The Decades-Old-Multi-Window-Multi-Tasking Edition Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Apple Releases macOS Ventura With FaceTime Handoff, Continuity Camera, Stage Manager, New Apps And More, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

A new Continuity Camera feature does away with the need for a poor quality built-in Mac camera because it allows you to use your iPhone as a webcam for your Mac.

macOS 13 Ventura: The Ars Technica Review, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Apple wisely takes an ain't-broke-don't-fix-it approach to macOS's standard multitasking model in Ventura by turning Stage Manager off by default and making people go hunting for it if they want to use it. You can't change your Mac's UI in a major way by accident.


The major difference between Stage Manager on the Mac and Stage Manager on the iPad is that the Mac has a robust, decades-old, multi-window multitasking user interface undergirding it. Once in a "stage," windows interact with each other in familiar ways, with no need for padding between the apps and the edges of the screen. It's always clear which window on which stage has focus, and when apps communicate with each other (say, when clicking a link in a non-browser app, bouncing you to a browser), the interaction makes logical sense, swapping stages or jumping to an already-open stage on other monitors gracefully.


The overarching problem is that System Settings bends or breaks some of Apple’s own rules about what makes a good Mac app.

macOS Ventura Review: A Work In Progress, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

I’ve used macOS Ventura for the past few months and haven’t had any issues. It seems like a pretty safe upgrade. And yet I can’t shake the feeling that Apple is rushing some of its features out the door before they’re fully baked. I hope the company spends the rest of this product cycle improving what it’s shipping as macOS 12.0. For now, I’d give it an incomplete grade and attach a note that it requires more effort to keep it from getting a failing grade.

macOS Ventura: The MacStories Review, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Despite its sometimes confusing design, one of the benefits of Stage Manager over features like Spaces is that it’s more immediate. Whereas Spaces suffered from being out of sight and, therefore, out of mind, Stage Manager’s strip on the left side of the screen keeps your app sets front-of-mind and makes it easy to switch between them. That’s a win as far as I’m concerned, but it comes with some very big caveats.

iOS 16.1

Apple Releases iOS 16.1 With Support For iCloud Shared Photo Library, Matter, Live Activities And More, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

With this update, Apple is adding several features that did not make it into the launch version of ‌iOS 16‌. There is support for iCloud Shared Photo Library for managing a photo library with friends and family, plus it adds Live Activities to the Lock Screen and the Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro models.

Apple Explains What 'Clean Charging' Is For iOS 16.1 - But It's US Only For Now, by Daryl Baxter, TechRadar

In a support document (opens in new tab), Apple states that when this feature is enabled, your iPhone gains an overview of the carbon emissions being used in your area, and iOS 16.1 will charge your device during times when cleaner energy production is being used.

iOS 16.1: These 33 Apps Are Already Using Live Activities And Dynamic Island, by Jason Cross, Macworld

If you just upgraded to iOS 16.1 and want to see what Live Activities are all about, you should start with these apps (in alphabetical order), which have all been updated with Live Activities support.

iPadOS 16.1

Apple Releases iPadOS 16 With Stage Manager, Weather App, Desktop Class Apps And iOS 16 Features, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Alongside iOS 16.1, Apple today released iPadOS 16.1, with the update coming after several months of beta testing. This is the first version of iPadOS 16 that has been available for Apple’s tablets, as iOS 16 was released on its own back in September. iPadOS 1 was delayed in order for improvements to be added to the Stage Manager feature.

Stage Manager In iPadOS 16: At The Intersection Of Bugs, Missing Features, And Flawed Design, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

At the end of all this, here’s how I feel about Stage Manager: Apple started from a good idea – make the iPad more useful by using more apps at once – and botched the execution in iPadOS 16.1 with an over-designed, poorly tested, muddled constellation of missing features, bugs, and confusing interactions.


Stage Manager makes iPadOS feel disjointed and broken, an erratic OS confusingly looking for an identity that used to be within reach.

iPadOS 16’s Stage Manager Is Not The Future Of Multitasking You Were Hoping For, by David Pierce, The Verge

Here in the real world, trying to figure out how Stage Manager works turns into a wild puzzle requiring a wall of Polaroids and a ball of yarn.


There’s really no discernible mental model to help you understand how Stage Manager works, and it often doesn’t seem like anyone at Apple has used this thing for very long.


2022 iPad And iPad Pro Review: Mixed Feelings, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

I love what some of these changes signal about how Apple views the iPad. A trackpad is standard issue on even the low-end iPad’s keyboard accessory—that’s an endorsement in using the iPad with a traditional laptop-style input method. The new placement of the FaceTime camera suggests that Apple is acknowledging that horizontal orientation is preferred over vertical. Adding a function row to the keyboard suggests that Apple has gotten the message that iPad keyboard users would prefer the same quick controls that users of Apple’s laptops have had for ages.

I just wish that future iPad vision was here across the entire product line rather than scattered here and there. Apple seems to be taking the iPad in a good direction. I just wish we were there already.

Apple iPad (10th Gen) Review: Stuck In The Middle, by Dan Seifert, The Verge

In a vacuum, there’s very little to complain about with the 10th-gen iPad. It’s an excellent tablet that does all of the things you expect from a tablet very well. Even though its screen isn’t as good as other iPads, it’s still good enough, and its performance is unimpeachable. If this was the only iPad Apple sold, many people would buy it and be perfectly happy with it.

But in context with the many other iPads that Apple sells, I’m not sure why you’d pick this one. If cost is a factor, you’re buying an iPad for a kid, or need a headphone jack, the still-available and much less expensive ninth-gen model is the one to go with. For a lot of people, the ninth-gen model is the better iPad for their needs. If you want the bigger screen and more modern design, the iPad Air is right there with its better display, even faster processor, and better accessory landscape, and you can frequently get it for less than $100 more than the new iPad.

The New iPad And iPad Pro Review: Mixed Signals, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

When considered individually, these new iPads are solid options in their respective categories – each delivering on the different goals Apple set out to accomplish for these product lines in 2022.

It’s when you zoom out and take a broader look at the new state of the iPad lineup that things become…a bit more confusing.

More OSes

Apple Releases watchOS 9.1 With Battery Life Improvements And Matter Integration, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Today’s update introduces an extended battery life option when using Outdoor Walking, Running, and Hiking Workouts. You can opt to reduce the frequency of heart rate and GPS readings if you have an Apple Watch Ultra, a second-generation Apple Watch SE, or an Apple Watch Series 8.

Apple Releases New HomePod 16.1 Software With Matter Support, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

According to Apple’s release notes, HomePod software version 16.1 includes support for the Matter smart home standard.

tvOS 16.1 Now Available For Apple TV With New Siri Interface And More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Most notably, this update includes a redesigned interface for Siri that is more compact and with more personalized responses.

On App Stores

Apple Updates App Store Review Guidelines Around Matter, NFTs And More, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple is now requiring that apps provide the App Review team with full access to an app, with an active demo account or demo mode for apps that include account-based features. The change will make it easier for app reviewers to investigate all of the parameters of an app.

Apple Issues New App Store Rules For Crypto And NFT Payments, by Vlad Savov, Bloomberg

Apple specifically guides against any app functionality that lets NFT holders “unlock features or functionality within the app,” which may have served as an oblique workaround to its payments rule. That may affect some NFT projects that use the token like a membership card, providing added perks and access not otherwise accessible.

On Security

Apple Fixes New Zero-day Used In Attacks Against iPhones, iPads, by Sergiu Gatlan, BleepingComputer

Apple revealed in an advisory today that it's aware of reports saying the security flaw "may have been actively exploited."

The bug (CVE-2022-42827) is an out-of-bounds write issue reported to Apple by an anonymous researcher and caused by software writing data outside the boundaries of the current memory buffer.


Apple Is Raising The Price Of Apple Music, Apple TV+ And Apple One From Today, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple said the increase in Apple Music subscription price was due to increased licensing costs. The company said artists and songwriters will earn more per stream as a result of the pricing tier changes. Regarding Apple TV+, the company said the increased price reflects the growing catalog of original TV shows and movies.

Pixelmator iPad Apps Updated With Apple Pencil Hover, More iPadOS 16 Features, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Both Pixelmator for iPad and Pixelmator Photo for iPad have been updated to support the new iPadOS 16, bringing new features including Apple Pencil hover.


Tim Cook Calls On Apple's Suppliers To Decarbonize By 2030, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Now Apple's CEO Tim Cook is calling on its suppliers to accelerate the decarbonization of Apple-related production.

"Fighting climate change remains one of Apple's most urgent priorities, and moments like this put action to those words," Cook in a statement. "We're looking forward to continued partnership with our suppliers to make Apple's supply chain carbon neutral by 2030."

The End Of Apple’s Affair With China, by The Economist

Could Chinese manufacturers outside China be targeted by American sanctions? For now this is unlikely, believes Nana Li of Impax, an asset manager. “There are no handy alternative [suppliers] available with the same level of experience, efficiency and cost-effectiveness,” so cutting them off would hurt American firms, she points out. In time, that could change. Countries like India and Vietnam are keen to build up their own suppliers. Tata is reportedly in talks with Wistron, a Taiwanese manufacturer, about making iPhones in India. Indian manufacturers report that “the fruit company” is discreetly on the hunt for local suppliers.

Given the direction of relations between America and China, it is surely sensible for Apple to place some side-bets, before restrictions go any further. Chinese firms outside China are safe for now, says one Western investor in Asia. But “the noose is tightening”.

UK Regulator Warns Over Big Tech’s Growing Interest In Finance, by Tim Bradshaw, Financial Times

The UK financial regulator has warned that Big Tech’s growing interest in payments, lending and other finance products might harm competition and leave traditional providers at a disadvantage.

The Financial Conduct Authority is launching an inquiry this week into moves by Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook’s parent Meta into retail financial services. It is asking the Big Tech companies, their partners and potential rivals for their views on Silicon Valley’s expansion into payments, deposits, credit and insurance.

Bottom of the Page

This morning, when I reach office, I noticed a new icon appearing on the top-left corner of my iPhone; a new icon that I don't recognize. It's a little television icon -- that also looks like a little monitor.

Strange. I have not updated to the new iOS 16.1 yet, so it couldn't be a new feature, can it? Did my iPhone suddenly connect to a wireless monitor somewhere in my office? Or did I accidentally started playing some videos on some Apple TV somewhere in the meeting rooms?

One DuckDuckGo search, one Google search, and one reboot later -- I remembered. Last week, I've set up a new Focus mode that is only enabled when I am in office. All the new focus mode did was to switch lock screen to one with the battery widgets so that I can easily see how much battery was left in my AirPods while I work.

And thanks to hybrid work arrangement, I've forgotten all about it until this morning when I, five days after setting the new focus mode, step into office. And panicked.



Thanks for reading.