Archive for February 2023

The All-In-On-Streaming Edition Tuesday, February 28, 2023

MLS Opening Weekend On Apple TV Points To An Expensive Future For Sports Streaming, by Andrew Webster, The Verge

While it’s far from the biggest sports league, MLS represents an interesting test case for going (mostly) all in on streaming. It’s a large and growing league — it just added a 29th team in St. Louis this year — and is also relatively young, without the baggage of some of its more established contemporaries. MLS fans don’t have entrenched broadcasts like Monday Night Football or Hockey Night in Canada that could be upended by a shift to streaming. It’s as close to a blank slate as you can get for a league with an existing fan base.

MLS And Apple: The Grand Media Experiment Begins, Plus Pac-12 Media Thoughts, by Richard Deitsch, The Athletic

“For the first time in 27 years, there is a media platform and a media partner that has the exact same energy and the exact same ambition that the league has,” Twellman said, who spent 13 years at ESPN. “This league is prepared to go to new heights and they need to go to new heights. The way Apple goes about their business has always been unique to me because they open up a blank piece of paper and they write down how can we make the consumer experience better? In 2022, there were 62 different start times for (MLS) games. So Apple alone comes in and says: We want to change this. We’re going to simplify the schedules. That is something all of us that who have been around this league and this game have waited 27 years for. What convinced me was the energy, the resources and the ambition of Apple wanting to take Major League Soccer where they’ve always wanted to go and just haven’t been able to go there.”

Moving Out

Apple Suppliers Are Racing To Exit China, AirPods Maker Says, by Nguyen Xuan Quynh and John Boudreau, Bloomberg

Apple Inc.’s Chinese suppliers are likely to move capacity out of the country far faster than many observers anticipate to pre-empt fallout from escalating Beijing-Washington tensions, according to one of the US company’s most important partners.

AirPods maker GoerTek Inc. is one of the many manufacturers exploring locations beyond its native China, which today cranks out the bulk of the world’s gadgets from iPhones to PlayStations. It’s investing an initial $280 million in a new Vietnam plant while considering an India expansion, Deputy Chairman Kazuyoshi Yoshinaga said in an interview.

Qualcomm Again Hints At Apple’s Future iPhone Plans, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

The company’s latest remarks imply that the 2023 iPhone 15 line-up may be the last to carry Qualcomm 5G chips — though Apple is unlikely to fully switch to its own 5G radios until it is reasonably certain they are good enough.

With that in mind, it makes sense to anticipate Apple might put its 5G chips into other product families first, potentially beginning with 2024 iPad refresh.


A Swiss IT Manager’s 500-piece Vintage Apple Collection Is Going Up For Auction, by Scharon Harding, Ars Technica

Over 500 Apple computers and related accessories are being auctioned off next month online and in Beverley Hills, California. The auction will feature numerous products dating from 1977 to 2008, including Macintosh systems from the '80s, more modern machines like the 2001 iMac G3, and old-school accessories like RH Electronics' Mac N' Frost external fan and surge protector.

Linux Is Not Exactly “Ready To Run” On Apple Silicon, But Give It Time, by Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica

It is true that upstream support for Apple's M1 chips is present in 6.2 and that the 6.2 kernel will gradually make its way into many popular distributions, including Ubuntu and Fedora. Work on Apple's integrated GPU by the four-person Asahi core team has come remarkably far. And founder Linus Torvalds himself is particularly eager to see Linux running on his favorite portable hardware, going so far as to issue a kernel in August 2022 from an M2 MacBook Air.

But the builders of the one Linux system that runs pretty well on Apple silicon are asking everybody to please just give it a moment.

iPhone 15 USB-C Accessories To Have Limited Data And Charging Speeds Without MFi Certification, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple’s iPhone 15 series will officially only support USB-C accessories that have been certified by Apple’s own Made for iPhone (MFi) program, potentially limiting the functionality of accessories not approved by Apple, an established leaker has now claimed.

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So long as there is one cable out there that is not certified by Apple, and will cause a fire during fast-charging if not for Apple's operating system to limit the cable's capability, Apple will have make its case.

Time for EU politicians to spend their time doing meetings and drafting documents.


Thanks for reading.

The Assumptions-and-Behavior Edition Monday, February 27, 2023

How A Thief With Your iPhone Passcode Can Ruin Your Digital Life, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

While the chance of any given person falling prey to this sort of attack is vanishingly small, and I’m not actually worried for myself, the Wall Street Journal reporting led me to think about and clean up my broader security assumptions and behavior. I appreciated the nudge, and I’d encourage you to reflect on your security situation as well.

Subscription Fatigue And Related Musings, by Riccardo Mori

The changes I’d love to see sound perhaps too idealistic, but I think it could be great if we could go back to an App Store that is more focused on purchases rather than subscriptions. One-time purchases at more realistic prices, with an easy way of offering paid updates for subsequent major app releases, and more meaningful, less nickel-and-diming in-app purchases. A fairer system focused on app purchases would also be less exploitable than a subscription system, less prone to abuses and fraud. I also wish Apple did better at detecting scam apps and subscription schemes, and made the lives of legitimate developers easier after years of jumping through stupid hoops and being subjected to a volatile and seemingly random app review process.

How Reuters Used AirTags To Reveal Dow's False Recycling Promises, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

We’ve seen countless clever use cases of Apple’s AirTag item trackers, but nothing quite like this one. As part of an investigative report into recycling practices of Dow Inc and the Singapore government, a Reuters reporter planted hidden AirTags into 11 pairs of donated shoes.

“Dow said it was recycling our shoes. We found them at an Indonesian flea market,” the headline of the resulting story reads.


Apple’s Secret ‘XDG’ Team Is Working On More Than Just A Glucose Monitor, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The Exploratory Design Group operates as a startup within Apple and is made up of only a few hundred people, mostly engineers and academic types. That’s a far cry from the many hundreds of people in the Special Projects Group, which is focused on Apple’s self-driving car, or the more than a thousand engineers in Apple’s Technology Development Group, the team building the mixed-reality headset.

Beyond the glucose work, XDG is working on next-generation display technology, artificial intelligence and features for AR/VR headsets that help people with eye diseases. The team originally came together under Athas to work on low-power processor technologies and next-generation batteries for smartphones, efforts that continue.

Apple's Machines Are Learning More Intelligently As Bard And Bing, by Dan Moren, Macworld

One reason that Apple’s AI work is sometimes overlooked is simply one of terminology. While the company doesn’t often talk about “artificial intelligence,” it does spend a lot of time discussing “machine learning” (ML), which is a critical underpinning to a lot of Apple’s latest technologies.

Though machine learning may technically only be a subset of artificial intelligence (and there’s some disagreement on even that) the two terms are often used interchangeably, at least on a colloquial basis. The large language models behind tools like ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Microsoft’s new Bing chatbot take advantage of machine learning technologies, as do image generators like DALL-E and Stable Diffusion. Broadly speaking these are all technologies that involve algorithms that use data to learn and improve.

NYC Thieves Stealing Apple Headphones Off Victims' Heads, by AP

The thefts started on Jan. 28 and have typically involved four people on two mopeds riding up to victims from behind, snatching their Apple AirPods Max headphones and then speeding off. The noise-canceling devices currently retail for $549 a piece.

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I have no desire to chat with Siri.


Thanks for reading.

The Satellite-Location Edition Sunday, February 26, 2023

Satellite Data: The Other Type Of Smartphone Data You Don’t Hear About, by Tommy Cooke, Alicia Sabatino, Benjamin Muller, and Kirstie Ball, The Conversation

By using critical code and documentary research methods, we found that raw satellite location measurement data are perpetually created in our devices all the time.

Because satellite data are building blocks used by our phones to determine where we are, they don’t always get turned off—nor are they collected and treated the same way as location data.

Apple Exploring Use Of Tech Sensors For Detecting Mental Health Problems: Sumbul Desai, by Ayushman Kumar, Moneycontrol

During the Fireside Chat event, Sumbul Desai emphasized the importance of validating signals that could indicate a clinical condition and the significance of contextual information in the research.

“We view it as a journey to go on, to be able to understand not just physical health, but holistic overall health and mental health as an important part of overall health. So we're excited to see what we'll learn through that research,” she added.

On The Internet, Nobody Knows You’re A Human, by Kate Lindsay, The Verge

Over the past few years, AI tools and CGI creations have gotten better and better at pretending to be human. Bing’s new chatbot is falling in love, and influencers like CodeMiko and Lil Miquela ask us to treat a spectrum of digital characters like real people. But as the tools to impersonate humanity get ever more lifelike, human creators online are sometimes finding themselves in an unusual spot: being asked to prove that they’re real.

Almost every day, a person is asked to prove their own humanity to a computer

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Life is short... and that's why I need to hurry up on my hobby projects.


Life is short... and that's why I am not going to hurry and just enjoy the journey.


Thanks for reading.

The New-and-Emerging-Threats Edition Saturday, February 25, 2023

Apple Responds To Report About Thieves Spying On iPhone Passcodes To 'Steal Your Entire Digital Life', by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

In response to the report, an Apple spokesperson said “security researchers agree that iPhone is the most secure consumer mobile device, and we work tirelessly every day to protect all our users from new and emerging threats.”

“We sympathize with users who have had this experience and we take all attacks on our users very seriously, no matter how rare,” the spokesperson added. “We will continue to advance the protections to help keep user accounts secure.” Apple did not provide any specific details about any next steps it might take to increase security.

Apple Should Really Invest In Anti-theft Security Features For iPhone And iPad, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

But the first thing Apple should do is remove the option to reset the Apple ID password using just the iPhone and iPad passcode. This is extremely alarming for a company that claims to be concerned about privacy and security. Most people use weak passwords for their devices, and Apple itself offers a 6-number PIN as the default option for iOS.


'Marathon' Is Letterboxd For TV Shows, by Jake Peterson, Lifehacker

True to the pitch, Marathon makes it easy to track the shows you watch. The app pulls show data from JustWatch, so you should have no problem finding virtually any program you’re following.


How Spotify's Podcast Bet Went Wrong, by Max Tani, semafor

Spotify was a one-company podcast bubble. Its drastic cuts have triggered a podcast winter, as the small studios it helped support consolidate and lavish narrative productions wane. But rivals from tech giants Amazon and Apple to the radio company iHeart have found better returns on more cautious bets. Spotify’s pivot has more in common with the recent cuts to Hollywood’s spending on streaming television.

The Streaming Services That Are Priced Right - And The Ones That Miss The Mark, by Christofer Hamilton, The Wrap

The pricing landscape has shifted a bit since the last time we looked at this. For example, when Apple TV+ made their first price increase since launching, the new price point meant that the platform looked overpriced relative to the competition. However, looking at the data for Q4 we see that as other platforms have increased prices, Apple TV+ again looks like a good deal for subscribers.

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You know we are supposed to verify your data backups, to make sure they can be restored in an emergency? (The International Verify Your Backups Day is on every Friday the 13th.)

Maybe we should also practice how fast we can lock a lost or stolen phone / tablet / computer?


Thanks for reading.

The It-Could-Win Edition Friday, February 24, 2023

Apple Says It'll Fight A Potential Apple Watch Ban – And History Suggests It'll Succeed, by Hamish Hector, TechRadar

For one, Apple has told TechRadar that it will appeal the ITC’s decision – an appeal it could win – and for another, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has ruled that key patents in AliveCor’s ITC case are invalid (i.e., they're inventions that should not be patentable). AliveCor is, understandably, appealing the PTAB decision, but while these appeals are being resolved Apple Watches won't be banned in the US.

And if history is anything to go by, Apple will likely succeed in preventing a ban being imposed on its smartwatches, whether it wins the legal battle or not.


Fitness App Gentler Streak Adds Wellness Tracking, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Gentler Streak, the fitness app for the Apple Watch and iPhone that takes a holistic approach to training and recovery, has been updated to version 3.0 to incorporate additional health metrics, so users can get a broader picture of their overall wellbeing.

'SugarBot' Calorie And Sugar Tracking App Now Has A Version For Apple Watch, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

SugarBot is an iPhone app that helps users maintain a healthy diet by tracking the levels of calories and sugar in what they eat. Starting today, users of the app will also be able to access it directly from the Apple Watch thanks to its latest update that comes with a watchOS version.

Keychron M3 Wireless Mouse Review: Faster Than Magic, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

The M3 Wireless Mouse is a lot more affordable than Apple’s Magic Mouse and it has more to offer: a wider range of tracking speeds; Bluetooth or 2.4GHz wireless connectivity; wired connectivity where you can still use the mouse; and a comfortable fit.

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I use a Windows machine at work, and a Mac computer everywhere else. I find that I have no idea switching between the two different desktop operating system. I don't get confused between the Dock and the Taskbar. I have no problems switching between Command key, and the hodgepodge of Alt and Windows and Control keys over at the dark side.

There is only one problem that I have. I have occasionally looked at the wrong screen corner for the clock.

(If you've never used Windows 11 before: the clock is on the bottom right of the screen.)


Thanks for reading.

The Launch-Studio Edition Thursday, February 23, 2023

Apple Files Bluetooth 5.3 Listing Amid Rumors Of New MacBook Air And Mac Pro, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple this week filed a new listing in the Bluetooth Launch Studio database, a move that sometimes foreshadows the launch of new products. The filing does not mention any specific products, but it lists the latest Bluetooth 5.3 standard and references a prior macOS-related listing, suggesting the filing could be related to upcoming Macs.

iOS 16.4 Code References New ‘Compute Module’ Device — Mac Pro, Reality Pro, Or Something Else?, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

9to5mac has found a new “ComputeModule” device class in Apple’s iOS 16.4 developer disk image in the Xcode 16.4 beta release last week, and it could be the missing piece to Apple’s modular Mac Pro plans… or it could be a processor box for the Apple Reality Pro headset, or perhaps even a Raspberry Pi-like device.

Apple Makes Major Progress On No-Prick Blood Glucose Tracking For Its Watch, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The goal of this secret endeavor — dubbed E5 — is to measure how much glucose is in someone’s body without needing to prick the skin for blood. After hitting major milestones recently, the company now believes it could eventually bring glucose monitoring to market, according to people familiar with the effort.

If perfected, such a breakthrough would be a boon to diabetics and help cement Apple as a powerhouse in health care. Adding the monitoring system to the Apple Watch, the ultimate goal, would also make that device an essential item for millions of diabetics around the world.


Center Cam Solves Webcam Eye Contact Problem, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

If you’re looking for a webcam that will help you maintain eye contact during video calls, the Center Cam is worth considering. Its approach of putting the camera precisely at your eye level in the middle of your screen works well and doesn’t obscure more of the screen than is necessary. Although I wouldn’t recommend it if your office has a lot of windows, it’s ideal for anyone who works in dark surroundings.

Artifact, The AI-powered News App From Instagram’s Co-founders, Is Now Open To All, by Jay Peters, The Verge

Instagram’s co-founders are throwing open the doors to their new personalized news app, Artifact. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger’s new app launched last month with a waitlist, but now anyone on iOS or Android can download Artifact to try it for themselves.

Spotify Launches AI-powered Personal DJ Feature With 'Stunningly Realistic Voice', by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Spotify has announced a new “AI DJ” feature, which it says is a “brand-new way to listen on Spotify and connect even more deeply with the artists you love.” The feature will deliver a “curated lineup of music alongside commentary around the tracks and artists we think you’ll like in a stunningly realistic voice.”

Uber’s Redesigned App Uses The Latest iPhone Features, by Umar Shakir, The Verge

Uber is launching a redesigned version of its app that introduces a homescreen that the company says makes hailing a ride and ordering takeout food a lot easier. Uber is also adding enhancements to the app that make use of the latest iPhone and iOS features.


The iPhone’s Dynamic Island Isn't Living Up To Its Potential, by Ian Carlos Campbell, Inverse

More iPhones with the Dynamic Island is more reason to develop for it. Selling every iPhone with 3D Touch capabilities wasn't enough to make it catch on, but the Dynamic Island is highly visible and a part of what’s become an iconic (post-home button) visual signifier of Apple’s phones — the camera cutout. Maybe all it needs is a little more oomph to become the vital component it was sold as.

Apple Is Convinced My Dog Is Stalking Me, by Katie Malone, Engadget

Or, I could deal with the minor inconvenience knowing that somewhere out there, this feature is helping someone else stay safe. I think I’ll go with that.

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Oh, the sweet scent of Mac rumors… Is Apple ready for a spring event to complete the Apple Silicon transition? Sure smells like it.


Thanks for reading.

The Helping-Creators Edition Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Apple Highlights Free Live Sessions For App Developers And Podcasters To Learn From Experts, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Starting this month and throughout the weeks ahead, Apple is hosting a new round of free sessions with experts to help creators who are working on apps and podcasts. Registration is open now for support with discovery and marketing, optimizing subscriptions, and more.

Apple Store Customer Claims Uber Driver Stole Their $2,000 Delivery Order And Apple Won't Offer Refund, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The underlying issue appears to be that Apple and its courier partners like Uber have inadequate measures in place to prove that an order was actually delivered, leaving the burden of proof on the customer in incidents where theft may have occurred.


Beats Fit Pro Launching In New Tidal Blue, Volt Yellow, And Coral Pink Colors, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Originally launched in late 2021, Beats Fit Pro are an alternative to Apple’s AirPods Pro which offer many of the same features such as active noise cancelation (ANC) and an H1 chip for Apple-specific features like “Hey Siri” and Find My support and automatic device switching, but in a more fitness-focused design.

Twelve South Intro New HiRise Pro Stand For M2 MacBooks With Integrated MagSafe Charger Slot, by Rikka Altland, 9to5Toys

Alongside all of the ergonomic improvements for your MacBook, Twelve South is also adding some extra functionality into the HiRise Pro. Sitting in the base of the stand is a slot for your MagSafe charging pad. Sitting underneath the vegan leather-padded surface is a cut out for you to slot in your own existing official MagSafe charger.

Strange Things Are Happening With Rovio’s Angry Birds, But Arcade Version Safe For Now, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

From what it sounds like, more (or enough) people may be playing the classic which does not have in-app purchases like Angry Birds 2, Journey, Blast, and Friends. That’s the most likely factor hurting the “business case” for Rovio’s apps going forward.


Biden Won’t Stop A Potential Ban On Importing Apple Watches, by Victoria Song, The Verge

Medical device maker AliveCor announced today that President Biden has upheld an International Trade Commission ruling that could result in a potential import ban on the Apple Watch over its EKG feature.


Biden’s decision doesn’t mean every Apple Watch from the Series 4 to the Apple Watch Ultra (excluding both generations of the SE) is about to disappear off shelves. Apple’s Smith told The Verge the ITC’s ruling doesn’t have any real impact at the moment. That’s because the Patent Trial and Appeal Board recently ruled that AliveCor’s EKG tech isn’t actually patentable, and AliveCor would have to win its appeal to that ruling for any potential ban to take effect.

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Today I found out that Siri pronounced SGT, Singapore Timezone, as sergeant. I guess time information just next to the abbreviation wasn't a enough signal to Siri.

Related: Siri also pronounces the 'wind' in 'wind down' as the thing that is 'perceptible natural movement of the air'. This is my daily reminder on one of my iPhone app to get myself to start my wind-down process at the end of the day. I guess I should rename this reminder some day, eh?


Thanks for reading.

The Capturing-the-Game Edition Tuesday, February 21, 2023

This Pro Photographer Shot The Big Game On His iPhone, by Jacob Krol, Sports Illustrated

Chances are, you watched Super Bowl LVII from home via the official broadcast (and hopefully on a large screened TV). But for the lucky few in attendance, fans and famous alike, it was the chance to see it “IRL” and capture the moment with a smartphone.

SI Showcase had the chance to connect with pro photographer Kevin Mazur, who’s worked with celebrities, athletes, and even presidents, about capturing the game from the sidelines at State Farm Stadium with his pro rig and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Yes, Apple’s flagship $1,099 smartphone.

A New Kind Of Bug Spells Trouble For iOS And macOS Security, by Matt Burgess, Wired

Researchers from security firm Trellix’s Advanced Research Center are today publishing details of a bug that could allow criminal hackers to break out of Apple’s security protections and run their own unauthorized code. The team says the security flaws they found—which they rank as medium to high severity—bypass protections Apple had put in place to protect users.

“The key thing here is the vulnerabilities break Apple’s security model at a fundamental level,” says Doug McKee, director of vulnerability research at Trellix. McKee says that finding the new bug class means researchers and Apple will potentially be able to find more similar bugs and improve overall security protections. Apple has fixed the bugs the company found, and there is no evidence they were exploited.

Apple Reveals Multiple New Security Exploits That Were Patched With iOS 16.3 Updates, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

The new exploit listed by Apple that was patched with iOS 16.3.1 is related to a “maliciously crafted certificate” that could lead to a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, when the attacker floods the device or network with traffic to trigger a crash. Apple says the DoS problem has been fixed with “improved input validation.”


Apple's Communication Safety Feature For Children Expanding To 6 New Countries, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Communication Safety is an opt-in feature in the Messages app across Apple’s platforms that is designed to warn children when receiving or sending photos that contain nudity. In the coming weeks, it will be expanding to the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Japan, South Korea, and Brazil.

Apple Store App Updated With New Features For Shopping Lists, More Details On Retail Stores, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Lists in the Apple Store app make it easy to save products for later and organize things you may want to buy from Apple. With the new version of the Apple Store app rolling out today, you can now share those lists with other people. Apple has also added new ways to find and manage your lists from throughout the app.

Multiple HomePods Responding To Siri Requests, Instead Of One Taking Priority, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

A significant number of users are experiencing multiple HomePods responding to Siri commands simultaneously. This is something that is normally prevented by Apple devices communicating with each other.

Microsoft Office For Mac 16.70, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The Excel update introduces the Power Query Editor, which lets you clean and shape your data from local files, SharePoint, SQL, and tables and ranges.

Hands-on: How Plugable’s Docking Stations Help Turn Your iPad Into A Desktop Computer, by Fernando Silva, 9to5Mac

It allows you to use your iPad as an iPad without needing to fumble around with undocking your iPad while also allowing you to stay plugged into your secondary display.

Clicker For Disney Plus Is The Best macOS App That Disney Has Yet To Make, by Daryl Baxter, iMore

Clicker for Disney+ is a free third-party app developed by dbk labs that allows anyone with a Mac to watch Disney Plus shows on their Mac without needing to dip into Safari or Chrome. It also lets you take advantage of features that you can't use when in a web browser, such as picture-in-picture support.


A 15-inch MacBook Air Is Fine But These Apple Devices Need New Screen Sizes Too, by Dan Moren, Macworld

Recent reports suggest that the Cupertino-based company might soon be releasing a MacBook Air with a larger 15-inch screen. Strategically, that makes a lot of sense: the MacBook Air is Apple’s best-selling Mac, and for it to only be available in a single size is a missed opportunity. Yes, there are upsell opportunities for those who want a larger display above all else, but given that currently entails a jump all the way from $1,200 to $2,000, many customers won’t take the leap–especially if they don’t need the power or performance of a MacBook Pro.

Screen size has proven to be a key differentiator in many of Apple’s other product lines, and even the MacBook Air was available in multiple sizes in its past incarnations. But I say why stop there? There are plenty of other Apple products where another screen size might make a big (or small) difference.

Apple Launches New 'Car Key Tests' App For iPhone As Adoption Lags, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The app is meant for car manufacturers to test integration with Apple’s Car Key feature. Apple says that the app allows those companies to “test and validate” requirements for the certification process of adopting Car Key through its Made-For-iPhone program.

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Two years ago, I was expecting Apple to take full advantage of the transition to Apple Silicon and give us smaller Mac computers. The MacBook Airs remain at 13 inches, while the Mac mini, after so many years, does not deserve the "mini" moniker.

Okay, there probably isn't too much demand for a smaller Mac mini. Even though you and I can probably think of one hundred and one uses for a smaller Mac mini.

However, I do think a smaller MacBook Air will be quite popular. There are many people out there, I can see, are still proclaiming the previous 11-inch MacBook Air or the previous 12-inch MacBook to be their absolute favorites.

Come on, Apple. Small can be beautiful.


Thanks for reading.

The Get-to-Sleep Edition Monday, February 20, 2023

The Tech Helping People Get A Better Night's Sleep, by Egon Cossou, BBC

Could an increased use of apps and other technology designed to help us get to sleep be the solution? Many of us seem to think so.

In total, the global sleep technology sector was worth $15bn (£12.4bn) last year. The same report predicts that it will jump to $67bn by 2030.

How To Unlock Your iPhone With A Security Key, by David Nield, Wired

The thinking is that having something physical that stays with you is more secure than a passcode, which can be guessed, brute-forced, or viewed over your shoulder.

Apple Moves To Prevent iPhone Users From Getting iOS 17 Developer Beta For Free, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

This change will prevent iPhone users who aren’t enrolled in Apple’s Developer Program for $99 per year from installing the iOS 17 developer beta for free when it is released at WWDC in June.

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Different people will need different solutions to get back to sleep, obviously, but the keys to me getting back to sleep are as follow: firstly, don't open my eyes. Secondly, don't let my brain think.

What I do is to listen to audio programs with a sleep timer. Something that is not so boring that my mind wanders and start to worry about tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. But also not something that is so interesting that I get all excited. I've tried BBC World Service, but sometimes, the news got me all angry and awake. I've tried podcasts, but that means I have to subscribe to a bunch of podcasts that I listen to only in the middle of the night. Currently, I'm trying out some old audiobooks, especially science books with their quarks and particles and arrow of time.

I don't always succeed. (My longest record was four sessions of sleep timer; after which I gave up.) But so far, I have more successes than failures in getting back to sleep.

Thank goodness for my audiobook subscriptions, and thank goodness for some of the 'boring' science books that I do enjoy when I am wide awake.


I have not tried white noises. Based on what I think I know about my own brain, I am not optimistic.


Even fake balloons are in danger, nowadays.


Thanks for reading.

The Clicky-Buttons Edition Sunday, February 19, 2023

Apple, Please Don’t Take All Of The Buttons Away, by Allison Johnson, The Verge

For starters, there’s just no haptic button that feels as good or reassuringly clicky as a physical button. This is a completely objective observation based on data gathered by one individual: me, a person who has been pressing buttons for several decades. They rule.

Apple's AR Headset Will Arrive Right On Time, Even If It's Late, by David Price, Macworld

Then again, I’d rather wait than see a rushed product, and if the engineers can’t iron out the problems I’m happy to miss out entirely. The thing that separates Apple from other tech companies is its greater willingness to say the most important word in business: no. And its ability, most of the time, to ignore pressure to ship prematurely… no matter where it comes from.


Union Push To Tear Up Apple Pay Deal It Claims Sent Workers Backwards, by Angus Thompson and Nick Bonyhady, The Age

A Retail and Fast Food Workers Union analysis submitted to the workplace umpire as part of its bid to scrap Apple stores’ 2014 enterprise agreement argues most staff would enjoy more workplace rights – including better weekend pay and rostering – on default industry pay rules.


In a separate email to staff obtained by this masthead, Apple management said it disagreed with the union’s application.

“Apple pays its team members significantly higher minimum hourly rates of pay than the base rates of pay under the retail award, and provides many benefits and programs that are not available under the award,” the email reads.

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So, now is not the right time to wish Apple will put a dedicated iPod-like play/pause button on the next iPhone, is it?


Thanks for reading.

The Exception-for-Apple Edition Saturday, February 18, 2023

Apple Flexes Lobbying Power As Apple Watch Ban Comes Before Biden Next Week, by Karl Evers-Hillstrom, The Hill

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in December that Apple infringed on medical device company AliveCor’s wearable electrocardiogram patents. The commission’s ruling could result in an import ban on popular Apple Watch models, unless the Biden administration steps in.

Apple responded by contracting with Shara Aranoff, a lobbyist at Covington & Burling who chaired the ITC during the Obama administration.


Presidents typically don’t veto ITC rulings, but they have made an exception for Apple.

Notifications Unexpectedly Silenced? Blame Focus, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

This setting caused the MacBook Air to inherit my Driving and Sleep settings in Focus, which is confusing because they’re triggered by the iPhone, and if my iPhone thinks I’m either driving or asleep, I’m certainly not using the MacBook Air. For unknown reasons, the MacBook Air would regularly throw a notification about how the Driving Focus was enabled. I never understood why, because the Driving Focus is triggered only by the iPhone connecting to our cars’ Bluetooth systems, and I was patently not driving when I had the MacBook Air open on my lap in the dining room.

Perfect Showcase

Call Of Duty: Warzone Mobile Is Much Better Than I Expected It To Be, by Marshall Honorof, Tom's Guide

Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile was one of the games on display at an Apple press event highlighting the iPhone manufacturer’s latest advances in gaming. The company showed off everything from Apple Arcade’s extensive lineup on Apple TV, to The Medium running natively on Macs, to inventive fitness games from the Apple Entrepreneur Camp.

In fact, Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile was something of an oddity in that regard. It’s not designed by Apple; it’s not exclusive to iOS; it’s not part of Apple Arcade. But it does provide a perfect showcase for how well iOS can run mobile games, as well as how those games are starting to overcome the limitations of their platform.

Everything We Saw At The Gaming At Apple Dev Showcase, by Morgan Shaver, Shacknews

We were recently invited to a Gaming at Apple Dev Showcase event, during which we saw a number of games available on Apple platforms. From the already available LEGO Star Wars Castaways, to upcoming releases like Honkai: Star Rail from HoYoverse, here’s a look at all of the highlights from Apple’s recent Dev Showcase event!


Overall, gaming on Apple devices has never looked better with a smorgasbord of content to play now like LEGO Star Wars Castaways, or look forward to in the future like Honkai: Star Rail and Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile.


Apple Maps Now Offers Cycling Directions In Germany, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple Maps now offers cycling navigation in Germany, allowing users across the country to receive turn-by-turn directions while riding a bike.

Hands-on: Clever OtterGrip Case For iPhone Has A Built-in Grip And Still Works With MagSafe, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

It of course won’t be for everyone, but for those looking for an iPhone grip without losing access to MagSafe, it’s the most elegant solution I’ve seen with a relatively slender design.


Google Said To Give Apple Cut Of Chrome iOS Search Revenue, by Thomas Claburn, The Register

Google has been paying Apple a portion of search revenue generated by people using Google Chrome on iOS, according to a source familiar with the matter.

This is one of the aspects of the relationship between the two tech goliaths that currently concerns the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).


The British competition watchdog is worried that Google's payments to Apple discourage the iPhone maker from competing with Google. Substantial payments for doing nothing incentivize more of the same, it's argued.

A Behind-the-scenes Look At Every Apple Anniversary Award And How They’re Crafted, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

9to5Mac obtained a number of documents from multiple Apple employees detailing the company’s Anniversary Awards program. These include images of the awards, details on the production process, and more.

The program rewards long-tenured employees as they cross certain milestones. The physical Anniversary Award was originally made from crystal, but Apple refreshed it with new designs made from aluminum and stainless steel in 2019.

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I wish someone will go and re-create all the Ambrosia Software's games.


Thanks for reading.

The Just-Like-Native-Apps Edition Friday, February 17, 2023

iOS 16.4 Adds New Podcasts App Features Across iPhone, iPad, And CarPlay, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple today announced that iOS 16.4, iPadOS 16.4, and macOS 13.3 will include several new features for its Podcasts app across the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and CarPlay. The software updates were released in beta today and will be available to the public in the spring.

iOS 16.4 Adds New Capabilities For Web Apps On iPhone And iPad, Including Access To Push Notifications, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Home Screen web apps have access to push notifications via the HTML5 standard Web Push API, including badges, for the first time. Access to the Apple push notification service was previously only available to App Store apps.


Of course, every web app will also need permission to send notification alerts, just like native apps. Once set up, web app push notifications can also integrate with the Focus system. If you add the same web app to multiple devices, their Focus state will stay in sync for all of them.

Apple Is Making It Easier For Registered Developers To Install iOS Betas, But Eliminating Profile Sharing, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

[S]tarting with iOS 16.4, developers and users will find a special menu to enroll an iPhone or iPad in the Apple Developer or Apple Beta Software Program. The menu is similar to what was introduced with iOS 16 for the HomePod in the Home app; a similar option already exists on tvOS.

First Look: New Emojis In iOS 16.4, by Keith Broni, Emojipedia

New emoji designs have arrived on iOS as part of the first iOS 16.4 beta, including the shaking face, two pushing hands, and the much-requested plain pink heart emoji.

A total of 31 new emojis have made their Apple device debut in today's beta release, with all 31 of these designs drawn from Unicode's September 2022 recommendation list, Emoji 15.0.

iOS 16.4: iMessage Now Supports Rich Content Previews For Mastodon Posts, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Here’s an iOS 16.4 surprise: the Messages app now supports rich previews for Mastodon posts when you share a link to a post in an iMessage conversation. This brings Apple’s Mastodon support up to parity with the long-standing integration with Twitter for similar tweet balloon previews.

iOS 16.4 To Detail Always-On Display Battery Consumption For iPhone 14 Pro Users, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

This means that users will see a new category specific to the Always-On display in the Battery menu, similar to how it already shows specific categories for things like Personal Hotspot and No Cell Coverage.

iOS 16.4 Beta Re-Adds HomeKit Architecture Upgrade, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

In the Software Update section of the Home app, iPhone and iPad users who have not yet upgraded to the new architecture are seeing a “Home Upgrade Available” option after updating to iOS 16.4.


T-Mobile Customers Can Get Free MLS Season Pass In Apple TV App, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

T-Mobile today announced that its customers can receive a free subscription to MLS Season Pass, allowing them to watch live MLS matches through the Apple TV app.

Microsoft Officially Blesses Parallels As A Way To Run Windows On M1, M2 Macs, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Today, Microsoft is formally blessing Parallels as a way to run the Professional and Enterprise versions of Windows 11 on Apple Silicon Macs. The Arm version of Windows running under Parallels has some limitations—no support for DirectX 12 or newer OpenGL versions, no support for the Linux or Android subsystems, and a few missing security features. But it can run Arm-native Windows apps as well as 32- and 64-bit x86 apps thanks to Windows 11's Arm-to-x86 code translation features; pretty much anything that isn't a game should run tolerably well, given the speed of Apple's M1 and M2 chip families.

Strava’s Trying To Make Route Planning Easier By Crowdsourcing Photos From Users, by Victoria Song, The Verge

You can find route photos for any sport featured in the Routes section of the app, including running, trail running, walking, hikes, rides, mountain bike rides, and gravel rides. According to Strava, the platform has roughly 2.3 million photos from 200 million user-uploaded public activities in the past year to pull from. It estimates that more than 30,000 photos will be added to the Routes feature weekly from Strava users all over the world. That said, Strava says it won’t use any photos from activities or profiles that have enabled privacy settings.


I Don't Like Making The Best Things., by Vin Verma, Internetvin

I'm just me, so I should make me things.


Apple Has Begun Firing Contractors Amid Mass Tech Layoffs: Sources, by Lydia Moynihan, New York Post

Instead of waiting for contracts that are typically renewed every 12 to 15 months to expire, Apple is firing contractors outright, sources said. One contractor claimed to have been blindsided, saying Apple management had assured him that all jobs were safe. Only a few weeks earlier, some had been gloating that Apple hadn’t overhired like other tech companies, the source added.

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New episodes of shows on Apple TV+ arrive on Friday mornings, and I am working from home on Fridays, so I am grateful I get to watch new episodes of TV+ shows during my Friday solo lunch at my table.

And now, back to work.


Thank goodness I never have to reboot my mouse.

(I hope I am not giving any ideas to Apple.)


Thanks for reading.

The No-Published-CVEs Edition Thursday, February 16, 2023

macOS Big Sur 11.7.4, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Apple has released macOS Big Sur 11.7.4 with no release notes apart from a comment on the Apple Security Updates page that it “has no published CVE entries.” In other words, it’s a security update, but Apple isn’t saying what it fixes, which is somewhat out of the ordinary.

Podcast Companies, Once Walking On Air, Feel The Strain Of Gravity, by Reggie Ugwu, New York Times

Although many companies continue to invest in podcasts, and overall downloads continue to rise, interviews with a dozen current and former podcast producers and executives indicated increased reluctance among publishers to fund projects with no obvious path to short-term profitability. Short-run or seasonal narrative podcasts, which have a limited window to build audiences and attract advertisers, are under especially sharp scrutiny.

At NPR, even long-running and successful shows like “Planet Money” have pulled back on resource-intensive reporting and relied more heavily on reruns in order to cut costs.

Wi-Fi Sync Information Has Not Been Visible On iPhones For Years, Raising Privacy Concerns, by Nick Heer, Pixel Envy

The only way to know if an iPhone has Wi-Fi syncing turned on is by checking in Finder on the trusted Mac, or in iTunes on a Windows PC. If Apple is not retiring this feature, it should be possible to see if an iPhone has Wi-Fi syncing enabled on the phone itself.


If You Own An M2 MacBook Air Or MacBook Pro There’s An Update…for Your Cable, by Michael Simon, Macworld

There’s a software update you might have missed: a new firmware for the Apple USB-C to MagSafe 3 Cable used to charge the newest MacBook Air and MacBook Pros.

Apple's MLS Season Pass Will Stream Games In 1080p, by Billy Steele, Engadget

In what will be a disappointment for some, Apple will stream every game in 1080p. That's the same quality the company offered for its weekly Major League Baseball games last year. However, it's an improvement for MLS as every game wasn't available in 1080p previously. The plan is to have more cameras on the field at each match, so despite a lack of 4K, the comprehensive nature of the visuals should be better than what fans are used to seeing.

Big 1Password Update For iOS And Mac Brings Over 100 Improvements And Changes, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The new release brings over 100 new features, improvements, and bug fixes including the ability to reorder fields and sections inside items, keyboard shortcuts, improved search, Continuity and Handoff support for Apple devices, and much more.

Immersive New App Allows People To Control Their iPhone Via Eye-tracking Tech, by Sarah Sarsby, AT Today

The company estimates that there are over 100 million people worldwide with various disabilities that can affect access to mobile devices. In addition to helping people with disabilities, Athena Eye Control can also support people whose hands are occupied or who would prefer to read hands-free.

Plex Launches New Feature For Skipping TV Show And Movie Credits, Available On Apple TV And iOS, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Plex is out with a new feature that lets you easily skip the ending credits for any TV show or movie. Called “Credits Detection,” this is designed to let you quickly move on to the next episode of a TV show or find post-credit content.


Apple Pushes Back Mixed-Reality Headset Debut Two Months To June, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The iPhone maker is now aiming to unveil the product at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are confidential. Apple made the decision to delay the launch earlier this month after product testing showed that both hardware and software issues still needed to be ironed out, they said.

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I have been listening to podcasts since the invention of podcasts back in 2004, and I have never run out of podcasts to listen. I am not worried about not having enough podcasts to listen anytime soon.

Making and distributing podcasts is still not as easy as, say, posting in Mastodon. And I hope now with the success fo Mastodon, we can take another stab in making it easier to create podcasts in the open web.


Thanks for reading.

The Never-Designed-to-Provide Edition Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Is Apple Making A Mac Pro Nobody Wants?, by Jason Snell, Macworld

Here’s the problem with the Mac Pro on Apple silicon: Apple has spent more than a decade designing mobile processors to be power efficient, to share a fast pool of memory between CPU cores and GPU cores, and to integrate Apple-built GPU cores inside the same chip package. It’s a model that was made for the iPhone, but it turns out that it scales pretty well to the iPad and, as we’ve discovered over the last few years, even to the Mac.

That’s great, but the Mac Pro doesn’t want to be any of that. It doesn’t want to learn any of those lessons. A big tower Mac doesn’t worry about energy efficiency. It’s got huge cooling fans and is plugged into the wall. It wants expansion slots to load in more GPU horsepower. It wants loads of expandable memory. It wants what Apple silicon was never designed to provide.

Audiobook Narrators Fear Spotify Used Their Voices To Train AI, by Shubham Agarwal, Wired

Furlong was among the narrators and authors who became outraged after learning of a clause in contracts between authors and leading audiobook distributor Findaway Voices, which gave Apple the right to “use audiobooks files for machine learning training and models.” Findaway was acquired by Spotify last June.


The dispute led to a reversal this week from Apple and Findaway, according to labor union SAG-AFTRA, which represents recording artists as well as actors and other creatives. An email to members seen by WIRED said that the two companies had agreed to immediately stop all “use of files for machine learning purposes” for union members affected and that the halt covers “all files dating back to the beginning of this practice.”


There’s Finally A Way To Find Out When Your Apple Music Library Goes Spatial Audio, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Music Library Tracker is a third-party app for iPhone and iPad that helps you monitor additions, deletions, and other changes to your music library. [...] A new update to the app this week expands the app’s library monitoring to support Spatial Audio for the first time.


Apple To Scrutinize Customer History For New ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Service, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The lending criteria were revealed as part of a test of the service with Apple employees, who can now use the option for their own personal purchases. The evaluations determine whether the company is willing to lend money to applicants and how big an amount it will approve. Many testers are seeing loan approvals for $1,000 and under.


The new service will let Apple leverage its trove of data on customers, including their spending at company retail outlets, App Store transactions and services like Apple Cash peer-to-peer payments. Apple Pay, a mobile payment service launched in 2014, and the Apple Card, which debuted in 2019, have given the company an even closer connection to consumers’ financial lives.

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I agree: the Mac Pro need to be philosophically different from all the existing M1/M2 Mac computers. It need to be the most environmentally-unfriendly in its thirst for power. If Apple is still talking about power per watt, it is not a Mac Pro.


Thanks for reading.

The Exploited-in-the-Wild Edition Tuesday, February 14, 2023

iOS 16.3.1, iPadOS 16.3.1, macOS 13.2.1 Ventura, watchOS 9.3.1, tvOS 16.3.2, And HomePod Software 16.3.2 Fix Bugs And Security Vulnerabilities , by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Apple has once again pushed out updates to its entire family of operating systems, fixing bugs and addressing security vulnerabilities. Because one of these vulnerabilities—a bug in WebKit that could allow maliciously crafted Web content to execute code—is being actively exploited in the wild, we recommend installing all these updates immediately.

Apple Fixes Annoying HomePod Bug That Caused HomeKit Requests To Time Out And Fail The First Time You Ask, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The issue was that Siri on HomePod would fail to complete a smart home request the first time you asked. So for example, if you asked your new HomePod (second-generation) to turn on a Philips Huge lightbulb accessory, the first time you asked it would (probably) fail.

Apple’s Once Again Trying To Optimize The iPhone’s Crash Detection Feature, by Mitchell Clark, The Verge

Apple has released iOS 16.3.1, which includes “optimizations” for the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro’s Crash Detection feature that’s been criticized by some search and rescue personnel for setting off false alarms during winter activities like skiing and snowboarding.

If Google Photos Is Broken For You On iOS, You’re Not Alone, by Mitchell Clark, The Verge

Google Photos appears to be broken for many users following Apple’s latest iOS 16.3.1 update. Several Verge staff members, as well as people on Twitter, report that the app crashes on launch, making it impossible to access or manage your Google photo library.

Landmark Pieces

The Most Beautiful Building In The World, by Michael Steeber, Tabletops

Historic restorations aside, Apple has now constructed around two dozen stores that I think most people would consider landmark pieces of architecture. Beyond their value as retail spaces and community hubs, landmark stores significantly contribute to the architectural fabric of the neighborhoods they’re located in. Put simply: A city is objectively improved by the mere existence of the building, irrespective of its use or ownership.

Building these stores was a long-term strategy akin to the construction of Apple Park. Apple isn’t going to continuously hop up and down Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue or Singapore’s Marina Bay as tenant leases expire. But what if they needed to leave?

Our Style and Taste

How Apple Treated Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show Like Its Most Popular New Product, by Jeff Beer, Fast Company

Over the past few weeks, Apple has rolled out content, marketing, and features tied to Rihanna’s Super Bowl star turn: a trio of stylish spots, all based on Rihanna songs. Shazam downloads of Rihanna-themed wallpaper and watch screens. (Did you remember that Apple owns Shazam?) Apple Music radio has produced new shows such as Halftime Hype Radio, a 10-part series reflecting on some of the most notable Super Bowl halftime performances of all time, and Rihanna Revisited Radio, an eight-episode roundtable exploring the star’s cultural impact. Apple Music also worked with Rihanna over the past year to remix and remaster her entire catalog in order to be available in 360-degree spatial audio.

“This felt like something we were already quite good at—we operate radio studios 24/7 producing great radio content—and Tor and his team do great marketing,” says Schusser. “If you think about what they do for Apple keynotes, we thought we could take something that’s already very good, and make it better, longer, more global, upgraded with technology and our style and taste. Just compare this year’s press conference to last year’s, and you can see the difference.”


HomePod (Second Generation) Review: More Of The Same, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

My point is that the new HomePod doesn’t appear to address any of the underlying stability issues with the original model, and both Siri and AirPlay are frustratingly inconsistent. At $299, this is a premium audio product that can live up to that price when it’s working flawlessly—but the bugs and errors and quirks are so great that I can’t in good conscience recommend them to anyone who isn’t well-versed in troubleshooting misbehaving Apple technology.

People Keep Asking Why You're Silencing Their Notifications, Even When A Focus Mode Isn't On, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

It turns out this is a thing more people are seeing. iPhone users report experiencing this issue on various models of iPhones with both iOS 15 and iOS 16. If you’re seeing this too, the good news is you’re not alone. That probably means Apple will work to resolve it sooner than later (although we first wrote about this last fall and there’s still no fix).

The bad news is there’s no real workaround for now. If you’re not in a Focus mode, there’s nothing to turn off. Just keep toggling those Focus modes.


Apple Hits Stumbling Blocks In Move To Boost Manufacturing In India, by Patrick McGee, Financial Times

In China, suppliers and government officials took a “whatever it takes” approach to win iPhone orders. Former Apple employees describe instances in which they would estimate a certain task might take several weeks, only to show up the next morning to find it already completed at inexplicable speed.

Operations in India are not running at that sort of pace, said a former Apple engineer briefed on the matter: “There just isn’t a sense of urgency.”


Provincial governments “are bending over backwards to bring industry in, and they will do what China has done”, he said. “But, these are baby steps. Apple is now getting its feet on the ground, learning what does and doesn’t work . . . Give it three years and you’ll see it scaling up.”

The Changing Online Language Of Hearts, by Sheera Frenkel, New York Times

Over the past decade, as social media has become increasingly visual with photos and videos, teenagers have used their hands and bodies to fashion heart symbols to post on Instagram and TikTok. The ways they bend their wrists, fingers and joints have become increasingly complex as they seek out unique ways to say “I love you.”

“It’s hard to say ‘I love you’ without it feeling cringe,” said Quinn Sullivan, 21, a college student and TikTok creator from College Station, Texas. “We’re always looking for a new way.”

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I don't use Google Photos… so looks like it may be safe for me to update all my devices?

As usual, even though I have no problems updating my iPhone and iPad (almost) immediately, I will continue to wait until the weekend to update my Mac. Just in case the update failed, and I need time to get it back to working order.

It sure seems like I trust Apple's work on iOS, but I rely more on having my Mac up and running.

In the meantime, I will restrain from visiting unknown websites on my Mac. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Engineering-Challenges Edition Monday, February 13, 2023

Apple’s Push Into Next-Generation Financial Services Hits Delays, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

[B]ut it’s clear that the financial push has proven more difficult than expected. I believe the delays to all four initiatives stem from engineering challenges, as well as work on a next-generation financial system that will support them.


I believe Apple will wait to see how the initial version of Pay Later performs before expanding it to higher transaction amounts. The service will rely on an in-house lending subsidiary, and it behooves Apple to see how that works before launching a more extensive offering with partners and interest rates.

The Apps Getting Your Wardrobe Back Under Control, by Anne Cassidy, BBC

Via the app, garments are scanned, identified and stored virtually. Then the app can remind you of everything you own, with the hope of getting unworn clothes back into use.

It also connects people to local services such as a dry cleaners, places where they can donate no longer wanted items, and repair and alteration shops to extend the life of their garments.

Woman With Unusual Name Keeps Setting Off 'Alexa' And 'Siri' Devices At Work, by Florence Freeman, Daily Mirror

Alexa Seary, 27, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, whose surname is pronounced as 'Siri', says her Amazon Echo and Apple products constantly go off during online meetings when her name is announced.


Alexa now uses her name as an icebreaker and sees it as a positive thing rather than annoying.

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I am still not convinced that Apple should get into selling financial services. From where I can see, Apple has not really make any substancial better products than competitors, and it doesn't seem like it will do so anytime soon.


Thanks for reading.

The Streak-Reliance Edition Sunday, February 12, 2023

After Using Whoop, Apple Watch Clearly Has A Rest And Recovery Problem, by Brady Snyder,

That's a pretty big problem, with varying consequences of the Apple Watch's reliance on streaks. At best, a person might feel slightly dejected or let down after missing a ring or two and losing their streak. At worst, a person decides to over-train in order to keep their streak, causing a serious injury that prevents them for closing their rings for a much longer period of time. After using the Whoop 4.0 for a few weeks — a minimalist fitness tracker that's entire goal is to provide insight on strain, rest, and recovery — it's abundantly clear that the Apple Watch is disregarding an important part of long-term fitness.

Why Apple, Google, Microsoft Passkeys Should Soon Replace Your Own Passwords, by Barbara Collins, CNBC

Passkeys are the way of the future in basic internet security as they're intrinsically more secure and phishing resistant, according to Kathleen Moriarty, the chief technology officer at the Center for Internet Security. As major companies including Apple, Google and Microsoft work with the standards developed by the FIDO Alliance and World Wide Web Consortium — two organizations that create password authentication standards — to provide support for passkeys on their platforms, the list of organizations offering passkeys as an alternative to passwords is continuing to grow.

"Passkeys are an example of what security should be: seamless and invisible to the end user," said Moriarty.

7 Reasons Why Apple’s TV App Is Still A Frustrating Experience For Film Lovers, by Michael Grothaus, Fast Company

But for digital collectors like me, there is a big drawback to accumulating our movies through iTunes: the Apple TV app. To be clear, I’m talking about the TV desktop and laptop app for macOS and, now, Windows (Apple uses the “Apple TV” brand, confusingly, for its hardware, software, and services offerings). It’s the primary app that collectors use to organize and manage their iTunes-bought movies, though you can also do so, to a more limited degree, via the TV app for iPhone.

Unlike Apple’s other media management apps, which include Books, Podcasts, and Music, and which are capable, full-featured, and excellent repositories where collectors can manage their libraries, the TV app for Mac, despite being four years old, still feels like a bare-bones and frustrating experience for film lovers. These are our most common gripes.


Siri Remote Connectivity Issues Continue To Plague Apple TV 4K, Despite Recent tvOS Updates, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

For the last several months, a large number of Apple TV users have been battling connectivity issues with the Siri Remote. Despite growing complaints, however, Apple still hasn’t rolled out a fix for these problems — even in recent tvOS 16.3 and tvOS 16.3.1 updates.

I've Been Sober For 3 Years - An App Has Been Key To My Recovery, by Deidre Olsen, Metro UK

The app, which has become essential to my recovery, allows you to track your sobriety, build positive habits and connect with other members of the community.

As someone who has been sober for just over three years, I find the way I’m helped to celebrate milestones incredibly empowering.


More Than Half Of Twitter's Top 1,000 Advertisers Stopped Spending On Platform, Data Show, by Clare Duffy, CNN

Some 625 of the top 1,000 Twitter advertisers, including major brands such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, Jeep and Merck, had pulled their ad dollars as of January, according to estimates from Pathmatics, based on data running through January 25. The brands did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


A small number of Twitter’s top advertisers spent more on the platform in January than they did the month prior to Musk’s takeover, including ESPN, Salesforce and Apple, the latter of which Musk briefly and publicly feuded with for allegedly threatening to block Twitter from its app store. ESPN, Salesforce and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Tomorrow, here where I live, the requirement for wearing masks while taking public transports will be dropped. This marks the end of one of few remaining Covid rules. (The masking requirement in hospitals and health institutes remains.)

It has been three long years.

Certain things have changed. I no longer have the urge to go sit alone in a coffeeshop, a cup of coffee in my hands, earphones piping in audiobooks and podcasts, and watch the rain (if I am lucky) outside.

I have lowered my daily step-count goals from 10,000 down to 7,000, and occasionally you will see me walking around my dining table in the evening, trying to catch up.

It is easier to work at home than before, but I do have to learn a bit about VPNs and firewalls and such. And my workplace has also gone hybrid, just like the fruit company.

Updating this little website is one constant I have that I cherish.

I am sad to have to go through these three years, losing some along the way. My instinct (and all the science news articles) tells me it's not over, but I'm glad there had been three years of progress.

Glad to see you here, and thanks for reading.

The Never-at-Risk Edition Saturday, February 11, 2023

Apple Says Maps Privacy Bug Didn't Affect iPhone, Denies That Apps Used Location Data Without Consent, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In a statement to 9to5Mac on Friday, Apple clarified that iPhone users “were never at risk” because of this vulnerability. The company also refuted a report that said a Brazillian food delivery app was accessing user location without permission in iOS 16.2.

Apple says that the Maps vulnerability patched last week “could only be exploited from unsandboxed apps on macOS.” The fix was included in all of Apple’s software updates last week simply because that codebase is shared by iOS and iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS as well.


Apple To Defend Mobile Payment System At Feb. 14 EU Hearing, Sources Say, by Foo Yun Chee, Reuters

Apple Inc will seek to convince EU antitrust regulators that it does not block rivals' access to its technology used for mobile wallets at a closed hearing on Tuesday, people familiar with the matter said, the last chance for it to do so before possible hefty fines.

Is The iPhone's 'Made In India' Era About To Begin?, by Diksha Madhok, CNN

“Will India be able to replicate a Shenzhen version?” asked Pathak, referring to China’s manufacturing hub. Building such “hotspots” won’t be easy and would require India to think about issues ranging from logistics and infrastructure to the availability of workers, he added.

Experts told CNN that accessing land in a chaotic democracy like India could be a challenge, while the Chinese Communist Party faces fewer barriers to expropriating real estate quickly for causes it deems important.

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So, is this another case where Apple can tout that macOS' security is pretty good, but iOS' security model -- heck, even with Gatekeep turned on to only allow sandboxed apps -- is much better?


Thanks for reading.

The Internal-Shuffling Edition Friday, February 10, 2023

Secrets Inside The non-Pro iPhone 14, by Tim Biggs, Sydney Morning Herald

While the iPhone 14 may look near identical to the iPhone 13 on the outside, it’s actually had a significant design overhaul, with benefits you might not immediately understand if comparing it with an older model. These include weight reductions, cheaper and easier repairability, and longer battery life. The iPhone 14 Plus lasts longer than any other iPhone, and the standard 14 models have better sustained performance than last year’s Pros, despite sharing the same chip, thanks to some internal shuffling.

Suddenly, Big Tech Wants In On The NFL, by Alex Kirshner, The Atlantic

When Rihanna walks, or is raised, or is lowered onto the Super Bowl stage on Sunday, she will not merely be kicking off the game’s halftime show. She will be culminating Rihanna’s Road to Halftime, presented by Apple Music. The world’s most valuable company is in the first year of a reported five-year, $250 million deal to sponsor one of the most watched live-music performances anywhere, which happens to fit between two halves of a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles. For $50 million a year, a tech behemoth does not just want a good show. It also wants a music video with fans of all 32 NFL teams singing Rihanna’s hit “Stay.” It wants a 10-part streaming-radio series about the greatest Super Bowl halftime shows ever. And it wants to curate an “official collection of 32 playlists featuring the top songs that each NFL team listens to in the locker room, the weight room, and on game day.”


Apple Says iCloud Terms Can Be Accepted On Web After Viral Tweet, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple today shared a new support document explaining how to accept iCloud terms and conditions for an Apple TV without owning an iPhone or iPad.

Why You Should Use Obsidian As A Journaling App, by Khamosh Pathak, Lifehacker

Obsidian is a powerful, complex knowledge base that you can take your time exploring. However, you can leave all that aside and focus on what makes Obsidian such a great notes app: the writing environment.

Remastered 'Myst Mobile' Game Now Available On iPhone And iPad, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

It has been 30 years since popular puzzle game Myst first came out, and to celebrate the anniversary, developer Cyan today announced the launch of a new remastered “Myst Mobile” game that is available for the iPhone and the iPad.


Apple Store Online In Turkey Goes Dark In Recognition Of Devastating Earthquakes, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has turned its website dark in Turkey this week in recognition of the horrific earthquakes that struck the country on Monday. Apple has also confirmed that it is donating to relief and recovery efforts for Turkey, Syria, and anyone affected by these earthquakes.

Glasgow Apple Store Staff Make History As The First In The UK To Unionise, by Catriona Stewart, The Herald

This marks the first collective agreement with a trade union signed by Apple in the UK after the firm last year agreed to a voluntary recognition ballot after lengthy negotiations.

Staff joined the GMB union citing a wish to have greater power over pay negotiations and shift patterns, among other issues, and their action is believed to have influenced others at branches around Scotland and the UK to do similar.

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I remember playing Myst on my little old iMac Bondi Blue. It ran fine, I recall, but it wasn't fast, and the sound -- especially the voices in those little QuickTime videos -- wasn't clear. And if I remember correctly, there wasn't captions or subtitles then.

Now, there is a remastered Myst for iOS. And my iPad is too slow to even install the app.


Thanks for reading.

The Not-Going-Anywhere Edition Thursday, February 9, 2023

What If... Apple's Next Big Thing Never Comes?, by Jason Snell, Macworld

History is littered with companies that were so big, so successful as to be unstoppable–but ended up becoming irrelevant, switching to weird business models, selling themselves off for parts, or going bankrupt.

Nothing lasts forever, and it’s likely that eventually, some future Apple will be so mismanaged that it will slide into irrelevance. But the success of the iPhone and the inevitability of the smartphone as a popular product–plus some canny investments in whatever is next–suggest to me that Apple’s not going anywhere for a very long time.


Halide's New Feature Lets You Take Virtual Telephoto Shots On Non-Pro iPhones, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Halide 2.11 comes with a new feature called Neural Telephoto, which adds virtual lenses to the app’s interface that enhance details in shots by applying the same machine-learning that powers Halide’s macro mode.

Mujjo Classes Up AirPods Pro 2 With Echelon Leather Case, Adds Built-in Clip To First-gen Users, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Mujjo is out with its latest Apple accessory, this time for AirPods Pro. The Echelon leather case comes in multiple colors of premium leather with an integrated clip and works with both AirPods Pro 2 and the first generation.


Makers, by Matt Gemmell

For people who are makers, being perpetually involved in understanding and building and creating and expressing themselves, is often the only thing that makes life bearable.


Apple To Re-Release Revamped HomeKit Architecture In iOS 16.4, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple in its upcoming iOS 16.4 update will re-introduce the revamped HomeKit architecture it originally pulled in December due to widespread issues, MacRumors can confirm.

Apple Names First People Officer, Shifting Role From Retail Head, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. is hiring its first chief people officer and shifting human resources duties from its head of retail, overhauling the way the tech giant hires and supports employees.

The company is naming Carol Surface to the new role, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said in a memo to employees. That moves the responsibilities from Deirdre O’Brien, who has long run Apple’s human resources in addition to serving as its retail chief — a role she’ll continue to hold.

This Photo Of Lebron’s Record Should Be Apple's Next 'Shot On iPhone' Ad, by Michael Simon, Macworld

For the people who were there, some of whom paid as much as $75,000 for a seat, it was a moment in history they’ll never forget. Literally. As Lebron went up for what would be the record-breaking shot, everyone who was close enough whipped out their phones to record to moment. And nearly every one of those phones was an iPhone.

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Regulators coming in to dictate business models may not necessarily spell doom and gloom for Apple. In fact, typically when regulators start writing up pages and pages of rules for companies to follow, only big companies like Apple will have the resources to navigate the regulations.

Microsoft, for example, did not become irrelevant in the consumer market because of all the regulations dictating how to bundle web browsers in operating systems. It is really complacency after their Windows CE win over Palm causing them to take their eyes off Apple and Google, and their boneheaded and wrong Windows-everywhere strategy that did them in.


Thanks for reading.

The Embrace-the-Chaos Edition Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Apple Expanding iPhone's Communication Safety Feature To More Countries, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Communication Safety is an opt-in feature in the Messages app on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch that is designed to warn children when receiving or sending photos that contain nudity. In its press release today, Apple indicated that it is expanding the feature to more regions around the world in partnership with local experts. In recent months, Communication Safety became available in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, after launching earlier in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and New Zealand.

Urban Echoes: The Art Of iPhone Street Photography, by Adrian McGarry, TheAPpWhisperer

Taking photos in bustling streets is an exciting and challenging task that demands a sharp eye, fast reactions, and a good sense of timing. To embody the energy of street life, one must embrace the chaos and be fully immersed in the moment. For me, it’s about conveying the vibe and dynamism into a single frame.

Apple Expands Testing Of ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Service To Retail Employees, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. has expanded an internal test of its upcoming “buy now, pay later” service to the company’s thousands of retail employees, a sign the long-awaited feature is finally nearing a public release.


The first version of the new service will allow consumers to split a purchase made through Apple Pay into four installments paid over six weeks — without interest or fees. The company also has been developing a version of the service called Apple Pay Monthly Installments, working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc., that will split up the cost of large transactions over several months with interest. That offering hasn’t been announced yet.


Apple Rolls Out Revamped Website Design With New Dropdown Navigation Menus, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

With this change, Apple․com features a new navigation system with dropdown menus that automatically appear as you mouse over items in the navigation bar. For instance, when you mouse over the “iPhone” item in the nav bar, a dropdown menu will automatically appear that offers quick links to more details on the iPhone lineup.

macOS 11.7.3 Breaks Safari Favorite Icons, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple released macOS Big Sur version 11.7.3 in late January with security fixes, but the software update also introduced a new bug that prevents icons from appearing in Safari’s Favorites section, according to widespread complaints online.

Twelve South Refreshes Popular Aluminum Backpack Shelf For Apple Studio Display, by Rikka Altland, 9to5Toys

Clipping into the back of the Apple Studio Display, the accessory gives you a floating shelf to rest all kinds of different gadgets in your setup. Perfect for peripherals you’ll always have plugged into your machine, like hard drives and USB-C docks, or even just collectibles you want to show off, the Backpack provides the perfect spot.

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It seems just a little un-Apple-like for the new drop-down menus at the top of Apple's website to be fully text-only. No icons of computers. No waste-my-time animation that Apple is so fond of in the product pages.


Thanks for reading.

The Reset-to-the-Technology-Curve Edition Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Apple Execs On M2 Chips, Winning Gamers And When To Buy A Mac, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

The M1 whacked a big old reset button on those restrictions, putting portable back into the power computing lexicon. And with M2, Millet says, Apple did not want to milk a few percentage points of gains out of each generation in perpetuity.

“The M2 family was really now about maintaining that leadership position by pushing, again, to the limits of technology. We don’t leave things on the table,” says Millet. “We don’t take a 20% bump and figure out how to spread it over three years…figure out how to eke out incremental gains. We take it all in one year; we just hit it really hard. That’s not what happens in the rest of the industry or historically.”


“As a silicon person, I know that technology moves fast and I don’t want to wait around. I certainly want to push hard, as you can imagine,” says Millet. “We want to get the technology into the hands of our system team as soon as possible, in the hands of our customer as soon as possible. We don’t want to leave them wondering…do they not care about us? A new phone shipped last year. Why didn’t the Mac get the love?”

“We want to reset to the technology curve and then we want to live on it. We don’t want the Mac to stray too far away from it.”

Can The Second Generation Apple HomePod Save The Smart Speaker?, by Robert Leedham, GQ

If what was missing from the HomePod in 2018 was Apple's secret sauce of surprise and delight, where stuff just works straight out of the box, then that situation is on the way to being remedied. Partly through the HomePod’s own efforts, and partly because everyone else in the smart home arena has decided to get along at last. It’s an awkward coming-of-age story, for sure, but the payoff should be worth it.

Why I Ditched My Smart TV's Standard Operating System And Started Using Apple TV 4K Instead, by Alan Martin, Livingetc

In other words, you’re paying for the product in full, and your valuable data isn’t being used to subsidize the hardware sold at a loss. That’s reassuring if you’re suspicious of adverts following you around the web.


Apple Rolling Out Apple TV And HomePod Software Updates With Bug Fixes, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has not published in-depth release notes for tvOS 16.3.1 or HomePod software version 16.3.1. Instead, the company says: “Software version 16.3.1 includes general performance and stability improvements.”

'ReplyCube' Is A New Apple Mail Extension For Quickly Handling Reusable Responses, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The app aims to speed up email management by letting you create reusable messages, commonly referred to as “canned” messages, then access those messages right from the compose window in the Mail app.

Carrot Weather Gets Refreshed Map Styles, State And Province Labels, More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Carrot Weather has received its latest update today with updated map style sheets, US state and Canadian province labels, lots of bug fixes, and more.

'Dockhunt’ Site Lets You Share Your macOS Dock And Discover Apps, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

A new website has popped up that’s focused on sharing your macOS dock and getting inspiration from others. Called Dockhunt, it’s basically a social network, but for showing off the apps that you keep in your Mac’s dock. The goal is to help you discover new apps and also “see who else has docked the apps you use.”


Apple To Hold In-person 'AI Summit' Event For Employees At Steve Jobs Theater, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

For those unfamiliar, the AI summit is an annual event described as a “WWDC for AI,” but only for Apple employees. This time, however, the event will be quite similar to those before 2020. That’s because Apple will be holding live, in-person presentations in the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park.


But the fact that Apple will finally hold an event at the Steve Jobs Theater, which is the company’s main auditorium, makes us wonder if traditional media events will also make a comeback this year.

Restart Your iPhone Or iPad Using Siri, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

In iOS 16 and iPadOS 16, Apple has made restarting significantly easier by bestowing Siri with that capability. Just invoke Siri by holding down the side button or Home button, and then say, “Reboot.” Siri also understands “Restart this device,” “Restart my iPhone,” and so on, although using “Restart” on its own tends to cause whatever audio was playing previously to start again. You can also restart your device hands-free with “Hey Siri, reboot,” but your command could be picked up by multiple devices within range, which might not be desirable.

Hunting For A Dead Mouse: AirPlay Receiver To The Rescue, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

The next time you need to see around corners and into dark spaces, consider the combination of an iPhone and Mac connected through AirPlay.

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Now that Apple seemed to be at a great place hardware-wise across all the computers, I sure hope Apple doesn't screw up the computerization of iPads and tabletization of MacBooks.


Thanks for reading.

The Mostly-Touch-Friendly Edition Monday, February 6, 2023

macOS Isn't As Small As You Think, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

There's a narrative out there that touch is just so incompatible with macOS and that in order to make it work, the macOS UI would have to get blown up to comical proportions, but I don't think that's the case. Changes will be made, but I think macOS is more touch-friendly today than many people give it credit for.

Apple's End-to-End iCloud Could Be A Security Game Changer, by Joseph Cox, Motherboard

“For years we’ve had to deal with the fact that an entire copy of our phone lives on a server that’s outside of our control. Now the data on that server is under our control. That’s really all that’s changed here,” Matthew Green, associate professor at Johns Hopkins University, told Motherboard in an online chat. “I think it’s an extremely important development.”

Apple's Culture Is What Makes The Mac A Bad Gaming Platform, by Dan Moren, Macworld

At a high level, the heart of the issue is that there doesn’t seem to be anybody at Apple who has both a passion for games and is in a position to effect policy changes. One of the reasons the iPod and iTunes Store were so successful is because it was clear that Steve Jobs really was a music fan–it let him tap into what other music fans really wanted, and he had the drive to make the products great. That same enthusiasm has never really been there for other media, like TV or movies, which ended up more as items for Apple to check off a list.

Looking at the top level of Apple’s leadership, it’s hard to picture any of them as avid gamers. Sure, I’m certain most of them have played games from time to time, but I don’t sincerely believe any of them consider it something they’re passionate about in the way that Jobs was about music. I get a distinct impression, having covered this company for almost two decades, that the attitude of Apple towards gaming is still, at best, a well-meaning bafflement or, at worst, a more snobbish condescension.


Raycast Is The Launcher App Apple Wishes It Made, by Justin Pot, Wired

Raycast is a free Mac application that takes this even further. It can launch apps, yes, but it can do a lot more than that—like show you your clipboard history, organize your windows, and even put your computer to sleep. [...] Raycast is the best customization app I've come across in a long time. Here's what it can do.


A Third Place? I'm Not Sure I Even Have A Second Anymore., by Connor Oliver,

In a world where a third place is increasingly difficult to find, what do we do when we lose our second place as well? I honestly don't know and I have no insight to offer as I'm completely unqualified to do so, but I can say that I've noticed the affect it has had on my life more and more as time has gone on


Lisa Source Code: Understanding Clascal, by Eschatology

While Lisa appears to have an underlying procedural API similar to that of the Macintosh Toolbox, the Office System applications were primarily written in the Clascal language—an object-oriented dialect of Pascal designed by Apple with Niklaus Wirth—using the Lisa Application ToolKit so they could share as much code as possible between all of them. This framework is the forerunner of most modern frameworks, including MacApp and the NeXT frameworks, which in turn were huge influences on the Java and .NET frameworks.

One of the interesting things about Clascal is that it doesn’t add much to the Pascal dialect Apple was using at the time: Pascal was originally designed by Wirth to be a teaching language and several constructs useful for systems programming were left out, but soon added back by people who saw Pascal as a nice, straightforward, compact language with simple semantics that’s straightforward to compile. While in the 1990s there was a bitter war fought between the Pascal and C communities for microcomputer development, practically speaking the popular Pascal dialects and C are almost entirely isomorphic; there’s almost nothing in C that’s not similarly simple to express in Pascal, and vice versa.

Apple Couldn't Fix It, AT&T Couldn't Fix It. One Man's Descent Into iPhone Torment, by Chris Matyszczyk, ZDNet

You know that moment when your pilot tells you to sit back and relax?

Well, I'm going to suggest you lean forward and tense yourself.

For this is the tale of a man who thought he had a little problem and then discovered it was far, far larger than he thought.

How did I learn of this story? The main protagonist, my very good friend Bruce -- I've withheld his name, hopefully for obvious reasons -- kept texting me about it. And emailing. And screaming a little. Then a lot.

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With not much of inhouse talents -- remember Planet of the Apps? -- Apple managed to be simply spent money and build up TV+ to be more HBO than HBO, can't Apple buy its way into the gaming market on macOS?

Or, is Apple really thinking of getting on those iPad games onto macOS soon?


Thanks for reading.

The So-Many-Clicks Edition Sunday, February 5, 2023

Apple Blundered When It Killed Off Dark Sky, by Pilita Clark, Financial Times

It may have incorporated Dark Sky’s next-hour rain forecasts and it may have a lot of colourful graphics and more data. But it takes so many clicks and swipes to decipher it that the result is infuriatingly slow and clunky compared with the user-friendly ease of Dark Sky.

As 2023 problems go, this one is clearly more irksome than important. But it does raise questions about corporate deals that leave consumers worse off, and not just in the tech sector.

These Apps Will Keep Your EV From Running Out Of Juice, by David Nield, Wired

Sure, you'll want to start off your journey with enough charge available to make it to the end—but when that's not possible or you're planning a long trip, these apps will make sure you never run out of juice.

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Well, nothing happened today. Good night, everyone. And thanks for reading.

The All-About-Headwinds Edition Saturday, February 4, 2023

Down Is Up: iPhone Slumps, iPad Soars, And A Massive Quarter Isn't Massive Enough, by Jason Snell, Macworld

If you were bored of all those stories every three months about Apple’s quarterly financial results setting records and posting one banner quarter after another, I’ve got great news! Apple’s first fiscal quarter of 2023–covering the holiday quarter of the calendar year 2022–was merely the company’s second-largest quarter ever, unable to match up with the same quarter a year ago.

The world of Wall Street doesn’t care so much about Apple’s tidy $30 billion profit during the quarter. It’s more worried about that 5 percent year-over-year decline–the company’s first such decline in almost four years. Fortunately, Apple executives were well prepared on Thursday to explain what happened. You see, it’s all about headwinds.

We Spoke With Apple To Unpack The New HomePod, by Men's Journal

In my testing so far, this does remain the case to ensure that the bass doesn’t overpower a track based on the location of the speaker. It’s these kinds of optimizations, specifically with low and mids of a track, that give the HomePod an edge in the audio space. Of course, the woofer is paired with five horn-loaded tweeters that are arranged at the bottom of the device. It’s technically a minus two from the original HomePod, but that didn’t result in any lesser sound quality from our testing.

Why at the bottom of HomePod for speakers that primarily create higher frequencies? Well, it’s what Apple calls a Zero Height Array and it first premiered on the original HomePod. Costello shared that the audio source is positioned near the surface to ensure that it fires across the device evenly for a proper mix. This is specifically engineered for higher-frequencies as well.


Timing 2023.1.3, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Daniel Alm has released Timing 2023.1, adding support for importing your iPhone and iPad usage from Screen Time. You’ll be able to see exactly when you used each device, review any desired time range (not just Screen Time’s day/week views), archive Screen Time data, categorize mobile activities into projects, and more.

MacWhisper Is A macOS App That Uses OpenAI To Transcribe Audio Files Into Text, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

We’ve seen the use of AI tools for a lot of things recently, like generating text and images from simple sentences. But now there ‘s a new macOS app called MacWhisper that uses OpenAI technology to locally transcribe audio files into text.

We Review Capture One For iPad, by Kaisa Leinonen, Fstoppers

It is best for someone who wants to capture on the go, do quick edits and continue editing on the full desktop version. I can also see it as a good option for a photographer who is regularly shooting out and about and only occasionally requires tethering and therefore is only using the iPad version of Capture One.


Lisa’s Family Photos, by t.c. Sottek, The Verge

In this collection, you’ll see a rare look inside the development of one of the most important computers ever made – from experiments with 3D graphics to cutting-edge UI designs. We take all of these things for granted now, but at the time these photos were taken, the camera was capturing things few human beings had ever seen. It’s hard to imagine this scene at the finely-orchestrated Apple campus of today, but at the time of the Lisa, Atkinson worked on the project at home and drove his Polaroids over on a motorcycle to share progress with the rest of the team.

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I miss the days when I know when I drag my cursor on a Window's title bar, the window will move.

Nowadays, sometimes the window will move. Some other times, if I am lucky, the window will not move and nothing happens. And some other other times, something will pop up or something else will happen that is not the window moving.



Thanks for reading.

The Circumstances-Seen-and-Unseen Edition Friday, February 3, 2023

Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Supply Problems Sank Its Holiday Revenues, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Apple reported its Q1 2023 earnings this afternoon. During the holiday quarter, the company took in $117.2 billion of revenue, down 5 percent year over year, and earnings per share of $1.88. It was the first such YOY for Apple since before the covid pandemic. Most of the curiosity around this quarter’s numbers was tied to iPhone sales; in early November, Apple warned of “longer wait times” for its flagship iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Both phones were hard to come by during the height of the holiday shopping season, though stock has since leveled out.

But the supply issues, combined with consumers being extra mindful of spending amid an uncertain economic outlook, led to an 8 percent drop in iPhone revenue. “As we all continue to navigate a challenging environment, we are proud to have our best lineup of products and services ever, and as always, we remain focused on the long term and are leading with our values in everything we do,” CEO Tim Cook said in Apple’s earnings press release.

Tim Cook Confirms Q1 iPhone Revenue Would Have Grown If Not For Supply Issues, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Speaking to analysts during Apple’s earnings call, CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that had it not been for iPhone 14 Pro supply shortages, iPhone revenue would have grown in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2022.

Apple Hits Milestone Of 2 Billion Active Devices As Services Set New Revenue Record, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

As for the Services, it saw a record $20.8 billion in revenue for the quarter, slightly beating the $19.5 billion estimate. That was delivered by 935 million paid subscriptions, up 150 million from a year ago.

Tim Cook On The Possibility Of Apple Layoffs: 'A Last Resort Kind Of Thing', by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Cook acknowledged that Apple has made changes to its spending and hiring plans due to broader economic conditions. The company, for instance, is “managing costs very tightly and is curtailing hiring in certain areas, while continuing to hire in others.”

Cook went on to say that layoffs are a “last resort kind of thing” and that the company would rather manage costs in other ways.

This Is Tim: Apple Q1 2023 Analyst Call Transcript, by Six Colors

"As a result of a challenging environment, our revenue was down 5% year over year. But I’m proud of the way we have navigated circumstances seen and unforeseen over the past several years, and I remain incredibly confident in our team and our mission and in the work we do every day."

Ramping Up the Smarts

Apple's Hardware VP On The HomePod’s Return, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

The timing of the new HomePod’s arrival as Matter is beginning to ramp up is presumably not a coincidence. An Apple spokesperson tells TechCrunch it’s “really excited” about the new standard. “The new Matter smart home connectivity standard gives users more choice and interoperability to connect a wide variety of smart home accessories across different ecosystems,” says Costello. “With support for Thread, the new HomePod can serve as a border router and securely enable communications to Thread-based accessories located throughout the home.”

Apple Doesn't Need A New HomePod, It Needs An Assistant That's Actually Smart, by David Price, Macworld

In short, Siri is a bad voice assistant. And this is all the more tragic because other than Siri the HomePod is great. It’s exactly the sort of product to suit me, with excellent audio quality and a smart, compact look. With a family subscription to Apple Music (a service with which I am extremely happy) and HomePods in every room, I should be living my best life. But Siri–arrogant, pushy, frequently wrong Siri–ruins it all.

Notification Management

‘My Watch Think’s I’m Dead’, by Matt Richtel, New York Times

Lately, emergency call centers in some ski regions have been inundated with inadvertent, automated calls, dozens or more a week. Phone operators often must put other calls, including real emergencies, on hold to clarify whether the latest siren has been prompted by a human at risk or an overzealous device.

“My whole day is managing crash notifications,” said Trina Dummer, interim director of Summit County’s emergency services, which received 185 such calls in the week from Jan. 13 to Jan. 22. (In winters past, the typical call volume on a busy day was roughly half that.) Ms. Dummer said that the onslaught was threatening to desensitize dispatchers and divert limited resources from true emergencies.


Apple Shares New 'Shot On iPhone 14 Pro' Short Film: 'Fursat', by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple is out with its latest “Shot on iPhone 14 Pro” video, this time a short film entitled Fursat. The short film is 30 minutes long and comes from director Vishal Bhardwaj.

Raycast Adds Deeplinking Of Commands, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The app’s existing system of hotkey and alias triggers is still the best way to send a command to Raycast in most circumstances, but with deeplinks, Raycast has opened up new automation possibilities.


Apple Is Dropping Industrial Design Chief Role In Post-Jony Ive Era, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The iPhone maker’s vice president of industrial design, Evans Hankey, won’t be replaced when she leaves the company in the coming months, according to people with knowledge of the decision, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

Instead, the company’s core group of about 20 industrial designers will report to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. The company will also give larger roles to a group of Apple’s longest-tenured designers. Hankey has reported to Williams since taking the job in 2019, when top designer Jony Ive left to start his own firm.

Apple Pay Can Be Launched In S. Korea: Financial Regulator, by Yonhap, The Korea Herald

The launch of Apple Pay is expected to strengthen competition in the local mobile payment market, currently dominated by Samsung Electronics' Samsung Pay, based on the magnetic secure transmission technology.

The FSC expressed hope that the introduction of Apple Pay could enhance convenience to customers and bolster the development of new payment services based on the NFC technology going forward.

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I was debating, somewhat half-serious, whether I want to subscribe to the new MLS football channel from Apple. I don't follow football, and I definitely don't follow football in U.S. But, I thought, this may be something new and exciting, I can pick up and follow.

Turns out, Apple made the decision for me. MLS is not available where I live.


Thanks for reading.

The Exploited-by-Countless-Apps Edition Thursday, February 2, 2023

Apple Maps Privacy Bug May Have Allowed Apps To Collect Location Data Without Permission, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

An Apple Maps privacy bug fixed in iOS 16.3 may have allowed apps to collect user location data without permission.

At least one app appears to have done so, and a security reporter has speculated that the same privacy bug could have been exploited by countless apps over an unknown time period.

Pig-butchering Scam Apps Sneak Into Apple’s App Store And Google Play, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Researchers from security firm Sophos said on Wednesday that they uncovered two apps available in the App Store that were part of an elaborate network of tools used to dupe people into putting large sums of money into fake investment scams. At least one of those apps also made it into Google Play, but that market is notorious for the number of malicious apps that bypass Google vetting. Sophos said this was the first it had seen such apps in the App Store and that a previous app identified in these types of scams was a legitimate one that was later exploited by bad actors


iOS 16.3 Lets iPhone Users Add Lock Screen Widgets To A Classic Wallpaper If You Still Have It, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Although Apple doesn’t mention it in the release notes for iOS 16.3, the latest update to the iPhone operating system lets users add widgets to a classic wallpaper, but only if you still have it. You can also change the font style.

Addigy's New System Updates Feature Allows For Blocking Major OS Releases While Auto Approving Minor Ones, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

With the combination of System Updates and Addigy Flex Policies, IT administrators have complete control over the update process. Teams can set rules for upgrading the devices to the latest version or set a maximum version number of the operating system that they wish to install. This means that Apple IT admins can allow their fleet to receive only minor patch versions within the current operating system, but not deploy any major updates that may have been released.

Notability For iPad Adds New ‘Pencil’ Feature For A ‘Lifelike Handwriting Experience’, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

According to the company, this feature brings “the most paper-like sketching experience to digital notetakers,” including support for the Apple Pencil as well.


My Printer Is Extorting Me, by Charlie Warzel, The Atlantic

Here was a piece of technology that I had paid more than $200 for, stocked with full ink cartridges. My printer, gently used, was sitting on my desk in perfect working order but rendered useless by Hewlett-Packard, a tech corporation with a $28 billion market cap at the time of writing, because I had failed to make a monthly payment for a service intended to deliver new printer cartridges that I did not yet need. Indignant, and making grotesque, frustrated noises that I now understand to be hereditary Warzel responses to printer problems, I declared to nobody in particular that I was being extorted by my printer.

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I guess nothing makes me appreciate the wonderful integration between hardware and software by Apple after a day of using a Windows laptop's trackpad, where the physical hardware is made by one party, the operating system is made by another party, and the driver software is made by who-knows-who.


Thanks for reading.

The Central-Traits Edition Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Apple’s New HomePod Plays It Safe, by Chris Welch and Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, The Verge

When it comes to audio performance, the most important component of Apple’s new HomePod remains the high-excursion woofer, which can be driven up to 20mm to push as much air as possible and maximize bass response. Powerful lows are where the HomePod sets itself apart from similarly sized speakers like the Sonos One, Amazon Echo, and Nest Audio. But bass is rarely flabby or overpowering: here again, the internal mics are dynamically monitoring and calibrating output to keep the low-end kick powerful but tight and clean.


How does it sound, then? After several days of listening to the new HomePod (both solo and in a stereo pair), I still think its sound signature remains true to the original HomePod. If you were a fan of that speaker, you’ll be satisfied with the second-gen version. Sure, you can hear subtle differences in how music is rendered when comparing both generations side by side with the same track. The newer HomePod might bring out a guitar solo with slightly more emphasis than the original. But the central traits are the same.

Apple HomePod (2023) Review, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

If you made me choose a single word to describe the sound here, I would probably go with “full.” The highs are high, the lows are low, the mids are… you get the picture. This is, of course, best experienced with songs available in high bit-rates or a lossless format. This, of course, is one of the places where Apple Music shines relative to Spotify. I’ve long believed that years of listening to compressed music has made it difficult for the average listener to pick out the difference between, say, lossless and a high-bit rate. But paired with the new HomePod, digital streaming starts to sing.

The separation is great, especially with a stereo pair, which lends a sense of space to the music. Drums, in particular, sound clean and clear, though the low end can overwhelm, and, if you’re like me and placed your speakers on the desktop in front of you, you can really feel elements like the kick drum. That’s sometimes nice and sometimes too much. Apple’s position favors its own in-house tuning. It’s a delicate balance, but I tend to favor more control and would love the ability to fiddle around with EQ sliders in the home app.

New HomePod Can Still Stain Some Wooden Surfaces, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

When the original HomePod launched in 2018, it was discovered that the speaker can leave white rings on some wooden surfaces. Now, well-known YouTuber Marques Brownlee has confirmed that the issue persists to a lesser extent with the new HomePod.

Kick Off

MLS Season Pass Launches On Apple TV App Ahead Of Soccer Season Start, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

All games will be available through Apple TV app, including any of the matchups that are also being broadcast on national TV. MLS Season Pass is available in more than 100 countries.

Apple's MLS Streaming Service Doesn't Include Ad Guarantees, by Bloomberg

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant hasn’t been looking for buyers of individual ads during the games, asking marketers instead to buy a season-long series of spots that will run during the games, according to people familiar with the company’s sales efforts.

Apple hasn’t been guaranteeing advertisers they’ll reach a certain number of viewers, a standard practice in TV. It’s also not accepting ads from sports-betting companies, at least initially, according to two of the people.


Anker Finally Comes Clean About Its Eufy Security Cameras, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

In a series of emails to The Verge, Anker has finally admitted its Eufy security cameras are not natively end-to-end encrypted — they can and did produce unencrypted video streams for Eufy’s web portal, like the ones we accessed from across the United States using an ordinary media player.

But Anker says that’s now largely fixed. Every video stream request originating from Eufy’s web portal will now be end-to-end encrypted — like they are with Eufy’s app — and the company says it’s updating every single Eufy camera to use WebRTC, which is encrypted by default. Reading between the lines, though, it seems that these cameras could still produce unencrypted footage upon request.


'Lose Weight To End Racism': Apple Watch Criticized For Launching Fitness Unity Challenge To Celebrate Black History Month, by Tricia Crimmins, Daily Dot

An Apple Watch fitness challenge is being called insensitive on TikTok and Twitter after prompting wearers to celebrate Black History Month by working out for seven days in a row in February.

Inside Three Turbulent Months At Foxconn’s iPhone Factory, by Viola Zhou, Rest of World

Chinese factory laborers call jobs like Hunter’s “working the screws.” Until recently, the 34-year-old worked on the iPhone 14 Pro assembly line at a Foxconn factory in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou. His task was to pick up an iPhone’s rear cover and a tiny cable that charges the battery, scan their QR codes, peel off adhesive tape backing, and join the two parts by tightening two screws. He’d then put the unfinished phone onto a conveyor belt that carried it to the next station.

Hunter had to complete this task once every minute. During a normal 10-hour shift, his target was to attach 600 cables to 600 cases, using 1,200 screws. Every day, 600 more unassembled iPhones awaited him.

Bottom of the Page

Well, sure sounds like the new HomePods are still… well… sounding good. That's good. Now, onwards to the next step in the living room strategy.

Is there one?


Thanks for reading.