The Noticeably-Lighter Edition Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Hands On With The M2 MacBook Air, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

When I picked one up for the first time, I felt reassured. It was noticeably lighter (a tenth of a pound, or about 50 grams) than the M1 Air I pick up all the time. It’s also quite thin, though instead of the classic wedge design, Apple has kept it a consistent 0.44 inches (1.13cm) thick—thicker than the thin end of the wedge but thinner than the thick edge.


I lament the loss of more fun colors for these laptops, but I have to admit that Midnight looks great to me. I miss the days of a truly black Apple laptop, and while Midnight isn’t quite that, it’s very close. It’s a striking look in a way that Space Gray just isn’t—because Space Gray is just Silver dialed back a few notches. Midnight will never be mistaken for Silver or Space Gray.

Apple’s Design Is Getting A Little More Human-friendly — Sort Of, by Allison Johnson, The Verge

Humans are different from end users, because we forget words, make typos, and accidentally hit send on an important email before it’s ready. Humans also have individual personalities and strong opinions about typefaces, and we’d like it if the devices we carry around 24/7 reflected that a little more. Historically, Apple has preferred to keep a tight grip on every aspect of its devices, from how they look to the way humans are allowed to interact with them. This year’s WWDC gave us a glimpse of Apple softening that grasp just a little to acknowledge the humans on the other side of its product pipelines. It’s a welcome development, but don’t be mistaken — Apple isn’t handing over too much control.

What It Was Like Attending WWDC ’22 At Apple Park, by Mark Sullivan, Fast Company

This morning’s keynote was the first Apple event I can remember that was held outside. In a clearing in the trees just next to the Apple Spaceship, the company sat out perhaps a thousand canvas beach chairs in front of a large stage with a big monolithic video screen and a fancy sound system. The sun smiled down. Dragonflies and hummingbirds danced through the air above the crowd. Robins flew by higher up.

Continuity Camera

Apple Explains How It’s Making Your iPhone A Full-fledged Webcam For Mac, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

macOS will detect your iPhone as a camera and microphone, period, so every camera app should work. While Apple only showed off FaceTime and mentioned Zoom, Teams, and Webex during the big WWDC 2022 keynote, developers shouldn’t need to do anything to their apps for them to work.

WWDC 2022: All About Continuity Camera, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Then there’s Desk View, which provides an image of what’s on your desk, as if it was being viewed from an overhead camera. Desk View always uses the ultrawide camera because it needs that wide field of view to look all the way down to your desk surface. (If you’re not using Center Stage, your face will be captured by the wide camera while Desk View is captured by the ultrawide. If you are using Center Stage, then both views will be calculated simultaneously from the ultrawide camera.)

Desk View is an odd one. It’s actually an app called Desk View that displays that faux overhead view, calculated by rotating and de-skewing the output from the ultrawide camera. The reason it’s an app is so that you can use screen-sharing mode in video conferencing apps to capture the Desk View window and share it when you want to. (There’s also a Desk View API that means that video apps should be able to use Desk View as a camera directly if they want to.)

More From WWDC

iOS 16: Tapbacks Will No Longer Spam Your SMS Group Chats, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The hero changes to iMessage in iOS 16 are the addition of edit button and undo send features. However, there’s also another enhancement that Apple didn’t mention on stage: the dreaded Tapback spam in SMS group chats has been resolved.

Apple is now using a very similar strategy to the hacky workaround that Google rolled out earlier this year to tackle the same problem for Android users receiving Tapback messages from iPhone users.

Handoff Lets You Swap FaceTime Calls Between Devices In iOS 16, iPadOS 16 And macOS Ventura, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

If you get a ‌FaceTime‌ call on your iPhone while you’re out of the house, you can answer it on the go and then swap over to the larger screen of a Mac when you return home. Or you can answer a call on your Mac and transfer over to an ‌iPhone‌ or iPad for a more portable ‌FaceTime‌ experience.

macOS Ventura's Clock App Is The Mac App I Didn't Know I Needed, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Where the Clock app surprises and delights is around timers. If you set a timer, the countdown is automatically added to the Menu Bar at the top of your Mac. Clicking it opens the Clock app, and the countdown continues even if you quit the Clock app. I can see this new built-in feature being very useful for managing tasks and time while working on the Mac.

Coming Soon?

iOS 16 Code Includes Multiple ‘Always-on Display’ References Ahead Of iPhone 14 Pro, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

All of the frameworks discovered by 9to5Mac are used by different components of iOS, including the Lock Screen. Additionally, and most notably, there are multiple references to an always-on display within the Springboard — which is what manages the Lock Screen (and home screen) of iPhone. Apple Watch does not use Springboard.

On Privacy and Security

Apple CEO Tim Cook Worries Losing Privacy To Big Tech Could Change People's Behavior, by Megan McCluskey, Time

“I fear deeply the loss of privacy,” he told TIME executive editor John Simons Tuesday at the TIME100 Summit. “If we begin to feel that we’re being surveilled all the time, our behavior changes. We begin to do less. We begin to think about things less. We begin to modify how we think. In a world like that where we’re restraining ourselves, it changes society in a major way.”

Cook went on to say that it’s difficult to argue that people shouldn’t own their own private data. “It’s tough to say that a company, or anyone for that matter, should be able to step in and on an uninformed basis vacuum up your data,” he said. “That’s a large concern of mine.”

Period And Fertility Apps Can Be Weaponized In A Post-Roe World, by Vittoria Elliott, Wired

When the draft of the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade was leaked to the public in early May, Elizabeth C. McLaughlin kicked off a social media storm. The founder of the Gaia Leadership Project, a company that trains women leaders and entrepreneurs, tweeted: “If you are using an online period tracker or tracking your cycles through your phone, get off it and delete your data. Now.” It had never occured to many women, until then, that their data could be weaponized against them. But experts that spoke to WIRED say that fertility and period-tracking apps—along with the myriad other data trails that users leave behind—could be a rich source of data for law enforcement looking to punish women if abortion is outlawed or criminalized.


Belkin's New ANC Earbuds With Find My Support Challenge AirPods Pro, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

The just-launched Belkin SoundForm Immerse Bluetooth earbuds offer more than just great sound. They have active noise cancellation, and also work with Apple’s Find My network so they can be located with an iPhone.


Apple Revamps Human Interface Guidelines With New Organization & More, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Apple's Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) has been switched over to a unified document instead of platform-specific guidance. Apple says it's much simpler to explore commonality between platforms while still preserving relevant details about each.

When it comes to navigation, the guidelines have been given a massive revamp. That includes the ability to browse through components, principles, and more. Large sections will now include a visual index, and individual pages will feature links to related resources.

Apple Updates Its Human Interface Guidelines, by Nick Heer, Pixel Envy

While the concept of “merging […] platform-specific guidance” is not comforting to those of us who believe in the right guidance for individual platforms, it is useful for Apple to avoid redundancy.

Apple’s Xcode Cloud CI/CD Service Comes Out Of Beta, by Frederic Lardinois, TechCrunch

The idea behind the Git-based Xcode Cloud is to give developers in the Apple ecosystem a bespoke CI/CD solution that is tightly integrated with the rest of Apple’s ecosystem of developer tools. The service is built right into the Xcode IDE, for example, but also features integrations with TestFlight and App Store Connect, as well as XCTest for creating unit and UI tests. It also integrates with the major Git repositories like GitHub, GitLab and Bitbucket.


iPhones To Require USB-C Charging By 2024 Under EU Agreement, by Scharon Harding, Ars Technica

The European Union (EU) has reached an agreement that will make USB-C charging no longer just a convenience but a requirement for iPhones and all other mobile phones by the fall of 2024. The plan extends to additional consumer electronics using wired charging, including digital cameras, tablets, and, at a later date, laptops.

Bottom of the Page

Okay, so there are quite a few people who are saying that the Midnight MacBook Air is the blue laptop (under certain lighting condition), but no matter how hard I squint my eyes, I cannot see the blueness in Apple's web pages.

Maybe I need the XDR Display.

My first blue computer is the famous iMac Bondi Blue. And then, there's the blue iPod mini. And now, I'm using the blue iPhone 12 mini. Otherwise, all the other computers are all different shades of black. I think I want more colorful devices in my future.


I wish Apple has released Continuity Camera back at the beginning of these strange times.

However, there is a pretty neat feature of Microsoft Teams. I can join a meeting on both my Mac and my iPhone, the former for sharing screen, and the latter for the camera and microphone. And Teams will merge these two logins to a single presence in the meeting. A different kind of continuity, given that Microsoft is no longer a major player in the platform-owner game.

Teams is pretty bad in other areas, though, so this is not an endorsement. :-)


Thanks for reading.