The Cut-Out-Distractions Edition Friday, October 7, 2022

What’s New With Focus In iOS 16, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Many of our complaints about Focus from last year still hold. It remains overly complicated, and with the addition of Lock Screen linking and Focus Filters, the overall iOS 16 user experience can become even more unpredictable. Less attentive users should give Focus a wide berth beyond Do Not Disturb, Driving, and possibly Sleep (which is the only way to turn off the iPhone 14 Pro’s Always-On display automatically). But Apple seems to be in love with Focus, and if used carefully, it can be a powerful way to cut out distractions for better productivity during work, higher quality family time, and more focused activities.

Meet Seven Hispanic And Latin App Creators Breaking Barriers With Technology, by Apple

Often, a truly great app is a reflection of the people who built it. Entrepreneurs around the world are launching apps on the App Store to provide meaningful avenues for connection and empathy, make the world more inclusive and accessible for everyone, and honor their rich cultures and identities. The teams from Encantos, BightSite, and Yana — comprised of Hispanic and Latin founders and developers — showcase how creativity combines with passion and skill to bring best-in-class apps to life.

Flaw In macOS Archive Utility Could Let Attackers Bypass Gatekeeper, by Andrew Orr, AppleInsider

One of the best reasons to keep macOS up to date is protecting yourself against security issues — and Jamf found a big one in the summer of 2022 that allowed attackers to bypass macOS Gatekeeper.

Jamf Threat Labs found the vulnerability in macOS Monterey 12.5. The company reported it to Apple on May 31, 2022, and Apple patched it in July.


A Few Weeks With The Always-On Display And Dynamic Island In The iPhone 14 Pro, by Josh Ginter, The Sweet Setup

For me, the always-on display has provided the iPhone with a new level of utility. In the always-on display, the glanceability of the Apple Watch comes to the iPhone. If I ultimately end up with an Apple Watch, perhaps my tune will change.

For now though, my iPhone is more useful than ever before.

MagSafe Battery Pack One Year Later: Still The One To Beat, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

Our initial impressions and review ended up proving true in the long run. The MagSafe Battery Pack remained our favorite way to charge the iPhone when away from a dedicated charger.


Apple, Spotify Podcast Feeds Pose Challenges For Growing Subscriptions, by Sara Guaglione, Digiday

Podcasters are increasingly offering subscriptions as a way to grow complementary revenue and offer listeners bonus content or additional benefits. But they’re waiting on Apple, Spotify and other podcast-hosting platforms to offer more flexibility and features to grow listenership and make it easier for people to find the shows that offer subscriptions.

Why Big Tech Shreds Millions Of Storage Devices It Could Reuse, by Anna Gross, Alexandra Heal & Ian Bott, Financial Times

Mick Payne remembers the moment the madness of the way we dispose of our data was brought home to him.

The chief operating officer of Techbuyer, an IT asset disposal company in Harrogate, was standing in a large windowless room of a data center in London surrounded by thousands of used hard drives owned by a credit card company. Knowing he could wipe the drives and sell them on, he offered a six-figure sum for all the devices.

The answer was no. Instead, a lorry would be driven up to the site and the data-storing devices would be dropped inside by authorized security personnel. Then industrial machines would shred them into tiny fragments.

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I'm still using only just a single focus mode; it turns off most of my notifications, and switches to a black-and-white wallpaper. Probably because I am already starting with a very limited set of allowable notifications, I didn't find a need to set up more focus modes.


Thanks for reading.