin Pot, Wired

Nothing makes you more paranoid about privacy than working in a marketing department. Trust me on this. For example, did you know that marketers track every time you open an email newsletter—and where you were when you did it?

Apple caused a small panic among marketers in September 2021 by effectively making this tracking impossible in the default Mail app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. I, personally, switched to Apple Mail as soon as the feature was announced. You might feel the same way, but marketers feel as though they've lost a useful tool.

Behind The Scenes At Apple Fitness +, by Rich DeMuro, KTLA

Since I love ending each workout with a mindful cooldown, I was especially curious if the plants behind the fitness trainer were real. Turns out, they are, and in typical Apple fashion, they are all species that are indigenous to Southern California.

One secret: that’s not actual sunlight streaming in over the plants. It’s special lights that mimic the sun so classes can be recorded any time of the day. They also make the plants grow.

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Apple devices need to be smarter locally. After all, Apple is intentionally crippling their online services in order not to invade on our privacy, and that's good. But that also mean that on-device smartness need to be high enough to notice something is not going right with their online counterparts, and do their own counter-checking.


Thanks for reading.

The Late-June-Early-July Edition Friday, May 6, 2022

MacBook Pro Delayed For Stock And Custom Builds Until July, Including Existing Orders From February, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

This week 9to5Mac received a few emails from readers who ordered custom configurations of the 16-inch MacBook Pro in February. Their orders had been delayed previously but they got another update from Apple stating now their machines wouldn’t ship until late June or early July.

iPhone Users Complain Apple Music Is Installing Itself To The Dock, Booting Out Their Other Apps, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

An Apple Music bug is perplexing some iPhone owners. According to various reports, the Apple Music iOS app is installing itself directly to the iPhone’s dock when downloaded, instead of to the phone’s home screen. It’s also kicking out other apps users had set up in their dock and taking their spot, which is not something apps would normally do. Some iPhone owners also found the bug was causing Apple Music to establish itself as the default music service for Siri requests, even if another service had previously been configured for this, like Spotify.

Apple Has Lost Its Soul. But Who Cares?, by Steven Levy, Wired

I did learn a lot about Cook and Ive in After Steve. But as this century of Big Tech barrels to its second quarter, we aren’t asking for soul from companies like Apple. We want quality, innovation, and trustworthiness. That’s a challenge for any company with billions of users. Even Mickle himself admitted to me that there was no way that Apple could have maintained its soul—whatever that is—at its current scale. “It had to shed the purity of its commitment as a consequence of the pressures it faces from Wall Street to continue to deliver growth,” he told me.

If we’re looking for soul, we can fire up some Macy Gray. Tim Cook hopes we do it on Apple Music.


1Password 8 For Mac: An Upgrade, After All, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

In redesigning 1Password, AgileBits has made it feel lighter and more modern. It feels more like a modern Mac app than the old version did. I switched to 1Password 8 when I switched to using a Mac Studio as my primary Mac, so maybe it’s the Apple silicon (specifically the M1 Max) talking, but the app just feels fast. They even went to the trouble of adding a proper Preferences window rather than a fake preferences window that floats inside the existing app window.

TextSniper Review: Extracts The Text Of Anything You See On Your Mac, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

If you find Live Text can’t keep up with your needs, TextSniper fills in nooks and crannies and expands beyond Live Text’s strong but basic intent.

Runestone: A Streamlined Text And Code Editor For iPhone And iPad, by Alex Guyot, MacStories

The most core function of any code editor is syntax highlighting, and that is what Runestone is built for. The app currently supports highlighting for 28 different file formats, including those for many of the most popular coding languages such as JavaScript, Java, Python, Rust, and Swift. [...] In my testing, Runestone’s syntax highlighting has been unbelievably fast and reliable.

SmartGym For iOS, watchOS, Mac Gets Major Update With Muscle Targeting And Recovery, Personal Records, Much More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Changes and improvements include tracking for muscle fatigue and recovery, tags for routines, Family Sharing, personal records, and much more.


How Apple Overcame Its Culture Of Secrecy To Create AirPods Pro, by Chris Deaver, Fast Company

As we met leaders, what we found surprised us. While Apple was so clearly delineating secrecy as a fundamental value to the company, behind the scenes each of these leaders were highlighting the power of the one thing that made them successful: sharing. Priya Balasubramaniam in operations talked about it, emphasizing the need to share early with others. Angela Ahrendts in retail talked about it. Jony Ive’s industrial design team talked about it. Mattia Pascolini’s wireless design team also brought it to life. And Lynn Youngs, head of display, touch, and camera technology, shared this about how he applied sharing: “I come to the table with my ideas, and they come to the table with theirs. If we consider ideas ‘our kids,’ I have to care as much or more about ‘their kids’ as I do about mine for something magical to happen. And that’s real sharing. That’s innovation.”

Of course, not a single leader suggested going extreme in sharing, like Silicon Valley companies that spread product roadmaps to the public. That would spoil the surprise. But what we found was a level of openness in a famously closed system that involved far more sharing than anyone was talking about, and far more than new employees knew.

Apple Provides $25 Million To CNote Investment Platform To Support Communities Of Color, by Allison McDaniel, 9to5Mac

CNote is a women-led impact investment platform using technology to invest in diverse communities. Announced today, Apple is using the CNote platform to give back $25 million to underserved communities across the US. This is one of multiple efforts from the tech giant in tackling racial inequality throughout the country.

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I've seen companies that have lost their souls. Apple ain't one of them.



Thanks for reading.

The Missing-Components Edition Thursday, May 5, 2022

Testing Out Apple's Self Repair Program With An iPhone 12 Mini Battery Fix, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

It's not really cost effective to do that repair on your own.


As for the actual repair process, Dan found it to be difficult, even with Apple’s instructions and tools. It was frustrating to get into, and there were components missing from the kit that were required by the manual, such as tweezers and heat protective gloves.

Apple Reaches Settlement To Pay $15 To Some iPhone 4S Owners Who Experienced Buggy Performance After iOS 9 Update, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Apple has agreed to settle a long-lasting six-year class-action lawsuit that accused it of knowingly slowing down iPhone 4S devices following the iOS 9 update in 2015, agreeing to pay some ‌iPhone‌ 4S owners who had experienced poor performance $15 each for their claims.

On Apple Pay

Noted Interaction Design And Security Expert Margrethe Vestager Redesigns The iPhone’s NFC Support, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Whose third-party wallet app is being stomped upon by iOS today? Who’s the aggrieved party here? To me it’s clear that the wallet itself belongs as part of the system. It’s the elements inside the wallet that should be open to third-party apps, which is exactly how Apple Wallet works. That NFC card readers in retail point-of-sale terminals only work with credit and debit cards isn’t Apple’s fault or responsibility, and Apple Pay integrates with any and all credit and debit cards that choose to support Apple Wallet. The E.C. complaint would make more sense if Apple Card was the only card Apple Wallet supported, but it’s not.

What, exactly, should Apple have done differently that would have appeased the E.C.? I genuinely can’t come up with an answer for this.

Yield, by Nick Heer, Pixel Envy

It seems like the European Commission has good reasons to be inquiring about this, but it also seems to be self-serving and I wish it would be more honest about that angle. I am most worried about the unintended effects of permitting widespread NFC use. It means Apple controls the platform less, but that seems to require giving more control to companies that people generally do not like. As much as I think NFC payments should be something usable by any developer, I can foresee how that seemingly simple change would make mobile payments a hell of a lot worse as banks will do what banks are wont to do.


Learn How To Make 'Star Wars' Creature Vocals In Virtual Today At Apple Session, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

"Star Wars" sound designer Leff Lefferts will walk participants through creating creature vocals in GarageBand for Mac in a May 9 Today at Apple online session, sign up today.

Apple's 3 Meter Thunderbolt 4 Pro Cable Is Now Available, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

First announced alongside the Mac Studio, Apple's 3 meter Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable is now available to order online, and for pickup later in the month at some Apple Retail locations.

Ulysses 26 Brings Modernized WordPress Integration And More Blogging Tools, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Three months after its latest update, the writing app Ulysses is now in version 26 with a handful of new features for those who are using the software to publish blog posts from it.

Satechi X3 Slim Keyboard Review: A Fantastic Alternative To Apple's Magic Keyboard, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

Sporting a similar layout to Apple's own Magic Keyboard, it's a reasonably-priced alternative for those who still want a keyboard that feels sturdy.


Apple, Google, And Microsoft Announce Their Commitment To Expand Standard-Based Passwordless Sign-Ins, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Today, Apple, Google, and Microsoft committed to expand the use of passwordless sign-in technology developed by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium. The companies say that the standard will ‘offer consistent, secure, and easy passwordless sign-ins to consumers across devices and platforms.’

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Today, on my way home from office, the Find My service decided to go crazy on me: I kept receiving notifications that I've left both my AirPods and AirTags behind.

Of course, I can understand that there can always be network latency. In fact, I can see that the notifications on where I have left the devices behind kept changing locations, following the path that I am traveling.

But, my iPhone could have easily see — via Bluetooth — that the AirTag is less than one meter away. And it also definitely should know that I have not left my AirPods behind, because I am literally listening to my audiobooks on my iPhone using the very AirPods that it claimed I have left behind far far away.

Oh, Apple. So close, but yet so far.


Is Netflix worried enough about its losing of subscribers to join Apple TV app?


Thanks for reading.

The A-Million-Sounds Edition Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Uncovering The Sounds Of A Galaxy Far, Far Away With Mac, by Apple

This is the site of Skywalker Ranch, the vast facility owned and conceived by George Lucas, the creator of the epic Star Wars universe. The cornerstone of the ranch is Skywalker Sound, a world-class sound design, editing, mixing, and audio post-production facility. The 153,000-square-foot, red-bricked building, surrounded by vineyards and the man-made Lake Ewok, stands as a monument to the maxim, often repeated by Lucas, that sound is at least 50 percent of the moviegoing experience.

The sound library system Soundminer, which allows for descriptive keyword searches almost poetic in their specificity, keeps pace with Skywalker Sound’s ever-expanding library of nearly a million sounds.

Vestager Snubs Apple’s Security Claims For iPhone Payments, by Samuel Stolton, Bjarke Smith-Meyer, Pietro Lombardi and Simon Van Dorpe, Politco

"Evidence on our file indicates that Apple's conduct cannot be justified by security concerns,” Margrethe Vestager, the EU's competition chief, told reporters at a press conference yesterday. “Our investigation to date did not reveal any evidence that would point to such a higher security risk."


On the other side of the debate, there are voices calling for the Commission to be taking a closer look at the security risks that greater interoperability protocols may entail.

How Apple Can Fix Its Most Frustrating Issue With A Button And A Few Sliders, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

The Apple Studio Display, with its perplexing and controversial webcam, dredges up a lot of those feelings of frustration. We can debate the wisdom of putting Center Stage on a display most likely destined for the desks of nerds, but let’s leave that aside. How about the audacity of Apple shipping it without any interface to speak of? And how much better might the camera on the Studio Display have been received if it could be tweaked by its users to produce more pleasing images?

Books Excerpts

These Are The Storytelling Lessons I Learned From Steve Jobs, by Tony Fadell, Fast Company

He used a technique I later came to call the virus of doubt. It’s a way to get into people’s heads, remind them about a daily frustration, get them annoyed about it all over again. If you can infect them with the virus of doubt—”Maybe my experience isn’t as good as I thought, maybe it could be better”—then you prime them for your solution. You get them angry about how it works now so they can get excited about a new way of doing things.

Steve was a master of this. Before he told you what a product did, he always took the time to explain why you needed it. And he made it all look so natural, so easy.


And the reason is simple: Steve didn’t just read a script for the presentation. He’d been telling a version of that same story every single day for months and months during development—to us, to his friends, his family. He was constantly working on it, refining it. Every time he’d get a puzzled look or a request for clarification from his unwitting early audience, he’d sand it down, tweak it slightly, until it was perfectly polished.

It was the story of the product. And it drove what we built.

After Steve Jobs, The Flood: Apple Without Its Emblematic And Enigmatic Founder, by Tripp Mickle, Literary Hub

Though Jobs hadn’t attended rehearsals ahead of that day’s event, some of Apple’s leadership arrived at Town Hall that morning wondering: Will he show up?

Staff saved an aisle seat at the front of the lecture room for him, draping a black piece of cloth with the word Reserved in white over the back of a tan-colored chair. Apple’s general counsel, Bruce Sewell, who sat in the adjacent seat, knew that the odds were against Jobs filling it. Jobs’s health had worsened in recent days, but he had surprised everyone before and even some of his closest advisers had not given up hope that the empty seat would be filled by the time the event began.

The lights were low when Tim Cook slipped into the front of the room from behind a dark screen with a white Apple logo. His thin lips formed a flat grin as a few people applauded politely. In a Brooks Brothers spin on Jobs’s casual and fashionable Issey Miyake turtleneck, Cook wore a black broadcloth button-down shirt and spun a presentation remote in his hands as he paced in front of the crowd.


How To Find The Hidden Apple Music Sleep Timer On iPhone And iPad, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Even though it’s been a requested feature from users for years, Apple strangely hasn’t built a sleep timer directly into its Apple Music app. However, there is a way to do it natively with iPhone and iPad, you just have to make use of the Clock app.

The Controversial 1Password 8 For Mac Update Is Now Available For Download, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

Fans of the popular password creation and management tool 1Password now have a new version of the company's Mac app to try. 1Password 8 for Mac is now available for download and it brings with it a bunch of improvements — but it isn't going to please everyone.

Camo App Now Lets You Use iPhone As Your Mac Webcam With FaceTime, Safari, And QuickTime, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Camo now has official support to use your iPhone as the webcam in FaceTime, Safari, and QuickTime Mac apps.

New HomeKit Products Help Bring Smart Lighting To Your Older Home, by David Snow, Cult of Mac

Leviton offered five new smart-home products in its Decora line Monday. Three of them help bring HomeKit-enabled smart lighting to older homes, which can be notoriously tricky: the Decora Smart No-Neutral Switch, Dimmer and required Wi-Fi Bridge.

The other two, for more modern abodes, are refreshes of the Decora Smart Motion Sensing Dimmer and Tamper-Resistant Outlet.

This Smart Water Bowl Tracks Your Cat’s Drinking Habits, by Medea Giordano, Wired

I've been testing Sure Petcare's app-supported Felaqua Connect water bowl for nearly a month, and it has kept me better informed without annoying my two cats more than I usually do. It tracks which pet drank from it and how many ounces were consumed. Small dogs can use the Felaqua too, but it's made for cats as they tend to not feel as thirsty as dogs, which could lead to real problems real fast. We feel dehydration, but your kitty friend might not.

Blizzard Introduces New 'Warcraft Arclight Rumble' iOS Game, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

The strategy game is set in the "Warcraft" universe and uses characters and locations from throughout the expanded franchise. Players will collect miniature figurines to assemble an army to decimate opponents.


WWDC 2022 Guests Will Be The First To See The New Developer Center At Apple Park, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

While details about the Developer Center are unknown, Apple Fellow Phil Schiller teased the project last year during the Apple vs. Epic Games trial. At the time, Schiller said that Apple was building a new Developer Center located at the Apple Park without further details.

In 2010, Apple launched the “Compatibility Labs” program for developers so that they could pay to spend a day inside the company’s campus with access to hardware and engineering support to test their apps. It’s likely that the Developer Center will be a similar space for developers to get help from Apple engineers and designers at any time, not just during WWDC.

Developers Can Apply For The WWDC In-person Event Starting May 9, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

While the WWDC keynote and sessions are still pre-filmed digital-only events, Apple is inviting developers to attend the special event in person. Attendees would watch the pre-recorded keynote and State of the Union alongside Apple engineers and experts and gain access to an all-new Developer Center.


Apple Supplier Foxconn Freezes Hiring Of New Workers For World’s Largest iPhone Factory In Zhengzhou Amid Citywide Lockdown, by Xinmei Shen, South China Morning Post

The world’s largest iPhone factory, operated by Foxconn Technology Group at its vast manufacturing complex in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, has suspended recruitment of new workers after the local government imposed a seven-day lockdown as part of Covid-19 control measures.

Downtown Portland Apple Store Floats Plan To Remove Metal Fence, Add Window Protection This Summer, by Kristine de Leon and Mike Rogoway, The Oregonian/OregonLive

The retailer installed the tall metal barrier in February 2021 as it was preparing to reopen from a pandemic closure for the first time since the previous spring. The storefront had been fully boarded up since a May 2020 protest over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd escalated into a destructive riot, during which a group smashed the store’s windows and took products from inside.

More than a year later, the tech giant is floating a plan for a more finessed security barrier.

Apple Store In Maryland Becomes Third To Launch Union Drive, by Aaron Gregg and Reed Albergotti, Washington Post

Organizers at the Towson Mall store near Baltimore say they have been drumming up support for nearly a year in coordination with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, two employees and a union organizer said. They say they have signatures from more than 65 percent of employees who are likely to be eligible, giving them a “supermajority” that would be difficult for the company to overcome.

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Would I spend all the money on airfares and hotels and whatnots just to go half-way around the globe so as to walk into Apple Park to watch some videos? No, of course not.

But if Apple Singapore is doing something on that night, I might be tempted to sign up. Here, the country is finally getting rid of many of the pandemic restrictions -- masks are still compulsory in most indoor situations -- and it might be a good time to go out and join a crowd. Besides, I haven't been to a midnight movie screening for a long time. (I've mostly stopped going to cinema even before these strange times.)

Of course, I am only a part-time Swift developer, writing apps and scripts for my own amusement. Maybe I shouldn't go compete for a seat with other developers.



Thanks for reading.

The Privacy-Not-Included Edition Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Mental Health Apps Have Terrible Privacy Protections, Report Finds, by Nicole Wetsman, The Verge

In the latest iteration of the guide, the team analyzed 32 mental health and prayer apps. Of those apps, 29 were given a “privacy not included” warning label, indicating that the team had concerns about how the app managed user data. The apps are designed for sensitive issues like mental health conditions, yet collect large amounts of personal data under vague privacy policies, the team said in the statement. Most apps also had poor security practices, letting users create accounts with weak passwords despite containing deeply personal information.

How Meditation Apps Became A Billion-Dollar Industry, by Newsy

There isn't a ton of information or studies on the effects of meditation and mindfulness, but the research we do have seems to suggest it might help. Plus, making that more accessible can make a difference.

New Study Used Apple Watch To Detect Weak Heart Pump In Patients, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

A medical study performed by Mayo Clinic used Apple Watch electrocardiogram data coupled with a custom algorithm to remotely detect a weak heart pump in patients.

A group of 2,454 Mayo Clinic patients with an iPhone and an Apple Watch with ECG functionality participated in the study. The research concluded that an Apple Watch ECG coupled with a well-developed algorithm could enable the early diagnosis of a weak heart pump.

On App Stores

Apple Pay Is Anticompetitive, Says EU In Preliminary Ruling, by James Vincent and Thomas Ricker, The Verge

Apple has been hit with an antitrust accusation by the European Union over its exclusion of rivals from its Apple Pay mobile payment system. The EU has sent Apple a formal “Statement of Objections” with the preliminary view that Apple has abused its dominant position in mobile wallets on iOS.

“The Commission takes issue with the decision by Apple to prevent mobile wallets app developers, from accessing the necessary hardware and software (‘NFC input’) on its devices, to the benefit of its own solution, Apple Pay,” reads the decision. “Today’s Statement of Objections takes issue only with the access to NFC input by third-party developers of mobile wallets for payments in stores.”

Dutch Regulator Still Unsatisfied With Apple's Rules Surrounding Dating Apps, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

In a statement obtained by journalist Nando Kasteleijn, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) said that while Apple eliminating its requirement for Dutch dating apps to create a separate app binary in order to accept alternative payments was an improvement, the company has yet to fully comply with Dutch and European regulations. The statement did not outline the specific conditions that Apple has yet to comply with.

The App Store Improvements Process Makes No Sense, by Jeff Johnson

If Apple had said all apps that have not been updated within the last three years must update, that would have made sense. There would be major complaints, of course, but at least it would have made sense. Alternatively and separately, if Apple has said all apps that fail to meet a minimal download threshold would be removed, that would again cause complaints but would nonetheless make some sense. The combination of these two criteria, though, is just… bizarre.


Apple Integrates Two New Smart Water Bottles With Health App, by David Snow, Cult of Mac

Are you drinking enough water? Probably not. But if you want to know for sure, Apple’s online and retail stores have started selling two new smart water bottles from HidrateSpark. They automatically track your water intake and sync it to the Apple Health app.


Don’t Call Tony Fadell An Asshole—He Prefers ‘Mission Driven’, by Steven Levy, Wired

The mission-driven person has a why. You ask, over and over, questions like, “Why are we doing this? Why are we doing it that way?” You really get into the details, because the details matter. And you say, “That's not good enough.” Other people are about their own ego. They're focused on their next promotion or their bonus or what Wall Street thinks about their performance. A lot of books were written about how Steve was like that. No, no, no, they don't understand. They’re confusing a person who wants to get it right with somebody who's just controlling.

Apple $95 Million Deal Over iPhone Replacements Gets Final Nod, by Julie Steinberg, Bloomberg Law

A $95 million class settlement resolving allegations that Apple Inc. provided consumers with subpar warranty-replacement iPhones and iPads got the final nod from a federal court in California.

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I'm not entirely convinced there is anything Apple can reasonably do now to avoid being scrutinized by regulators. I wish Apple doesn't lose its focus in making iPhone a great internet device, just like how Microsoft lost its focus in making Internet Explorer crush web applications.


Thanks for reading.

The Solid-Evidence Edition Monday, May 2, 2022

Some Health Apps Are Able Not Just To Diagnose Diseases, But Also To Treat Them, by The Economist

Since 2017 the FDA has approved more than 40 other health apps for problems as varied as diabetes, back pain, opioid addiction, anxiety, ADHD and asthma. They are reviewed under the rules for medical devices, usually in the moderate-risk category (which covers things such as pregnancy tests and electric wheelchairs).

Some European countries are designing special approval pathways that also stipulate how health apps are paid for through their health systems. In Germany health apps can get provisional approval for a year based on preliminary evidence of benefits, which obliges health insurers to pay for them. Apps that provide solid evidence from clinical trials get permanent approval. Twelve have already done so and another 19 are on the provisional list. France and Belgium are copying the German model.

Apps Not Busy Being Born Are Busy Getting Killed Off, by Nick Neer, Pixel Envy

But perhaps an elegant solution is the price Apple ought to be paying for being the sole source of native applications for iOS and iPadOS, its two most successful platforms by device sales. The App Store knows what device a user is browsing from, so it should only be offering compatible software anyway. That is possible regardless of whether the software was last updated yesterday or ten years ago.

Apple’s Overdependence On China Shows In $8 Billion Supply-Chain Snag, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

“When you back up and kind of zoom out, and look to see how the supply chain has done,” Cook said, “it’s been very resilient.” Everyone has struggled with the chip supply problems, he noted, and “I think we've done a really good job of managing through the Covid piece of it.”

That, of course, is fair. The company still managed to generate nearly $80 billion from just hardware in the second quarter, and analysts are estimating $62 billion in revenue from those products in the current quarter. But an $8 billion headwind is an $8 billion headwind, and Apple has never been a company to shy away from solutions.

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Doesn't Apple still have all the iPhone simulators that came bundled with Xcode? Maybe there is some way to preserve old iPhone apps on macOS?

On the other hand, Apple lack of nostalgia is injected into its DNA ever since Steve Jobs returned. I don't think preserving history, artistic or otherwise, is high up on the company's to-do list.


Thanks for reading.

The Next-Big-Thing Edition Sunday, May 1, 2022

Apple Inc., ‘After Steve’, by Clay Shirky, New York Times

Ive had been the key figure in product design for years, but in his elevated role, Mickle writes, “designers defined how a product would look and had an outsize voice in its functions. Staff began summarizing their power in a single phrase: ‘Don’t disappoint the gods.’” Apple’s wealth underwrote Ive’s perfectionism. Leather for the wristband was sourced from tanneries across Europe; countless hours were poured into the design and manufacture of the customized winding crown. Determined from the beginning to make ultraexpensive versions, Ive requested — and got — a new 18-karat alloy that was twice as durable as ordinary gold.

Yet as the story unfolds, it becomes clear the watch will not be the Next Big Thing. As Ive acquires more control than he had over the iPhone, the watch shifts from a useful screen on your wrist into a fashion object. Meetings with the Vogue editor Anna Wintour, a product event in Paris and the creation of a $17,000 model run alongside gradually reduced expectations for its health tracking and battery life. By the time it finally launches and sales fall short of projections, the reader has seen it coming, one decision at a time.


When the Next Big Thing turned out to be services — iCloud, Apple Music, the App Store — built on top of the Last Big Thing, Cook adapted brilliantly. He took Jobs’s advice and did what was right, but in ways that put less of a premium on the kind of work Ive was best at. The moral of that story is there is no moral. Even one of the richest, most beloved firms in the world could not make its most talented employees successful at the same time.

How Technocrats Triumphed At Apple, by Tripp Mickle, New York Times

To many present, Mr. Cook’s approval seemed like a win for Mr. Ive. But the designer would later recast it as a Pyrrhic victory. He would tell colleagues that the debate over the event and the larger struggle over the watch’s marketing were among the first moments that he felt unsupported at Apple.

With time, his grievances would grow. In the wake of Mr. Jobs’s death, colleagues said, Mr. Ive fumed about corporate bloat, chafed at Mr. Cook’s egalitarian structure, lamented the rise of operational leaders and struggled with a shift in the company’s focus from making devices to developing services.

Disillusioned with Mr. Cook’s Apple, Mr. Ive would depart five years later, in 2019. His exit would change forever the balance of power at the top of a company long defined by its product ingenuity, leaving it without one of its most creative thinkers and the driving force behind its last new device category.


Apple Thinks My Own AirPods Are Stalking Me, by Tiernan Ray, ZDNet

These are my AirPods Pro, which I have had for years now as I was able to verify by using the iPad to play a sound on the AirPods.

Apple's technology doesn't know these are my own AirPods. The strange behavior began to appear in February.

You Probably Didn't Realize, But Apple Still Sells iPods, by John McCann, TechRadar

2022 may be the final major software update for the iPod Touch, which gives Apple something to think about in 2023. Does it continue forcing software upgrades onto a device with seriously dated tech that will likely struggle to run future releases; retire the iPod line forever; or launch an audacious eighth generation?

For Enterprises That Use Mac, Consider 1Password Or LastPass As A Company-wide Password Management Solution, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

For years, IT departments have told users to use complex passwords that aren’t repeated. That advice didn’t come with any solutions to help people properly manage them, though. Today, tools that were previously aimed at consumers now have strong enterprise offerings. For IT departments looking to ensure password security, both 1Password and LastPass have strong solutions.


Honey, Let’s Track The Kids: The Rise Of Parental Surveillance, by Tim Lewis, The Guardian

Macy was frantic: she stretched for her phone, but couldn’t reach it. She listened out for passing cars, but it was a remote spot and they didn’t come often. The first went by without stopping, then the next, then a third. It became dark. Macy had lost feeling in the arm that was trapped, and her neck throbbed. By 10.30pm, 28 cars had come and gone. But then the 29th did stop: Macy heard the doors open, and the voices of her stepfather and brother calling her name. They followed the tyre skids down the embankment and her stepfather held her hand through the blown-out sunroof. Macy had kept it together until this point, but now she sobbed.

The family had found Macy using the Find My Friends app, which allows users with Apple iPhones to share their location with others. Her mother, Catrina Cramer Alexander, had checked it when Macy hadn’t come home and was not answering calls. They then jumped in their car and followed the pulsing blue dot to the ravine.

Apple’s Not-So-Secret Plan To Take Another Gigantic Bite Of The Microchip Market, by Christopher Mims, Wall Street Journal

If the same holds true for modems, it could mean that future Apple devices will do things that simply aren’t possible with Apple’s current combinations of its own chips and those of others. Those could include putting cellular connectivity into smaller devices—possibly even AirPods—or augmented-reality experiences that feel more real than what is currently possible.

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My thesis is that if Windows CE wasn't such a 'success', beating out Palm OS and getting Palm to abandon their own OS and move to Windows, Microsoft will be more humble in realizing the threat from iPhone, and, who knows, Windows Mobile may still be around.

Now, if Apple's iPhone wasn't such a huge success, and Apple wasn't such a rich company, will Mr Ive's Apple Watch be a better watch/fitness/communication device at launch? Will Mac computers not have to suffer the lost years of missing ports and non-functional keyboards?

Not that the Apple Watch isn't a success now, and not that Mac are not selling like hot cakes. Nevertheless.


From the inability of iPadOS to living up to customers' expectations to the entire Safari fiasco, Apple still have problems to figure out.


Is Apple also working on tiny SSDs too? Maybe put some into AirPods so that all the bluetooth glitches from time to time don't affect the audiobooks that I am listening.

If I remember correctly, one of the early selling points of iPods is music that doesn't skip. It's time to apply that to AirPods.


Thanks for reading.