Archive for March 2023

The Drive-Up-Prices Edition Friday, March 31, 2023

Apple Joins The ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Lending Trend. Do You Know About The Downsides?, by Jessica Roy, Los Angeles Times

The BNPL model doesn’t charge customers interest or fees up front. Lenders instead make money by charging the vendor four payment processing fees instead of one. That can drive up prices for everyone, including non-BNPL shoppers.


The idea that the loan is “no interest, no fees” is true only to an extent. If you don’t pay the loan back on time, you could be subject to all sorts of fees — which, again, the lender doesn’t have to tell you up front, because they aren’t subject to the Truth in Lending Act.

Apple Updates iWork Apps With Apple Pencil Hover, Better Collaboration, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Following the release of iOS 16.4, macOS 13.3, and more earlier this week, Apple is now rolling out updates to its suite of iWork apps. Updates to Keynote, Pages, and Numbers are now available with new Apple Pencil features, improved collaboration, and more.

iOS 16.4 Expands 5G Support To New Regions, Plus Google Fi Users, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In addition to enabling 5G in Macau and Turkey, iOS 16.4 also apparently enables 5G support for Google Fi users for the first time.


Sequel 2.0: An iPhone And iPad Media Tracker That Strikes An Elegant Balance Between Form And Function, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Sequel 2.0 is an easy-to-use media wishlist and tracking app for the iPhone and iPad that pulls off tracking five types of media elegantly. The app works with movies, TV shows, videogames, books, and audiobooks and starts with a single view that collects each of the media categories you’re tracking, integrates a unique search field, and has a single button for adding new items.

Doppler HiFi Music Player For iPhone Gets Library Customization, Album Collections, New Tab Bar, byMichael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Doppler for iPhone and Mac is the popular music player designed for those who prefer to buy and own their library – with hi-res support. Now for iOS, Doppler 3 has arrived with a number of improvements like Library customization, Album Collections, Queue Grouping, a simplified tab bar with new icons, and more.

Netflix's Ad-supported Tier Finally Works With Apple TV Set-top Box, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The Netflix “Basic with Ads” plan costs $6.99 per month, a saving of $3 compared to the ad-free Basic plan. Only a subset of the Netflix content catalog is available to stream on the ads tier though, due to licensing rights issues.


Apple Wins U.S. Appeal Over Patents In $502 Mln VirnetX Verdict, by Blake Brittain, Reuters

Apple Inc persuaded a U.S. appeals court on Thursday to uphold a patent tribunal's ruling that could imperil a $502 million verdict for patent licensing company VirnetX Inc in the companies' long-running fight over privacy-software technology.

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I've just listened "Monster Mash" on Apple Music Classical. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Praise-Apple Edition Thursday, March 30, 2023

Apple Music Classical (Mostly) Plays The Right Chords, by Kirk McElhearn, TidBITS

All this makes the Apple Music Classical app seem like an experiment. It’s quite polished for a 1.0 release, and, despite the issues that I’ve mentioned above that will irritate classical music fans, it’s a generally successful attempt to provide a better way to access classical music. Apple should be praised for paying so much attention to a genre that represents only 2–3% of the overall music market.

I’ve long complained about the way iTunes, then the Music app and Apple Music, have dealt with classical music. The earliest such articles I can find on Macworld date back to 2005. In Corral your classical music, I wrote, “If you’re a fan of classical music, then you’ve probably, at some point, become frustrated with iTunes and the iPod. Track information from the Web is inconsistent, pieces are difficult to tag and categorize, and imported songs don’t flow seamlessly into one another.”

I’m happy to say that Apple has finally solved many of these problems. It’s a shame that it took so long.

Apple’s New Classical Music App Is A Ton Of Fun, by Chris Cohen, GQ

As they’re currently set up, all of the major streaming platforms encourage passive listening—hitting shuffle on whatever low-fi hip hop beats that fit your current mood. This is bad for music, and bad for music fans. Apple Music Classical shows there’s a better way.

WWDC 2023

WWDC 2023 Scheduled For June 5–9, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

In an announcement that surprised approximately no one, Apple has scheduled its 2023 Worldwide Developer Conference for June 5th through 9th. WWDC will once again take place online for free, along with a special one-day event at Apple Park, accessible by lottery.

Apple Opens Swift Student Challenge For WWDC 2023, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Like in previous years, young developers are tasked with building an app playground, completing some written prompts, and providing documentation.


Beats Teams Up With ‘Girls Don’t Cry’ For Special Edition Beats Flex Earbuds, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple’s Beats brand is teaming up with Girls Don’t Cry, the Tokyo-based brand founded by VK Design’s Verdy, for a special edition design for Beats Flex. Beats Flex are the most affordable way to enter the Beats and Apple wireless headphone ecosystem.

Apple Releases iTunes 12.12.8 For Windows, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today released an iTunes 12.12.8 update for Windows, with the software introducing security improvements and "support for new devices." [...] The "new devices" that Apple mentions in the launch notes for the update likely pertain to the HomePod, which was released in January 2023.


Opinion: Apple Final Cut Pro Is Not ‘Pro’ Anymore, by Yossy Mendelovich, Y.M.Cinema

If we take the Oscars 2023 for example, then we can reveal that there’s almost not even one film that was edited on FCP. Most of those films were edited on Avid Media Composer, and furthermore, even Premiere Pro has managed to penetrate into the post-production phase of these films. Yes, I know it sounds strange— The super buggy program was recently utilized by high-end productions. Premiere Pro was chosen over FCP. It must be noted that the product guys of Premiere Pro have been busting their asses in order to sharpen the software. In fact, every month, Adobe released an update to Premiere Pro. As for NLE – every NLE, there are always a lot of updates. Editors’ feedback is pushed to product managers, which, in turn, push back their features, upgrades, and updates. DaVinci Resolve is another good example of that. A reborn multi-complex NLE, that is being involved on the go, with new features developed every month, on the clock. Apple doesn’t do that. And that’s another indication that Apple sees its FCP as iMovie on steroids and not more than that.

You'll Soon Be Able To Use Apple Pay Later – But Should You?, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

As with any “no fee, interest-free” credit deal, that’s only true so long as you keep up the payments. If you don’t, then it’s unclear how Apple will handle the matter, but it’s entirely possible you’ll then run up fees and charges. Additionally, while the original credit check was a soft one, Apple says that it may report payment history to credit agencies – so if you miss any payments, that likely will impact your credit rating.

The golden rule with any credit is: Only use it if you can comfortably afford the repayments, and are confident your financial position will remain stable for the credit period.

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I'm sure Apple spent a lot of effort creating all the metadata, as well as creating the app to browse and search all these metadata. But after more than a year of development, and a three-month delay from it's own deadline, Apple Music Classical sure feel a little underwhelming in the first-impression department.

But, maybe it's just me who had a too-high expectation?

Nevertheless, I'm getting ready to do an all-classical weekend, to give the app (and all the records) a proper spin.


Thanks for reading.

The Just-Mine Edition Wednesday, March 29, 2023

My Impossible Search For The Best, Most Powerful, Most Private Journaling App Ever, by David Pierce, The Verge

In this digital world, are there any spaces left that are just mine? Can I have all of those modern conveniences without constantly being asked to share, to socialize, to upgrade to the enterprise plan? I started out trying to figure out if I could trust my journaling app but wound up looking for a place of my own on the internet.

Apple Pay Later Launching Today: 'Buy Now, Pay Later' Financing With 0% Interest, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

At launch, Apple says that it will “begin inviting select users to access a prerelease version of Apple Pay Later.” It will launch to “all eligible users in the coming months” in the United States.

[...] Apple Pay Later is a new financial service from Apple that will allow customers in the United States to split purchases into four equal payments across six weeks, with no fees or interest.

iOS 16.4: Here's Everything New With Apple Music, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Arguably the biggest change in the Music app in iOS 16.4 is a new set of animations for things like adding songs to playlists and adding songs to your queue. [...] Apple has redesigned these confirmation messages to be much smaller notifications at the bottom of your screen.

Apple Music Classical Promoted With TV Ad Following Launch, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The 30-second video features pianist Alice Sara Ott and conductor Karina Canellakis performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1.

Coming Soon?

iOS 16.5 Code Indicates Quad-box Picture-in-Picture Feature In Development For Apple TV Sports Streams, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Code references first spotted by Steve Moser in the iOS 16.5 betas describe a new ‘Multiview’ experience for the Apple TV app, supporting up to 4 simultaneous streams at once.


How To Use The New Lock Screen Shortcut In iOS 16.4, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

After the iPhone Lock Screen Shortcut is run, the screen will remain lit for a few moments before going black or dimming to the always-on display on the 14 Pro/Max.

Mac Photo Organizer Peakto Adds Pixelmator Pro Support, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Peakto is a Mac app that uses AI to organize your photos from numerous sources, including Apple Photos, Lightroom Classic, Luminar, Capture One, and more. The app handles multiple file types and offers navigation by keywords, location, and other metadata too.

Today’s announcement adds Pixelmator Pro documents to the mix.

CleanMyMac X Adds Device Charging And Storage Monitoring And Management, by John Voorhees, MacStories

CleanMyMac X has been updated, expanding its utility beyond the borders of your Mac by tracking the battery status of connected devices and adding management of outboard storage.

Twelve South Refreshes BookBook Leather Cover Lineup With New 10th Gen iPad Case, by Rikka Altland, 9to5Toys

While most other cases rely on any mix of plastics and rubbers, Twelve South employs its unique design that turns your device into a leather-bound book. It has a stitched exterior that complements the hardback leather form that on top of sporting those iconic stylings, also manage to keep your device safe.

Library Ebook App OverDrive To Shut Down On May 1st, Readers Directed To Libby Instead, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

For over a decade, the OverDrive app has offered a service that allows institutions, including public libraries and schools, to lend their digital catalogs of e-books, audiobooks and other digital media to online users. Now, this longtime digital reading companion will be shutting down for good. After announcing its plans to sunset the app and removing it from app stores last year, the company now says that OverDrive will fully shut down on May 1, 2023. Readers will be directed to use the newer digital app Libby instead.


App Store Submission Requirement Starts April 25, by Apple

Starting April 25, 2023, iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS apps submitted to the App Store must be built with Xcode 14.1 or later.


Apple Gangnam Store Opens On Friday; Unique Facade Which Changes Appearance, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

A few preview photos of the latest Apple Store have been shared, ahead of the opening of Apple Gangnam on Friday, March 31. It will be Apple’s fourth store in South Korea.

WeWork Mugs For $500: 10 Of The Strangest Merch Items From Companies That Crashed, by Alaina Demopoulos and Sam Wolfson, The Guardian

You’ve just been laid off from your job at a once mighty startup that was going to change the world. The New York Times has exposed your CEO’s fraudulent business model. Investors have freaked. The stock market is hemorrhaging. Your office keycard doesn’t work. What you do next is very important: go raid the merch closet.

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Today, my iPhone told me that it didn't even try to charge the batteries when I plug in the lightning cables for the entire afternoon, because it was simply too hot.

No, it's not because I am in Singapore, where there are only two seasons: hot and humid, and hot and humid and raining.

But, it was the iPhone that was hot. And that's because I'm using Microsoft's Teams on a video call.


Thanks for reading.

The New-Emoji-Whatever Edition Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Apple Releases iOS 16.4, iPadOS 16.4, macOS 13.3 Ventura, watchOS 9.4, tvOS 16.4, And HomePod Software 16.4, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Is it weird that Apple’s release notes for iOS 16.4, iPadOS 16.4, and macOS 13.3 Ventura lead off with the fact they include 21 new emoji? The only appropriate response is to channel my inner teen by rolling my eyes and muttering, “Whatever.”

Apart from that, these updates, along with watchOS 9.4 and tvOS 16.4, provide some features that are welcome, if not world-changing, for most users. Unsurprisingly, HomePod Software 16.4 merely “includes performance and stability improvements.” I hope it addresses an increasingly common problem with our first-generation HomePods that causes them to go silent for a second or two before resuming playback.

If some of the changes I describe below sound compelling, I see no reason you should delay updating. On the other hand, if you would be doing so just to stay current with Apple’s security fixes, none of which are being exploited in the wild, you can wait a week to ensure there aren’t any unanticipated side effects.

Apple Discusses iPadOS 16.4’s New Pencil Hover Features, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

This morning, iPadOS 16.4 arrives with further refinements to the feature, in the forms of Tilt and Azimuth.


Those tools are now open to developers looking to build on top of existing Pencil functionality. “If you look at Procreate, they have the pencil brush, which is small and thin when you’re perpendicular to the display, and then gets wider as you Tilt for shading,” says Ikemoto. “With Tilt and Azimuth, Procreate can render an exact outline of the mark that you’re going to make when you set down your pencil brush, and that’s a huge accelerator for their users.”

Apple Releases Important Security Updates For macOS Monterey And Big Sur, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

On Monday, Apple not only updated macOS Ventura, but the company also released macOS Monterey 12.6.4 and Big Sur 11.7.5, the two OSes that preceded Ventura. Since Monterey and Big Sur are older, Apple does not update them with features, but it does release security updates from time to time. The standard release notes merely state that the update “provides important security fixes and is recommended for all users.”

Apple Music Classical

Apple Music Classical Released Today: An App Designed Specifically For Exploring Classical Music, by Gramophone

Apple Music has today released its new standalone app dedicated to classical music. Apple Music Classical, as the app is called, is now available to download and offers access to the world’s largest classical music catalogue of over five million tracks in the highest audio quality (up to 192 kHz/24 bit Hi-Res Lossless) with thousands of recordings in immersive spatial audio, as well as numerous exclusive albums.

Apple Music Classical Video Tour; How To Listen On Mac Or iPad; Missing Countries, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

A new Apple Music Classical video tour provides a quick overview of the app, highlighting the powerful search features, hidden gems by popular composers, the ability to browse by instrument, and more.

First Look: Apple Classical Is Tuned For The Genre, But Hits A Few False Notes, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

At first glance, Apple Classical largely seems to ape the Apple Music interface; at the bottom are four tabs: Listen Now, Browse, Library, and Search. But delve into a couple of these, and you’ll start seeing the differences.

I particularly appreciate the refinement Apple has done to the Library section. While it’s shared with Apple Music (you’ll see albums already in your Apple Music library that are also available in Apple Classical), there are also new sections for Recordings and Works, and refined sections for Artists and Composers. In all of those cases, Apple has implemented a Favorites system, where you can choose to save specific items, rather than simply providing an exhaustive catalogue of every single artist or recording you have in your collection. That’s handy if you want to be able to quickly access a particular artist or see all recordings of a specific work.

On Security

New MacStealer macOS Malware Steals Passwords From iCloud Keychain, by Bill Toulas, BleepingComputer

MacStealer is being distributed as a malware-as-a-service (MaaS), where the developer sells premade builds for $100, allowing purchasers to spread the malware in their campaigns.


HomePod And HomePod Mini Launching In Singapore Next Month, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple today announced that the second-generation HomePod and the HomePod mini will be available to order in Singapore starting Thursday, March 30, with deliveries to customers and in-store availability set to begin Friday, April 6.

Apple Announces Theatrical Release Date For Highly-anticipated Film 'Killers Of The Flower Moon', by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Killers of the Flower Moon will premiere in theaters in limited release on October 6, before being screened worldwide from Friday, October 20. A Cannes festival premiere in May is also rumored, but not yet confirmed.

Apple also did not confirm when the film would become available on Apple TV+; you can probably assume it will be on the service by Christmas, given the typical 45-day theatrical exclusivity window.

Home+ Gains The Ability To Mass Edit HomeKit Scenes And Automations To Replace Broken Devices, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Home+ lets you access all characteristics of an accessory, even those that are not exposed by the Home app. This gives you greater control and flexibility over your devices and allows you to fine-tune their settings to your liking.

Hello There iOS Greeting Card Organizer Gets Auto Card Detection, Hashtags, Custom Icons, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Hello There is a neat solution to saving special greeting cards without keeping the physical clutter. Now in a major update, Hello There 2 has received auto card detection, hashtags, a new default view, new custom icons designed by Basic Apple Guy, and more.


Apple Illegally Fired Five Labor Activists, Union Says, by Lauren Kaori Gurley, Washington Post

Apple fired five union organizers in Kansas City, Mo., in retaliation for union activity, the Communications Workers of America alleged in charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board on Monday.

The terminated workers, who all were active organizers in a nascent union drive at the Apple store at Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, said they were disciplined and fired for tardiness, calling out of work, and improperly filling out attendance-related forms.

Apple Acquired A Startup Using AI To Compress Videos, by Kyle Wiggers, TechCrunch

WaveOne’s main innovation was a “content-aware” video compression and decompression algorithm that could run on the AI accelerators built into many phones and an increasing number of PCs. Leveraging AI-powered scene and object detection, the startup’s technology could essentially “understand” a video frame — allowing it to, for example, prioritize faces at the expense of other elements within a scene to save bandwidth.

‘Our Universe Was Lost For Ever’: What Happens When A Tech Glitch Erases Your Memories?, by Sarah Hagi, Marlowe Granados, Sloane Crosley and Sam Wolfson, The Guardian

I agree that we are a new kind of tiresome, but how much of that is our fault? In this age of information, I wonder what our capacity for stimulation might be. As someone who was a photographer and now a writer, I don’t know whether I have ever been able to keep a memory perfect, without shaving it down or shedding a few details along the way. The loss of those years to the digital sands of time is regrettable, but I have some faith that away from screens, the fog may lift.

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Question: Is the HomePod the better device to listen to Apple Music Classical, or is the HomePod mini good enough?



Thanks for reading.

The Films-Without-Superheros Edition Monday, March 27, 2023

Apple And Amazon Plan To Spend Billions On Movies For The Big Screen. Will The Pricey Gamble Pay Off?, by Rebecca Rubin, Variety

For Apple and Amazon, the move is not exactly a benevolent bid to help out beleaguered movie theaters; it’s a way to promote their respective streaming services. Ideally, the more attention that a movie gets on the big screen, the more people will want to see what else is available online — and sign up for (or keep paying) monthly subscriptions to AppleTV+ or Prime Video. It also helps to lure top talent, who don’t want their labors of love to get lost in the shuffle of streaming, and it plays a part in getting big-budget movies into the black.


Distributors have, for the most part, reverted back to some version of an exclusive theatrical window. They found it leads to greater financial success for big-budget blockbusters and indies alike because there’s more money to be earned down the line from ancillary markets, like home entertainment.

Behind Apple And Amazon’s Billion-Dollar Bet On Movie Theaters, by Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg

The simplest answer for Apple and Amazon is that they had to promise a theatrical release in order to win certain projects. Like Netflix before them, Apple and Amazon are still proving themselves as movie distributors.


What stands out about the movies coming from Apple and Amazon is that they are primarily films for adults without superheroes. Perhaps the biggest change in thinking over the last six months is what kinds of movies can work theatrically.

Close to Reality

Apple’s Best Hope For New Headset: A Smartwatch-Like Trajectory, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Earlier demonstrations were lower-key affairs, meant to show progress and secure the headcount needed to keep going. The latest preview took place in the Steve Jobs Theater, Apple’s biggest showcase, suggesting that a public unveiling is getting close. The executives attended the event ahead of heading to their annual offsite, held at a resort in Carmel Valley, California.

The demonstrations were polished, glitzy and exciting, but many executives are clear-eyed about Apple’s challenges pushing into this new market.

At Apple, Rare Dissent Over A New Product: Interactive Goggles, by Tripp Mickle and Brian X. Chen, New York Times

Some internal skeptics have questioned if the new device is a solution in search of a problem. Unlike the iPod, which put digital songs in people’s pockets, and the iPhone, which combined the abilities of a music player and a phone, the headset hasn’t been driven by the same clarity, these people said.

The product is being birthed during a period of limbo. This year, Mr. Ive’s successor overseeing industrial design, Evans Hankey, departed. With design’s leadership in flux, Mike Rockwell, an engineer, has been leading development of the device.


I Could Play 'Disney Dreamlight Valley' Until The End Of Time, by Swapna Krishna, Wired

It’s a perfect balance between binge-playing and pacing yourself, between a quest-based adventure game and a life-sim one.

The FDA Has Approved A Video Game—Yes, A Video Game—as An Official Treatment For ADHD, by Hannah Schneider, Well+Good

The game developer says that the system measures the areas that the child struggles with while they're playing. The software then tailors future gaming sessions to address those specific areas of attention or focus.


Apple’s Big Gamble: The 6th Birthday Of APFS, by Howard Oakley, The Eclectic Light Company

No one outside Apple knew at the time, but six years ago, on 27 March 2017, it made one of its biggest corporate gambles by rolling out a completely new file system in iOS 10.3. Every upgraded device silently converted its storage to the first release of Apple File System (APFS), but Apple didn’t reveal that until over two months later at WWDC. Six months after iOS 10.3, Apple upped the stakes further when it did the same with its upgrade to macOS 10.13 High Sierra.

Although APFS has certainly had its moments in the following six years, those gambles have paid off, and proved key enablers in the success of Apple silicon Macs. Had there been no APFS, many of the fundamental technologies like Secure Boot and the Signed System Volume (SSV) would have been far tougher if not impossible to implement. Macs and Apple’s devices had been in dire need of a modern file system for years; while there was a time when it looked as if that could have been ZFS, in 2014 Apple decided to write its own file system from scratch, with Dominic Giampaolo as lead engineer.

"Like A Frog In Boiling Water": How Big Tech Stole Our Ability To Focus, by Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon

We have been conditioned for distraction: the ping of a text, the knock-knock of a Slack message, the itchy urge while doing one thing that we ought to be doing something else. We know that the churning desire to always be multitasking is not good for our brains, bodies or mental health. We also live in a world that is not going to slow down for us.

So Mark has a different approach. Indeed, "Attention Span" explores how we got to this state of un-focus and why our tanks feel so drained so much of the time, but her book also recognizes that we can't just make all the noise go away. Our minds don't need a formula for drilled down focus, they need space to wander. The secret is learning how to wander well.

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I probably will never be stepping into a movie theatre anymore, and I do not have FOMO when it comes to films. What I worry is Apple yielding to market pressure, and switch from being the stage for great storytelling to being the platform for great special effects first and foremost.


Will a day come when we can binge 'television series' on a big screen? After all, a season of Ted Lasso is shorter than two John Wick 4. And there are plenty of natural breaks in-between episodes for audience to go to the restroom as well as refill their popcorn tubs.


Thanks for reading.

The Poised-to-Change Edition Sunday, March 26, 2023

Change My Mind: Apple Has The Best Smart Home Platform (At Least For Now), by Roger Fingas, Android Authority

Apple is making such significant steps that it not only changed my mind, but could finally be poised to change the smart home market’s mind and become a clear favorite, at least among iPhone owners.

Silicon Valley And The World At Large Reacts To The Death Of Intel Co-founder Gordon Moore, by Jim Harrington and Ethan Varian, San Jose Mercury News

“The world lost a giant in Gordon Moore, who was one of Silicon Valley’s founding fathers and a true visionary who helped pave the way for the technological revolution,” Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted. “All of us who followed owe him a debt of gratitude. May he rest in peace.”

Cook was one of many from the tech world who took to social media to express their gratitude for the mighty contributions Moore made to the industry during his life.

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I wasn't very productive on my hobby project this weekend. I think I am troubled by what I've come up with so far, and do not see a future in such a design. Most of the time I allocated to this project has been spent just looking at stuff, and looking at other people's stuff.


Thanks for reading.

The Seamless-Editing Edition Saturday, March 25, 2023

Sports Videographer Shares His Take On Editing Action Footage On The iPad, by Gloria Fung, The Sporting News

Sports videographer Owen Yu has spent the last two decades travelling the world creating videos with skateboarders and is constantly embracing new technology to bring new visual experiences to the audience. Among some of the gadgets in his arsenal are the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPad.

Being able to edit on the iPad seamlessly allows Yu to take advantage of his time on the road and produce content in real-time.

Apple’s Live Activity For Timers Already Needs A Refresh, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

I understand that Apple’s apps are often able to do things that third-party apps can’t, but these features make the timer Live Activity behave so differently than other Live Activities that it can be frustrating to use. It’s easy to cancel a timer, but hard to open the app that manages the timer itself.

Is Apple Really Joining The WFH Counter-revolution?, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

To my mind, news of the crackdown on attendance hints at an autocratic lack of autonomy and agency in the model Apple seems to embrace. My fear is that this cultural lack of vision could extend itself elsewhere across the company.

Tim Cook's in Beijing

Apple CEO Praises China's Innovation, Long History Of Cooperation On Beijing Visit, by Reuters

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Saturday used his first public remarks on his visit to China to praise the country for its rapid innovation and its long ties with the U.S. iPhone maker, according to local media reports.

Tim Cook And Ray Dalio Among Few US Chiefs Attending China Business Summit, by Bloomberg

Some corporate leaders like Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook and Pfizer Inc.’s Albert Bourla are scheduled to be physically present, according to a preliminary list of attendees seen by Bloomberg, but the bulk of the confirmed companies aren’t from the US.

While US companies may not have been the biggest contingent in past editions either, this year’s tepid lineup is indicative of a desire by American companies to keep a low profile around their corporate activities in China for fear of drawing unwanted attention back home, according to one Beijing-based executive familiar with their thinking.

After TikTok Chief's Grilling In Washington, Apple's Tim Cook Is All Smiles In Beijing, by Kathleen Magramo and Jake Kwon, CNN

On Friday, Cook had posted a picture of himself smiling with customers and staff at the Apple store in the shopping district of Sanlitun on China’s Twitter-like social media site Weibo.


China’s state media was quick to seize on the apparent contrast between the two CEO’s experiences.


App Of The Day: Glass, by Jamey Tucker, WPSD Local 6

If you're looking for an app where people just share photos, Glass is a good alternative. Glass is photos. Just photos. No ads, no silly videos, and no algorithm pushing things it thinks you'll like.


Wallaroo: A Journey From iOS To macOS (Part 3), by Craig Hockenberry, IconFactory

As I look back on the challenges during this project, the biggest source of friction was Apple’s SwiftUI documentation. While they have done a fantastic job at getting folks started, things start to fall apart when you’re in the thick of things.


This Woman Left Her AirPods On A Plane. She Tracked Them To An Airport Worker's Home, by Julia Buckley, CNN

We’ve had people tracking their bags when airlines can’t find them. Now here’s something new: a passenger tracking an item she left on a plane – to an airport employee’s home.

From Netflix To Disney: How Much The Top 7 Streamers Will Spend On Content In 2023, by Tony Maglio, IndieWire

Aggravatingly, Apple says nothing publicly about its TV+ budget, or its TV+ subscribers. If you thought Amazon Prime Video was a loss leader, double that for Apple TV+ (and its , and its new standalone Major League Soccer service).

The Internet Archive Has Lost Its First Fight To Scan And Lend E-books Like A Library, by Jay Peters and Sean Hollister, The Verge

A federal judge has ruled against the Internet Archive in Hachette v. Internet Archive, a lawsuit brought against it by four book publishers, deciding that the website does not have the right to scan books and lend them out like a library.

Judge John G. Koeltl decided that the Internet Archive had done nothing more than create “derivative works,” and so would have needed authorization from the books’ copyright holders — the publishers — before lending them out through its National Emergency Library program.

Intel Co-founder Gordon Moore Dies At 94, by Steve Johnson and Mack Lundstrom, San Jose Mercury News

Gordon Earle Moore, who became a legendary Silicon Valley figure by cofounding microchip makers Intel and Fairchild Semiconductor and for formulating his famous law about the inevitable advances to come from chip technology, died Friday. He was 94.

Intel’s phenomenal growth inspired legions of tech entrepreneurs across the valley and elsewhere while making Moore one of the richest men on the planet. But he was a down-home, self-effacing person who was rarely happier than when he was off in some wilderness fishing. And he was praised for donating much of his wealth to environmental and other causes.

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I am grateful e-books and e-book readers -- with their adjustable fonts and font sizes -- exist. I went and dig out some of the old paperbacks that I purchased long ago, and realize my old eyes do not reading these old paperbacks.


Thanks for reading.

The Fight-for-Attention Edition Friday, March 24, 2023

Why Ted Lasso Isn't Helping Apple TV+ Win At Streaming, by Lucas Manfredi, The Wrap

Part of the problem may be misapplying a playbook Apple refined in hardware for the very different business of entertainment. “Apple has always focused on developing fewer, highly-designed and expensive products that are beloved by the brand’s already-bought-in fans around the world,” Lawrence said. “They appear to be taking the same approach with the development of content for Apple TV+ and this has put them at a distinct disadvantage in the current fight for attention.”

Coming Soon

watchOS 9.4 Will Prevent You From Accidentally Silencing Your Apple Watch's Alarm While Sleeping, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple says that a wake-up alarm set in a Sleep Focus mode will no longer be silenced with the "Cover to Mute" gesture starting with watchOS 9.4. This means if the palm of your hand happens to cover your Apple Watch's display for three seconds while sleeping, the alarm will no longer be silenced unintentionally.


Apple Stops Allowing Sprint iPhone Activations, Removes Sprint References From Online Store, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple is no longer allowing customers who purchase an iPhone, cellular iPad, or Apple Watch to activate a device with now-defunct mobile carrier Sprint. Apple has also removed remaining references to Sprint from its online store.

Hands-on: Fitness Stats 2 Adds Custom Averages, Comparisons, And More To Lifetime Activity Totals, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Fitness Stats originally launched in 2020 as a simple and handy way to see your lifetime activity details across 12 categories including exercise time, calories, steps, cycling, running, walking, and swimming workouts (now that’s over 20). Today the app has received a major update with a new way to compare your activity based on custom time periods, see averages across days, weeks, months, and years, additional stats, custom sharing, and more.

Genius Scan For iOS Gets Auto Expense Reports, Doc Type Detection, More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Along with the handy expense reports feature, Genius Scan now automatically recognizes different document types like receipts or business cards and will offer smart actions.

LucidLink Offers Streaming Vision Of Cloud-Based Storage, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

There’s no reason to switch to LucidLink from the likes of Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud Drive if all you need is cloud storage and basic collaboration. However, if you’re pushing against the limitations of those services, particularly with audio or video work, LucidLink is worth a look.


Wallaroo: A Journey From iOS To macOS (Part 2), by Craig Hockenberry, IconFactory

In every app, there’s code you hate writing, but do it anyway. Shipping is better than perfection!

Here are our less-than-proud moments in Wallaroo for the Mac.

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I'm thinking of shipping... soon. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Subscription-Required Edition Thursday, March 23, 2023

MLB Friday Night Baseball Returns April 7, Apple TV+ Subscription Now Required, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Last season, Apple made Friday Night Baseball available to all users for free — it was watchable by anyone with an Apple ID and access to the Apple TV app. That “limited time offer” has now gone away. For 2023, an Apple TV+ subscription is required to tune in to see the games.

Unlike MLS Season Pass, Friday Night Baseball is not a separate subscription package. It is simply an added perk of the standard $6.99/mo Apple TV+ subscription.

Apple’s “Friday Night Baseball” Adds Local Radio, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

There are a few minor catches—aren’t there always? According to Apple, “Radio broadcasts for the Texas Rangers are available only for the team’s home games. In Canada, radio broadcasts are available only for Toronto Blue Jays games.” Tough break for Canadian fans who want to listen to non-Blue Jays broadcasters of non-Blue Jays games, and I don’t even want to know about the contractual issues that preclude the Rangers radio voices from being used on away games.

Apple Considers Bidding For English Football Streaming Rights, by Giles Turner, Bloomberg

The rights under consideration would allow Apple to show Premier League games in the UK, as well as lower league matches run by the English Football League, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.


Pushing into English football would pit Apple against entrenched media companies such as Comcast’s Sky and Warner Bros Discovery, which last year agreed to a joint venture with BT Sport. It also could throw down the gauntlet with Amazon, which has become a force in streaming European football.

Chelsea Co-owner Todd Boehly Apologises For Ted Lasso Doctored Ray Wilkins Banner But Insists Apple TV Deal Was Struck Under Roman Abramovich, by Chris Burton, Goal

Supporters hit out at the Premier League club and producers of the Apple TV show after crowd scenes supposedly shot in west London were used during a storyline involving Roy Kent – a fictional former Champions League winner with the Blues.


Retro Camera App Hipstamatic Makes Its Return As An anti-Instagram Social Network, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

But now, amid user complaints over the current state of Instagram, Hipstamatic is returning to the App Store today with a relaunch of its social network for iPhone photography enthusiasts.

You Can Now Try Microsoft Loop, A Notion Competitor With Futuristic Office Documents, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Microsoft is now letting anyone preview Microsoft Loop, a collaborative hub offering a new way of working across Office apps and managing tasks and projects. Much like Notion, Microsoft Loop includes workspaces and pages where you can import and organize tasks, projects, and documents. But what sets the two apart is Loop’s shareable components that let you turn any page into a real-time block of content that can be pasted into Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Word on the web, and Whiteboard.

Review: OWC ThunderBay 8 Offers High-Volume, High-Performance Mac Storage, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

The ThunderBay 8 can serve as a high-performance personal data center with multiple configuration options to suit ever-growing storage requirements. It can accommodate the needs of individuals with data-intensive video editing, high-resolution image, and VR workflows, who need abundant drive space to store large format files, as well as fast data transfer speeds to ensure that they remain workable.

Nanoleaf Launches Matter-enabled A19, BR30, GU10, Recessed Downlight, And Lightstrip, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Last fall Nanoleaf announced that it would be bringing Matter to its Essentials smart lighting lineup along with launching some new bulb types. Now the latest products have arrived with Thread/Matter for the smart A19, GU10, BR30 bulbs, Recessed Downlight, and Lightstrip.


Wallaroo: A Journey From iOS To macOS (Part 1), by Craig Hockenberry, IconFactory

You’ll see a lot of problems with SwiftUI mentioned in these posts, but the overall experience was wonderful. This new way of building apps gets a wholehearted recommendation from our entire team: designers and developers alike.

We also found that many of the issues encountered on macOS were things we had done wrong on iOS. Porting the app to the Mac made both platforms better. We’re also rethinking our View architecture so things that are currently Mac-only can be used to improve the iPad experience.


Apple Should Sell The iPad Mini As A Wireless CarPlay Monitor, by Matt Haughey, A Whole Lotta Nothing

I’ve always felt like the iPad mini was a weird product in search of a use case. Buying weird $250 android tablets to run CarPlay seems silly when you could buy a fancy new iPad mini that would be way more reliable and easier to incorporate into any car’s interior, plus you’d have a fully charged entertainment device when you got on a plane or into your hotel room.

Amazon Shutters Photo Resource Website DPReview, by Jeff Carlson, TidBITS

It’s a loss for consumers and for the communities that spring up around photography. It’s also a stark reminder that corporate ownership, far from being a safe haven, may increase the likelihood of a popular site disappearing.

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Remember when iTunes started out as a simple little MP3 player? And then Apple added all sorts of stuff -- movies, television, podcasts, ringtones, apps -- into it, and made iTunes into a simple little monster player / store / whatever?

Well... the Apple TV app is already not a simple little video player (it's no QuickTime TV, I can tell you that), but with Apple adding sports programming today, and who knows what tomorrow, Apple better watch out to not get into another iTunes mess again.


Thanks for reading.

The Convoluted-System Edition Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Buying Coffee With Your Phone Is Easy. Paying For The Subway Is A Pain., by Shira Ovide, Washington Post

If you’ve struggled to buy an e-book in an app, access your electronic medical records, book a vaccination appointment online, or pay for the bus with your phone, you might have wondered: Why is this so hard?

In Stewart’s case, three convoluted systems — public transportation, financial payments and especially workplace benefits — are conspiring to make paying for his commute like a circle of hell that Dante never imagined.


Apple Music Users Report Seeing Other People's Playlists In Their Libraries, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple Music appears to be sparking serious privacy concerns for some users, with multiple complaints on Reddit about other people's playlists randomly appearing in their music libraries in the Music app.

Nomad Launches 'Stand One' MagSafe Charger, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple accessory company Nomad today announced the launch of the Stand One, a new charging product that is designed for MagSafe iPhones. The charger is equipped with an official Made for iPhone ‌MagSafe‌ charging puck, which is able to charge a MagSafe-compatible device at up to 15W.


iOS 16.4 Allows Health Authorities To End Their Support For Apple's COVID-19 Exposure Notifications Feature, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In iOS 16.4, Apple has added underlying support for health departments to end their support of the Exposure Notifications API. When a health authority decides to end support for the feature, users will see a message on their iPhone informing them of that decision.

Fertility Apps Collect Unnecessary Personal Data And Could Sell It To Third Parties – Study, by Josh Taylor, The Guardian

Four of Australia’s top 12 fertility apps are unnecessarily collecting highly sensitive information and have left the door open to selling the data to other companies, a study has found.

Apple Pay Breaks Record With 1 Million Subscribers In S. Korea On First Day, by Philip Lee, Pickool

According to Ted Chung, vice chairman of Hyundai Card, one of Apple Pay’s partners in Korea, the number of Apple Pay tokens issued exceeded 1 million by 10 pm on 21 March.

He posted on his social media account that Apple said this was the “highest record ever” for its payment service.

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Apple makes computers that last and last. That's good.

On the other hand, Apple's accessories tend not to last and last.

And in related news, I am now using my old iPad cover-less and folio-less.


Thanks for reading.

The Generative-AI Edition Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Adobe Made An AI Image Generator — And Says It Didn’t Steal Artists’ Work To Do It, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

Adobe is finally launching its own AI image generator. The company is announcing a “family of creative generative AI models” today called Adobe Firefly and releasing the first two tools that take advantage of them. One of the tools works like DALL-E or Midjourney, allowing users to type in a prompt and have an image created in return. The other generates stylized text, kind of like an AI-powered WordArt.

This is a big launch for Adobe. The company sits at the center of the creative app ecosystem, and over much of the past year, it’s stayed on the sidelines while newcomers to the creative space began to offer powerful tools for creating images, videos, and sound for next to nothing. At launch, Adobe is calling Firefly a beta, and it’ll only be available through a website. But eventually, Adobe plans to tightly integrate generative AI tools with its suite of creative apps, like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere.

Netflix Games Is Still Happening. Just Don’t Hold Your Breath, by Megan Farokhmanesh, Wired

Video games are a harder sell than investing passive energy into a 30-minute TV show or a movie. It’s difficult to sample games quickly via Netflix, and some games can't really be enjoyed without working through a learning curve. Netflix is working on its own cloud streaming tech (similar to Google’s now dead Stadia and Nvidia’s GeForce Now), but for now it remains focused on a specific corner of the gaming market: mobile.

A Mobile Gaming Subscription War Looms As Netflix Sets Its Sights On Apple Arcade, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

Apple has long been the master of its kingdom, calling the App Store shots and controlling what is and isn't allowed onto the iPhone and iPad. But that could be about to change and even if it isn't, trouble is brewing. If Apple really does, contrary to popular opinion, get games, now is the time to prove it.

Following the news that Microsoft is planning its own games store for iOS and Netflix is taking Apple Arcade's crown jewels, now isn't the time for Apple to sit by.


Carbon Copy Cloner 6.1.5, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The update now presents more context in cases where a task fails due to a stall at the source or destination.

Lunar 6.0, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

he upgraded app can now read the real brightness value in nits from Apple displays and sync it more accurately to other monitors.


I Saw The Face Of God In A Semiconductor Factory, by Virginia Heffernan, Wired

I arrive in Taiwan brooding morbidly on the fate of democracy. My luggage is lost. This is my pilgrimage to the Sacred Mountain of Protection. The Sacred Mountain is reckoned to protect the whole island of Taiwan—and even, by the supremely pious, to protect democracy itself, the sprawling experiment in governance that has held moral and actual sway over the would-be free world for the better part of a century. The mountain is in fact an industrial park in Hsinchu, a coastal city southwest of Taipei. Its shrine bears an unassuming name: the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.


Perhaps more to the point, TSMC makes a third of all the world’s silicon chips, notably the ones in iPhones and Macs. Every six months, just one of TSMC’s 13 foundries—the redoubtable Fab 18 in Tainan—carves and etches a quintillion transistors for Apple. In the form of these miniature masterpieces, which sit atop microchips, the semiconductor industry churns out more objects in a year than have ever been produced in all the other factories in all the other industries in the history of the world.

Apple Pay Is Now Available In South Korea, by Kate Park, TechCrunch

South Korea’s limited number of NFC (near-field communication) terminals in retail shops could still be a roadblock for Apple Pay. (Only about 10% of 2.9 million local retailers in South Korea reportedly have NFC enabled in their credit card terminals.) But, more NFC terminal installations are expected to increase by the end of 2023, according to a recent report by Counterpoint, which also says that Apple Pay’s launch could intensify competition in South Korea’s payment market and among peers such as Samsung Pay, Naver Pay and Kakao Pay. iPhone and Apple Watch users are likely to switch to Apple Pay, it noted.

His L.A.-based Podcast Company Faced A Crossroads. Now Jesse Thorn's Employees Are Owners, by Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times

But during the last few years, he said, running the MacArthur Park-based business drove him to a breaking point. The father of three young children struggled to balance his work-life and home-life. He suffered from splitting migraines.

“You have to back off of this,” his wife, Theresa, told him at their dining room table in 2018. “I’m afraid you’re going to die.”

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Remember when we lost track of time during these strange times? I'm still doing that. Yesterday, at work, I couldn't recall what day of the week it was, and had to ask someone to remind me.

Either it was the strange times, or I am getting old.


Thanks for reading.

The Game-Changer Edition Monday, March 20, 2023

Imagining New Worlds On An iPad, by Brendan Frye, CGMagazine

To delve deeper into the impact of this technological revolution, CGMagazine sought insights from a creative professional who not only utilizes iOS-based devices for his work but has also made them his primary toolkit for projects. Rob McCallum, a storyboard and concept artist with an impressive resume, has contributed to films such as and as well as television series like Locke and Key, Carnival Row, and Star Trek: Discovery. A veteran in the field, McCallum possesses the expertise necessary to bring ideas to life.

We had the opportunity to speak with Rob about how his creative process has evolved since incorporating the iPad into his workflow and why this platform is a game-changer for the creative community.

Three Ways To Add An Address, Even If You Already Have One, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Apple gives email addresses away at no cost, but it’s not always obvious how to obtain one by itself or add one to an existing Apple ID account, or how to get additional addresses if you already have one at

But there are three paths, which vary by what you already have and what you want.

How A New App Could Help Ten Million Britons With Long Covid, Asthma And COPD, by Tom Bawden,

A new respiratory app to help people manage and monitor long Covid, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) could be available to the public by the end of the year.

The app, which developers hope could also help with rehabilitation after chest or abdominal surgery, will be piloted in two separate studies in May among outpatients at the Royal Free Hospital in North London and from GP practices in the area.

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Well, I've survived Monday.

Just four more Mondays to go before the weekend.

Meanwhile, I will be playing around with VoiceOver on my iPhone after work all this week. Just so I can figure out what to do next for my hobby project.


If you are not aware, I'm on UTC+8 timezone.


Thanks for reading.

The Recommended-Sleep-Duration Edition Sunday, March 19, 2023

Garmin And Apple Studies Show How Badly We're Sleeping – And How To Fix It, by Mark Wilson, TechRadar

Smartwatches from the likes of Garmin and Apple now come with some impressive sleep-tracking skills – and a pair of new studies from the two companies show the wearables can also give us fascinating insights into our collective shut-eye. The short answer? Most of us could definitely be sleeping better.

The new data from Garmin's Sleep Score study and the 'sleep health' component of the Apple Heart & Movement Study has tracked the shut-eye of participants over two different periods during 2022. The broad conclusion from both studies is that around 70% of us are falling short of the recommended sleep duration or quality.

The Death Of Google Glass Is A Reality Check For Apple, by David Price, Macworld

Apple needs to look at the things Google got wrong, and the obstacles it was unable to overcome, and find a different path… or simply hope that the market has changed enough that the same methods will now be more successful. That’s where the importance of timing comes in.

Apple's 16-inch M2 MacBook Pro, by Bill Bennett, Scoop

Apple’s 2023 16-inch MacBook Pro is an excellent high-end laptop. It has bags of computing power and longer battery life than any other laptop. There are few, if any, departments where its features are not best-in-class.

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I think I'll restart my quest for sufficient sleep duration, starting tonight… I think.


Thanks for reading.

The Rebecca-Loved-I-Love-You Edition Saturday, March 18, 2023

I Never Thought Anti-Android Discrimination Was Real. Now I Know The Truth., by Luke Winkie, Slate

The infamous green bubble—my personal Scarlet Letter—is just the tip of the iceberg. As I mentioned earlier, video clips captured on an iPhone and texted to an Android are compressed beyond legibility, and those cute little hearts and thumbs-ups you attach to someone’s messages in a group thread have yet to be made fully compatible between the two operating systems. (If I text my girlfriend, an iPhone owner, “I love you,” there’s a good chance I’ll receive a text in response that says “Rebecca loved ‘I love you,’ ” instead of just seeing a pink heart appear on my message. What! Why?) Other times, the texts from my friends simply aren’t delivered—due to some unknowable machinations beyond the veil—a happening which, to be honest, can be both a blessing and a curse.

Microsoft’s New Copilot Will Change Office Documents Forever, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Microsoft’s new AI-powered Copilot summarized my meeting instantly yesterday (the meeting was with Microsoft to discuss Copilot, of course) before listing out the questions I’d asked just seconds before. I’ve watched Microsoft demo the future of work for years with concepts about virtual assistants, but Copilot is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to them coming true.

“In our minds this is the new way of computing, the new way of working with technology, and the most adaptive technology we’ve seen,” says Jon Friedman, corporate vice president of design and research at Microsoft, in an interview with The Verge.


Postmortem Of The Launch Of A Top 10 Paid iOS App, by Ben Dodson

It’s been 4 weeks since the v2.0 update for Music Library Tracker launched so I thought now was a good time for a retrospective to detail how I promoted the app and how well it performed.


A Brief Review Of Apple Maps’s Boston Landmarks, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

Over the past couple years, Apple’s been rolling out its “Detailed City Experience” in Maps to cities across the world and finally, at long last, those improved maps and better landmarks have come to my hometown of Boston, as first noted by Frank McShan on Twitter.

As a lifelong resident of this fair city, I thought it my responsibility—nay, my duty—to take a spin through all these new landmarks and judge them on their fidelity to the reality (and the spirit)

Without further ado, let’s take a look.

Apple Now Distributing 'Accessory Developer Assistant' App Through The App Store, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Over the last several months, Apple has been slowly adding a handful of unlisted apps to the App Store, covering things like CarKey, GymKit, and more. Now, Apple has launched the “Accessory Developer Assistant” app as its latest unlisted offering on the App Store.

Something Pretty Right, by Ryan Lucas, Retool

In 2006, an 18-year-old blogger and coder named Jaroslaw Rzeszótko emailed a series of unsolicited questions to a group of famous developers. Among his questions was a future looking solicitation: “What will be the next big thing in programming?” Most of his audience rejected the basis of the question or demurred, but Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel, took the bait. He predicted the importance of incremental improvements in programming, specifically “tools to help make all the everyday drudgery easier.”

“For example, I personally believe that Visual Basic did more for programming than Object-Oriented Languages did,” Torvalds wrote, “yet people laugh at VB and say it's a bad language, and they've been talking about OO languages for decades. And no, Visual Basic wasn't a great language, but I think the easy DB interfaces in VB were fundamentally more important than object orientation is, for example.”

Torvalds, as it turns out, was right: it was primarily the tools, ecosystems, integrations, and frameworks that would define the near future, not the design of the languages themselves.

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Today, I've deposited the contact-tracing bluetooth token into an e-waste recycle bin. This was the little device that we had to carry around outside of home, when we need to go to almost any places -- shops, malls, wherever -- in the past couple of years. (Instead of the token, you can also use an app. But, I always worried my phone not working at moments, so I carried the token.)

This country stopped using this contact-tracing device last year, and the program was shut down earlier this year.

So, in another way, another icon of these strange times have been rid of. (There are plenty of masks and test kits in my home, still.) This strange times may not be over yet, but it is getting less strange.


Thanks for reading.

The Antitrust-Reprieve Edition Friday, March 17, 2023

Apple, Amazon, Google Will Likely Get A Reprieve From GOP-controlled House On Antitrust Legislation, by Brian Schwartz, Lauren Feiner, CNBC

Tech giants Google, Amazon and Apple are likely to get a reprieve in Congress this year from efforts to rein in some of the companies' most controversial and allegedly anti-competitive business practices — even though the legislation has typically enjoyed broad bipartisan support.

The new Republican leadership in the U.S. House doesn't appear to have the appetite to impose tougher antitrust rules on the tech giants to ensure they don't abuse their dominant position in the market to block smaller rivals, Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., the former the top Republican on the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust issues, said in an interview.


Apple Maps Expands Detailed City Experience With 3D Landmarks To Boston, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple says the updated map provides richer detail for road markings, buildings, commercial districts, marinas, land cover, trees, elevation, public transit routes, and more. Navigation is also improved with the additions of augmented reality walking directions and a road-level "windshield view" when approaching complex interchanges.

The New Camo App Makes Even Your Crappy Webcam Look Halfway Decent, by David Pierce, The Verge

Where Camo most obviously shines is when you connect your smartphone, particularly an iPhone — Camo may work with everything, but it’s still best with Apple gear. It’s just so much better than Continuity Camera. By default, Continuity Camera gives you practically no control other than a couple of semi-useful filters like Portrait and Center Stage. But connect via Camo and you can zoom in or out, you can switch your camera’s frame rate, you can shoot vertically instead of in landscape, and you can add a filter that makes everything purple for some reason. And at least to my eyes, it all happens without any loss in image quality.

Clip Studio Paint 2.0 Introduces New 3D Referencing Tools, by Jess Weatherbed, The Verge

Celsys has released Clip Studio Paint 2.0, the first major update for its popular digital illustration app that introduces new 3D referencing tools, brush effects, and additional language support.

Agenda 17, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Momenta has issued version 17 of Agenda, adding multi-window capabilities to the date-focused note-taking app and a new purchasing model for its Premium features.

NBA iOS App Updated With Live Activities Support Ahead Of April Playoffs, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Just a week after the NCAA March Madness app was updated with support for iOS 16 Live Activities, the NBA app has followed suit. The handy feature arrives as the regular season comes to a close on April 9 and the NBA playoffs kick off on April 11.


Apple Testing New Siri Natural Language Generating Features Starting With Latest tvOS Update, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple is testing new natural language generation features for Siri, 9to5Mac has learned. Codenamed “Bobcat,” this new technology is being tested starting with the latest tvOS 16.4 beta and will eventually make its way to the rest of Apple’s operating systems. Still, Apple is currently focused on using this technology to improve Siri.

Apple Planning Redesigned TV App For Mac With Sidebar For Navigation, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple is planning a redesign for the TV app on the Mac, 9to5Mac has learned. The redesign is included in the macOS 13.3 beta but is currently disabled. With a little bit of trickery, however, we were able to activate the new design and get a look at what’s new.

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I find it a bit strange to hear so many people declare that AR glasses are still years and years away to be technically feasible. But isn't Google Glasses a thing already, or are we talking about different things?


Thanks for reading.

The MacBook-ThinkPad-Surface Edition Thursday, March 16, 2023

50 Years Later, We’re Still Living In The Xerox Alto’s World, by David C. Brock, IEEE Spectrum

I’m sitting in front of a computer, looking at its graphical user interface with overlapping windows on a high-resolution screen. I interact with the computer by pointing and clicking with a mouse and typing on a keyboard. I’m using a word processor with the core features and functions of Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or LibreOffice’s Writer, along with an email client that could be mistaken for a simplified version of Apple Mail, Microsoft Outlook, or Mozilla Thunderbird. This computer runs other software, written using object-oriented programming, just like the popular programming languages Python, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, and R. Its networking capabilities can link me to other computers and to high-quality laser printers.

You are probably thinking, “So what? My computer has all that too.” But the computer in front of me is not today’s MacBook, ThinkPad, or Surface computer.

Apple Shares New AirPods Pro Ad Highlighting Up To 2x Active Noise Cancellation, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Set to the song "Where Is My Mind?" by Tkay Maidza, the ad shows a woman wearing AirPods Pro as she walks through a busy city. With Active Noise Cancellation mode enabled on her AirPods Pro, she is able to block out the loud noises surrounding her.


Peakto Review: A Hub For All Your Images And Catalogs, by Mel Martin, Fstoppers

You don't have to stop using your normal editing apps or stop using their catalogs, but if you point Peakto at any of those catalogs, it will automatically ingest them and give you a high altitude view of all your photos, with all your metadata intact.


Peakto monitors the changes made to your catalogs and watched folders and will sync on demand with these changes to ensure that all data in Peakto (metadata and preview) is always up to date. Just click on your photo to open it in the software you used to edit it.

Tripsy 2.15 Adds Weather Forecasts, Time Zone Support, And Other Customization Options, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Tripsy is more than just an app for storing details about your upcoming trips. It does that and does it well, but it’s also a great way to revisit old trips and get inspired about places you want to visit in the future. [...] With version 2.15, which debuted this week, Tripsy is focused on trip itineraries, adding several ‘quality of life’ features along with better organization for multi-location trips, and improved customization.

Camo 2 Revamped With Support For Any Camera, Apple Silicon Hardware Boosts, And More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Even as Apple launched its Continuity Camera feature for Mac/iPhone last fall, Camo continued to offer more and more value with features like variable frame rates, Smart Zoom, and video stabilization.

Today, with Camo 2, Reincubate is bringing even more capability and power to the experience compared to any other webcam solution.

Carrot Weather Adds Expanded Radar And Alerts With A Chance Of ChatGPT-fueled Snark, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Carrot Weather is out with an update today that brings a fun implementation of ChatGPT, expanded radar, weather alerts, lightning notifications, and more. And while you can enjoy the snarky new AI chatbot experience, you can also customize its personality.

Sling Launches New iOS Widget, PiP For Desktop, And Enhanced 'Sports Scores', by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Sling has released three handy updates including a fresh iOS widget, PiP mode called “Side View” plus a new Sports Scores feature to keep up with what’s happening across games while watching TV.


Apple Supplier Foxconn Wins AirPod Order, Plans $200 Million Factory In India, by Yimou Lee, Reuters

The deal will see Foxconn, the world's largest contract electronics maker and assembler of around 70% of all iPhones, become an AirPod supplier for the first time and underlines efforts by the key Apple supplier to further diversify production away from China. AirPods are currently made by a range of Chinese suppliers.

Apple Prevails In Privacy Battle Over Streaming Video, by Wendy Davis, MediaPost

Apple has defeated a lawsuit alleging that the company violates New York and Minnesota privacy laws by retaining records of the videos that users stream through iTunes.

In a decision issued this week, U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam in the Northern District of California said the New York and Minnesota laws do not allow individuals to sue companies over their alleged failure to destroy video rental records.

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I have never used this new feature, but my understanding is that the latest iOS can recognize certain sounds -- such as door bells and alarms -- and can then notify you when the phone can hear these sounds but you can't.

Well, I wonder if Apple can consider adding a (more difficult) use case? Have the iPhone listen to station announcements in a subway, and can notify you that you have arrive at your station and that you need to stop being so engrossed with reading that e-book of yours that you forgot to get off the train.

(This example may or may not be based on a real-life incident.)


Thanks for reading.

The Power-and-Accessibility Edition Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Meet Four Women Using Apps And Games To Drive Culture And Create Change, by Apple

Every day on the App Store, entrepreneurs behind best-in-class apps and games are harnessing the power and accessibility of technology to create change and drive culture. And for the creators of Mini Motorways, Rebel Girls, and Wisdom, there’s so much more to app development than the end product — these women-led teams are amplifying women’s voices, and leading the charge for the next generation of women and girls looking to cultivate a career in technology.

How Siri, Alexa And Google Assistant Lost The A.I. Race, by Brian X. Chen, Nico Grant and Karen Weise, New York Times

Siri also had a cumbersome design that made it time-consuming to add new features, said Mr. Burkey, who was given the job of improving Siri in 2014. Siri’s database contains a gigantic list of words, including the names of musical artists and locations like restaurants, in nearly two dozen languages.


So seemingly simple updates, like adding some new phrases to the data set, would require rebuilding the entire database, which could take up to six weeks, Mr. Burkey said. Adding more complex features like new search tools could take nearly a year. That meant there was no path for Siri to become a creative assistant like ChatGPT, he said.

Apple Delays Bonuses For Some And Limits Hiring In Latest Cost-Cutting Effort, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

In the past, Apple typically doled out bonuses and promotions once or twice per year depending on the division. The twice-a-year teams usually saw that happen in April and October. Under the new plan, that group won’t see bonuses or promotions next month, and all divisions will move to an annual schedule — with the payments occurring only in October.

The majority of Apple’s divisions had already moved to a once-a-year schedule for bonuses and promotions, including software engineering and services, but staff in operations, corporate retail and other groups had still been on the outgoing biannual plan.


Apple Announces 'Shop With A Specialist Over Video' Feature For Buying An iPhone, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple today announced that customers in the U.S. can now connect with an Apple Specialist over a live video session while shopping for an iPhone on the company's online store. With this new service, customers can learn about the latest iPhone models and features, switching to iOS, trade-in offers, carrier deals, and financing options.

Apple Shares Stylish Wallpaper To Celebrate New Gangnam Store In South Korea, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple this week announced that it will be opening its fifth retail store in South Korea on Friday, March 31 at 5 p.m. local time. The new store will be located in the central Gangnam district of Seoul, the capital city of South Korea.

Apple Quietly Launched “Mac Does That” Campaign For Businesses, by Desire Athow, TechRadar

We’re not sure when exactly Apple launched its new business-oriented campaign called “Mac Does that” but they did it in super stealth, quasi secretive mode with a handful of B2B partners and with some very uncharacteristic design choices.

Mac Photo Organizer Peakto Adds Cross-App Photo Annotation, by Jeremy Gray, PetaPixel

Cyme has announced a new version of its macOS universal photo organizer, Peakto. Version 1.5, codenamed Pic-Saint-Loup, adds annotation features to the artificial intelligence (AI) photo meta-cataloguer.

Waze Is Adding Electric Vehicle Charging Stations To Its Route Planning Tool, by Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge

Starting today, Waze users can input their vehicle information into the app, as well as their preferred plug type, and Waze will find the nearest stations along their route. The feature will roll out to users globally in the “coming weeks,” the company says.


The Key To The Mac's Survival Isn't A New Air–it's The Next iPad Pro, by Jason Snell, Macworld

For years now, Apple has pushed the iPad Pro up into a neither-fish-nor-fowl space where, as hard as it tries, it can’t ever be a Mac. Meanwhile, the Mac can’t ever be an iPad. It feels like the time has come for the barriers to come down and for Apple to let these two product lines spread their wings. As long as the Mac and the iPad aren’t allowed to use the strengths of one another, I fear that neither will become the best version of themselves.

Spotify Co-president Says HiFi Is Still “Coming At Some Point”, by Jay Peters and Chris Welch, The Verge

Even though Spotify HiFi still hasn’t launched after being announced more than two years ago, some kind of lossless experience is still on the way, Spotify co-president Gustav Söderström said in an interview with The Verge. But don’t get your hopes up for any specific information about when.

Now We Are Cooking Without Gas, by Nick Heer, Pixel Envy

For all we focus on products’ utility, I wish there was as much consideration given to how they feel — to the emotional connection they create. I, for one, do not want to live in a world dominated by appliances. I want to love the things I use, and I am sure I am not alone. Do not get me wrong: I appreciate so many of these things; they are brilliant in ways I can barely comprehend. But clever is not a substitute for soul. Too many of the products and services I use feel more advanced and less compelling than those of, say, ten or twenty years ago. We should find that quality again.

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The Mac need not have a touch screen, but Apple need to figure out how to make a good macOS computer that is as light and as thin and as portable as an iPad.

The iPad need not have windows and menus and Finder, but Apple need to figure out how to get all its pro apps -- Xcode, Final Cut -- onto the iPadOS, and make sure users can be productive with these apps.

That's my wish list.


For the first time ever, I am watching more than three shows weekly on Apple TV+. Maybe Apple is justified to raise the subscription price.

(The four shows I am enjoying are Hello Tomorrow, Liaison, Shrinking, and Ted Lasso.)


Thanks for reading.

The Square-Peg Edition Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Can Apple Really Start A Classical-music Revolution?, by James Hall, The Telegraph

Will Page, former chief economist at Spotify, says classical music has never really fitted the established streaming model. He remembers going for a meeting about streaming at classical label Decca Records when he was at the Swedish company. Page was accompanied by “the best data scientists” Stockholm could offer. “We came out like we were hit by a bus,” he recalls. “[We thought] ‘This doesn’t work. The way you get paid, the time it takes to compose, the nature of collaboration, how classical music is classified. This is a square peg, and streaming is a round hole.’”

So how precisely will it work, and what are the specific hurdles that Apple needs to clear?

Legacy of Tim Cook

To Ship Or Not To Ship, Headset Edition, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

But more importantly, the FT’s reporting makes it sound as though this decision was solely between the industrial design team and Jeff Williams’s operations team. That’s not how Apple works. Left out of the FT’s reporting are both Mike Rockwell’s AR/VR team within Apple (more of a division than a mere team — at least 1,000 or more software and hardware engineers, designers, and AR/VR content creators), and Greg Joswiak’s product marketing division.


What I don’t buy, though, is the angle that Tim Cook is fast-tracking the product because he sees it in anyway as essential to bolstering his “legacy”.

There's A New Reality Distortion Field Because Tim Cook Is Doomed, by The Macalope, Macworld

It must be fun to be Tim Cook and to release the Watch and have everyone crow that the first product released under your tenure is a “flop” and then eight years later after it’s clear it was actually a hit people start saying “Oh, yeah, that was all Steve Jobs.”


Agenda Note-taking App Adds Multiwindow Support, New Lifetime Purchase Option, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Agenda, the popular note-taking app for iPhone, iPad, and Mac, has been updated to version 17 today. This update includes multiwindow support on iPadOS and macOS, allowing you to “split off any note or project into a separate window,” among other changes.


Pi Is Hiding Everywhere, by Rhett Allain, Wired

So anytime you’re dealing with circles, it seems quite logical that the number pi could show up. But many situations where pi appears at first seem to have nothing to do with circles at all. In quantum mechanics, it's in the solution to the Schrödinger equation, the way we model electrons and protons in an atom. It's in the magnetic permeability constant, which is used for calculating magnetic fields. It appears in the motion of a mass swinging on a string, otherwise known as a pendulum. It's in the electric constant, which is used for calculating the electric field due to charges. And it's even in the uncertainty principle, which says you can’t precisely know both the momentum and position of a particle.

Why does it keep showing up? Really, there are two primary reasons: symmetry and oscillations.

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I strongly doubt Mr Tim Cook has any iota of care about his legacy. And he probably cares even less what anyone declare to his legacy, or lack thereof.


Thanks for reading.

The Prime-of-Career Edition Monday, March 13, 2023

Apple’s New Challenge: A Wave Of Key Executives Leaving The Company, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Most of the recent departures were of Apple veterans, people who have been at the company 15-plus years. But in the case of its design and services vice presidents, among others, Apple lost executives in the prime of their careers who could have, one day, potentially reached the senior vice president level.

Moreover, I’ve been warned that this flurry of exits may just be the beginning. There are quite a few vice presidents at Apple who have been there for decades and could retire in the next few years.


How To Use One Keyboard With Two Macs, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

If you’re in the unique situation of needing to use two Macs at once, the task can be made easier if you can control both of them with one keyboard. Here are a couple of ways to do it.

How To Use Your Apple Music Subscription For All Your Wellness Needs, by Angela Yates, MakeUseOf

Apple Fitness+ is such a comprehensive service that it’s tempting for Apple users to look no further for their health and exercise needs. But if you subscribe to Apple Music as well, there’s a lot of great content in the Apple Music Wellbeing section to help with your wellness as well. Take a look at how to use every element of the Apple Music Wellbeing catalog to get the most out of this aspect of your streaming subscription.

“I Tried An Audio Training App To See If It Could Help Me Mix Up My Workouts”, by Lauren Geall, Stylist

It’s a simple concept, but being able to listen into your workouts rather than watch them on a screen allows you to really focus on what you’re doing with your body, and I was definitely able to push myself harder as a result.

TuneIn Rolls Out Its Immersive Map Experience For Mobile Listeners, by Lauren Forristal, TechCrunch

TuneIn Explorer lets users access over 100,000 local AM/FM radio stations from nearly every country in the world. The feature has been available on the web since mid-February, but now TuneIn is expanding it to mobile devices.


Apple, Atari, And Commodore, Oh My! Explore A Deluxe Home Vintage Computer Den, by Benj Edwards, Ars Technica

In a world where millions of people carry a 1990s-grade supercomputer in their pockets, it's fun to revisit tech from a time when a 1 megahertz machine on a desktop represented a significant leap forward. Recently, a collector named Brian Green showed off his vintage computer collection on Twitter, and we thought it would be fun to ask him about why and how he set up his at-home computer lab.

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Something was wrong with the latest episode of Liason over at Apple TV+. Well, the actual show is still good. (So far.) But the subtitles on my version of the TV app is messed up. the app simply refused to always show me English subtitles / captions at all times.

I forgot which is which, but no matter if I chose English or English CC as subtitles, I will either only get English subtitles when the dialog is in French and no subtitles when the dialog is in English, or I get English subtitles when the dialog is in English and French subtitles when the dialog is in French.

(No, I don't know French.)

In the end, out of frustration, I chose Simplified Chinese (which I understand) as subtitles.


Also, what's up with Apple app designers who think we are all perfect human beings that fit into perfect use cases? The TV app on iPad is so bad when watching TV+ shows (at least). One wrong touch on the screen, and the show either forwards or rewinds goodness know how many minutes.


Thanks for reading.

The Shifted-Focus Edition Sunday, March 12, 2023

Cook Bets On Apple’s Mixed Reality Headset To Secure His Legacy, by Patrick McGee, Financial Times

In deciding to press ahead with a debut this year, Cook has sided with operations chief Jeff Williams, according to two people familiar with Apple’s decision-making, and overruled the early objections from Apple’s designers to wait for the tech to catch up with their vision.

Just a few years ago, going against the wishes of Apple’s all-powerful design team would have been unthinkable. But since the departure of its longtime leader Jony Ive in 2019, Apple’s structure has been reshuffled, with design now reporting to Williams.


Apple’s 12-person executive team reflects how the company’s focus has shifted under Cook, himself a former operations chief. Four of the 12 members have risen through Apple’s operations ranks, whereas nobody has succeeded Ive as chief design officer, who steered the development of the iMac, iPod and iPhone and Watch.


How To Edit ProRAW Photos On Your iPhone, by Allison Johnson, The Verge

ProRAW files are saved in Adobe’s ubiquitous DNG format, which is compatible with virtually every RAW photo editing app under the sun. That means you have a lot of options, including just sending the file to a computer and using desktop software. But you don’t need access to a computer — you can process your image right on your phone, either using a third-party app or Apple’s own editing tools. Here’s how to go about it.

Yes, Paper-feel Screen Protectors For The iPad Are Good, by Dan Seifert, The Verge

Apple’s iPad and Pencil combination makes for an excellent note-taking or digital drawing solution. But even though writing notes or creating art on the iPad has a lot of advantages over using analog pen and paper, the actual feel of writing with a plastic-tipped stylus on the iPad’s smooth glass isn’t great. The hard plastic of the stylus hitting the hard glass of the iPad can be noisy, slippery, and just unpleasant to use if you’re used to writing on paper.

Yet it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. There is a small cottage industry of paper-feel (or paperlike or paper-type) screen protectors for the iPad that address this issue directly. And as someone who takes handwritten notes on the iPad every single day, I now swear by them.


Streams Are Made Of This: Will Digital Platforms Change Our Musical Memories?, by Jude Rogers, The Guardian

I also know that my experiences were very different to his. At his age, I had to hang around the radio for hours or wait until Top of the Pops every Thursday, hoping that a song I loved would appear. These days, my son just asks Alexa.

By my early teens, if I wanted to own an album, the process was a little more convoluted: save £9.99 of pocket money, beg my mum to drive me to Woolworths five miles away, pray that they had it, and if they did, play it until its tape was run ragged or the vinyl was jumping with scratches. Now kids find any album online, in seconds, for free – or find a million tasters on TikTok in a fraction of the time. I worry that music is no longer rare and precious, but something we take for granted.

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Now, I am intrigued. What have Apple not shipped in recent years due to objections of the design team over the operations team? Are there still new products sitting inside Apple's labs, awaiting the green-light of the design team?

We probably may never know, but I have one guess. I suspect it was the design team who insisted on continuing revising and using the butterfly keyboard in Apple's laptops, over the objections from operations team. And this fiasco may have caused the design team to lose their clout within the company.


Thanks for reading.

The Clean-Sweep Edition Saturday, March 11, 2023

Apple Faces Scant Shareholder Dissent At Annual Shareholder Meeting, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. investors reelected its board, approved its compensation plan and rejected the shareholder proposals that the company opposed, giving the iPhone maker a clean sweep during its annual meeting.

A preliminary tally of the votes showed that the four measures Apple supported, including its board slate and compensation, were approved Friday. The five shareholder measures that it asked investors to reject failed to gain enough votes to pass.

Apple’s File Provider Forces Mac Cloud Storage Changes, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Over the last year, cloud storage services Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive—and probably others—have migrated from custom kernel extensions to Apple’s new-ish File Provider extension. It provides an Apple-approved framework for integrating remote files into macOS and displaying them in the Finder.


Although it’s good to have cloud storage integrated into macOS in a coherent fashion, the switch to Apple’s File Provider extension brings with it two key changes that will require adjustments in how you work.


CorelDRAW Graphics Suite Gets New Variable Outline Tool, 200 Templates, One-time Purchase Option, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite has received a notable update bringing a new tool, over 200 design templates, the most recent Pantone colors, and more. And the 2023 suite has also launched as a one-time purchase along with the subscription option.

NCAA March Madness App Will Support Live Activities, CarPlay, And More This Year, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Ahead of March Madness kicking off in just a few days are a handful of features coming to the NCAA’s March Madness iPhone app. Most notably, the NCAA March Madness Live app will support Apple’s new Live Activities feature this year.


Apple, Foxconn Convince Indian State To Loosen Labor Laws, by John Reed and Katherin Hille, Financial Times

Apple and its manufacturing partner Foxconn were among the companies behind a landmark liberalization of labor laws in the Indian state of Karnataka last month, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Their successful lobbying for new legislation means two-shift production can take place in India, akin to the two companies’ practices in China, their primary manufacturing base. The law gives the southern state one of the most flexible working regimes in India as the country aims to become an alternative manufacturing base to China.

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Sure looks like Apple has confirmed that the upcoming Apple Music Classical will not have any offline modes.

How disappointing.

Well, I will now also wait for the next version of Apple Music Classical with bated breath. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Youthful-Generation Edition Friday, March 10, 2023

Apple Launches Its New Classical Music Streaming App For Pre-order, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Apple is launching a new music streaming service focused on classical music. Based on its 2021 acquisition of Amsterdam-based streamer Primephonic, the new Apple Music Classical app will offer Apple Music subscribers access to over 5 million classical music tracks, including new releases in high-quality audio, as well as hundreds of curated playlists, thousands of exclusive albums, and other features like composer bios and deep dives on key works, Apple says.


The app will also let users dive into the recordings to read editorial notes about the composers and descriptions of their key works. Famous composers will have their own high-resolution digital portraits available, which Apple commissioned from artists. These were designed with color palettes and artistic references from the relevant classical period, Apple notes, and more will be added in time. At launch, portraits will be available for Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, and Johann Sebastian Bach.

Apple Music Classical Is Launching On 28 March, by Stuart Dredge, Music Ally

So, Apple’s challenge is partly to tempt older classical music fans who don’t already pay for a streaming subscription because they prefer their CDs and the radio. Or, indeed, because they don’t think streaming services serve classical well enough – which is where Apple Music Classical’s pitch should hit home.


Classical music is fascinating right now. It’s still too often stereotyped as a niche genre for older listeners, but (apart from the fact it’s not a single genre) streaming has already expanded its audience, and there’s a youthful generation of listeners coming through.


PCalc For iOS And Mac Enhanced With New Capabilities For Functions, Conversions, And Constants, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Arriving for all Apple devices, the release brings the ability for user functions and conversions to call other functions and conversions, the option to reference constants within user functions and conversions, and more.

Hands-on: Pitaka Launches 1,500 Limited Edition ‘Sunset’ Cases With A Clever MagSafe Finger Grip, by Fernando Silva, 9to5Mac

The MagEZ grip is also a great addition to this bundle; it is an extremely strong magnet that adds a finger loop and standability to the rear of the iPhone. It can be removed and added very easily with the power of magnets.

MLB App Now Supports Live Activities, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The dedicated MLB app for the iPhone now supports Live Activities following an update that was introduced yesterday. With Live Activities, MLB users can follow their favorite teams without the need to open the app, keeping track of scores right from the Lock Screen.


Expanded App Store Price Points Now Available For All App Purchases, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today announced that its expanded range of App Store price points is now available to developers for use with all App Store purchase options, including paid apps and one-time in-app purchases.


The Real Reason No Actual Brits Are Watching 'Ted Lasso', by Grant Marek, SFGATE

“It really drives me mad because it’s not because of the content. It would absolutely be lapped up by the British public because it’s about our Premier League football. It is purely because of the medium,” she said. “I joke with my ['Ted Lasso' tour] guests — we see it as very American to have lots of channels. Trying to sell a channel package to people in Britain is quite hard. I think the second it’s sold to Netflix or even Prime, it’s gonna be big.”

Apple Supplier’s Vietnam Chief Exits After Outlining China Shift, by Debby Wu, Bloomberg

AirPods maker GoerTek Inc.’s Vietnam business chief is leaving the company, days after the executive outlined how Apple Inc.’s Chinese suppliers are likely to move capacity out of the country far faster than anticipated to pre-empt fallout from escalating Beijing-Washington tensions.


Apple’s suppliers rarely comment on its thinking, in part because of the US company’s famous insistence on secrecy across its global supply chain.

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The description of the new Apple Music Classical app has this one single sentence that is a bit worrying for me: "To listen to music on Apple Music Classical, you must have an internet connection."

I can parse this sentence both ways.

Apple may be saying there is no offline mode. To listen to any music using this new app, you will need an internet connection to stream music.

Or, Apple may be saying you will need an internet connection in order to either stream or download music. But after downloading, you are good to go to offline mode.

I sure hope it is the latter, but given what Apple has wrote, I will not be surprised if it is the former.


Thanks for reading.

The Motivation-Fuel Edition Thursday, March 9, 2023

Apple Fitness+ Has New Miley Cyrus And Shania Twain Workouts That'll Rock Your World, by Lauren Mazzo, Popsugar

If Miley Cyrus's new "Flowers" video — and the workout inside it — fueled your motivation to move, there's great news: you can now sweat to Miley-dedicated classes on Apple Fitness+. And Cyrus isn't the only headliner here. On March 6, Apple also launched Artist Spotlights for country queen Shania Twain and pop icon Mariah Carey.

The Guardian Returns To Apple News In UK As Commission Terms Improve, by William Turvill, Press Gazette

Press Gazette understands The Guardian has chosen to rejoin Apple News in the UK in part because the platform now allows it to sell subscriptions and accept reader donations through the app.

Additionally, because The Guardian is on Apple News in all four of the app’s home nations – the UK, US, Canada and Australia – it qualifies for a discounted commission rate.


Apple Hosting Free Ted Lasso 'Today At Apple' Sessions In Stores, by Rik Henderson, Pocket-lint

Ted Lasso returns to our screens on Wednesday 15 March, with new episodes to hit Apple TV+ each Wednesday after (until 31 May). And, to celebrate, Apple is inviting fans to its stores in order to take part in free, themed Today at Apple sessions.

The sessions are taking place in Apple Stores around the world and give customers the chance to make their own "Believe" style locker room poster.

Spotify’s New Design Is Part TikTok, Part Instagram, And Part YouTube, by David Pierce, The Verge

Spotify is redesigning the core homescreen of its app, trying to make it easier for users to find new stuff to listen to — and watch. The new design goes heavy on imagery and vertical scrolling, turning your homescreen from a set of album covers into a feed that much more closely resembles TikTok and Instagram. As you scroll, Spotify is also hoping to make it easier to discover new things across the Spotify ecosystem.


Apple To Shake Up International Sales Operations To Make India Its Own Region, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple is making the change after its vice president in charge of India, the Middle East, Mediterranean, East Europe and Africa — Hugues Asseman — recently retired. With his departure, the iPhone maker is promoting its head of India, who reported to Asseman. That executive, Ashish Chowdhary, will now report directly to Michael Fenger, Apple’s head of product sales.


The company posted record revenue in India last quarter, even as its total sales slipped 5%. Apple has created an online store to serve the region and is planning to open its first retail outlets in the country later this year.

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Oh, I am not a potential customer for Fitness+, but I do hope Apple is working on getting News+ out to more countries -- or at least the country where I am in.


Thanks for reading.

The Spring-Refresh Edition Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Apple Launches New Yellow Color For iPhone 14 And iPhone 14 Plus, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple today announced a new yellow colorway for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. This represents the usual spring color refresh for the iPhone line. No new color was announced for the higher-end iPhone 14 Pro series.

Apple Launches Fresh Spring Colors For iPhone Cases And Watch Bands, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Along with launching the new yellow version of the iPhone 14 today, Apple updated its collection of iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands with some fresh spring colors. The new options are available for Apple’s silicone iPhone cases and several different Apple Watch bands.

Apple Announces iPhone 14's Satellite Feature Launching In Six More Countries Later This Month, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Alongside the new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus in Yellow, Apple today announced that the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature will be available in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Portugal later this month.


I Forgot How Good The Apple Watch Ultra’s GPS Is Until I Tried Track Detection, by Victoria Song, The Verge

When the Apple Watch Ultra arrived last year, multiband GPS was one of its standout features, meant to entice outdoor athletes who love poring over route maps. And while I love hyper-accurate maps as much as the next runner, I’ve been most impressed by how Apple uses GPS for its track detection feature.

Track detection uses a combination of Apple Maps data and GPS to automatically recognize when you’re at a standard 400m IAAF running track. You are then prompted to enter which lane you’re in. Later, in your workout summary, you’ll get a route map with what Apple says is lane-level precision.

GarageBand For Mac Updated With Important Security Fixes, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple today updated the GarageBand app on macOS with “important security fixes,” but the release notes do not provide any specific details. Mac users should update GarageBand as soon as possible due to potential security vulnerabilities.


iOS 16.4 Beta 3 Lets Users Sign In With A Different Apple ID To Download Beta Software, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

With iOS 16.4 beta, which was first released to developers last month, Apple has introduced a new way to set up a device to get beta software that doesn’t require special profiles or using a computer. As the company will make this the only way to install iOS betas in the future, the latest iOS 16.4 beta 3 now lets users sign in with a different Apple ID to download beta software.

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My iPhone is haunted, today.

Twice, while I am listening on my iPhone using my AirPods, I've had a coughing fit, and the podcast stopped. The app is still running fine. It was as if someone press the pause button on my iPhone.

It can't be Siri misinterpreting my coughing fit as a command to pause, right?


The new Schmigadoon! trailer (over at Apple TV+) is amazing. And it looks like a wonderful idea for a second season.

I can't wait for the season when they meet up with Schmilexandra Schmilton.


Thanks for reading.

The Toughen-Up Edition Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Maybe One Day Every Platform Will Be As Secure As Apple, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

And that is the big positive in these proposals. In essence, telling software and service providers to take more responsibility for security will probably drive most to toughen up. There will be glaring inconsistencies along the way — for example, is the regulatory drive to force every smartphone vendor to support every app store compatible with the need to secure platforms and services?


The National Cybersecurity Strategy doesn’t have all the answers to this complex web of shifting problems, but it does offer a stronger starting point from which to move forward. Social media firms can expect a great deal of scrutiny, at last.

Popular 'Untitled Goose Game' For macOS Rejected Twice By Apple's Mac App Store, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

The macOS game has been submitted for review a second time. But again, Apple rejected the game claiming “something else.” Sasser said that at that time the developers “just gave up and never bothered to resubmit.” The game was released for Mac users through Steam and Epic Games Store.

Ads Are Everywhere On Apple Devices And It's Not A Good Look, by The Macalope, Macworld

The ad experience on Apple platforms is like having coin locks on the bathroom stalls at a fancy restaurant. From top to bottom, they are needless, detrimental to the user experience, and seem so un-Apple.

Coming Soon?

New 13- And 15-inch MacBook Air Models Will Both Use M3 Chips; Refreshed MacBook Pro Is Also In The Works, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

According to 9to5Mac’s sources, the new 13-inch MacBook Air (codenamed J513) is already in the works with an M3 chip. It will be announced along with a brand-new 15-inch version (codenamed J515), which will also have the M3 chip.


Apple Releases tvOS 16.3.3 With Fix For Siri Remote Connectivity Issues, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple is rolling out tvOS 16.3.3 for Apple TV users today, three weeks after the release of tvOS 16.3.2. Today’s update addresses Siri Remote connectivity problems that have been impacting Apple TV 4K users.

Microsoft Makes Outlook For Mac Free To Use, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Outlook for Mac includes support for accounts, Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo, and any email provider that has IMAP support. [...] Outlook for Mac also supports handoff with iOS, so you can pick up tasks where you left off between iOS and Mac devices.


All The Streaming Boxes Suck Now, by David Pierce, The Verge

If Apple can finally crack the streaming guide, if Nvidia can prove it really cares, or if Roku or Amazon or Google decides it’s worth building a truly flagship streaming box, I’ll happily pony up for it. Until then, I’ll keep hating my set-top boxes. But I think I’m stuck with them.

Why The Floppy Disk Just Won’t Die, by Jacopo Prisco, Wired

Even though the last major manufacturer of floppy disks stopped making them in 2010, the machines that rely on them—from embroidery machines to plastic molding, medical equipment to aircraft—live on, relying on a dwindling supply of disks that will one day run out.

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I have to use Outlook for my work, and I have to say I am not impressed. Search is definitely not as good as Gmail. And the stupid Outlook on the Web version that I am using went ahead and rearrange my carefully-arranged toolbar behind my back this past week.

On the other hand, maybe one day, some Microsoft AI chat bot will help me read emails: You know, your colleague send you this email that looks innocent, but actually, if you read between the lines, you can discover their hidden agenda…



Thanks for reading.

The Production-Tests Edition Monday, March 6, 2023

Apple Readies Its Next Range Of Macs, Including — Finally — A New iMac, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc.’s next iMac desktop is at an advanced stage of development called engineering validation testing, or EVT, and the company is conducting production tests of the machine.


While development of the new iMacs — codenamed J433 and J434 — has reached a late stage, it’s not expected to go into mass production for at least three months. That means it won’t ship until the second half of the year at the earliest. Still, this is a great development for anyone disappointed that Apple’s all-in-one desktop hasn’t been updated in nearly two years.

macOS Photo Screen Savers Still Don’t Properly Display Rotated Or Edited Images, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

This is not a subtle bug, though when my parents complained about it, it took me a little while to figure out what was different about the affected images. The problem is simple: Apple’s photo screen savers display only original, unedited images in Photos. If you’ve edited an image, including rotation, the screen saver ignores your changes, referring to the original image stored separately in Photos.


There are workarounds, but you’re not going to like them because they waste disk space and require regular maintenance to include new photos.

My Friends Having My Location Through The Find My App Eases My Fear As A Woman, by Kya Buller,

‘Did you get home safe?’ is a phrase that all women know well.

But for my friendship group, that reassurance and sense of security now comes in the form of an iPhone app, ‘Find My’, in order to know where we all are at all times.


If Apple Loves Music So Much, Why Can't It Get Streaming Right?, by Dan Moren, Macworld

The digital music experience has certainly changed in the intervening years, especially with the rise of streaming over the past decade, but when it comes to Apple’s take on the act of listening to music, well, there are some things that frankly haven’t changed enough. It sometimes feels like Apple believes that digital music is a solved problem, with the company sitting back and dusting off its hands, but there are definitely places where the music listening experience could be improved.

How To Log Off, by Rhiannon Williams, MIT Technology Review

In search of ways to cut down on aimless time online, I went to talk to some experts about how to forge a healthier, happier relationship with my devices and the internet. Here's my mini-guide on how to log off.

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No new colors for the new iMacs? That's strange, coming from a company that doesn't even stick with the same shade of black/gray on an iPhone from year to year.


Thanks for reading.

The Age-Restrictions Edition Sunday, March 5, 2023

Apple Wants To Restrict This ChatGPT-using Email App For A Rather Interesting Reason, by Lewis Maddison, TechRadar

Apple has blocked an update to email client BlueMail, which added the ChatGPT chatbot into its software, requiring the developer first insert content filtering or age restrictions before it can be released.


However, Ben Volach, co-founder of BlueMail developer Blix Inc., disputed Apple's ruling, arguing that BlueMail already has content filtering, and that other apps on the App Store with similar AI capabilities do not have age restrictions in place.

MLS 360 Now Free For Apple TV+ Subscribers, 'Drive To Survive'-esque Documentary Planned, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

For week one, the whip-around show ‘MLS 360’ was also behind the Season Pass Paywall. But for week two onwards, that is no longer the case. MLS 360 (which goes live on the Apple TV app in a couple hours from now) is now streaming free for Season Pass and TV+ subscribers.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber On Next Expansion Fee, Role In Women's Soccer, by Paul Tenorio and Pablo Maurer, The Athletic

The league and its clubs are still in the process of building out so-called “shoulder programming” for Season Pass. For now, the bulk of what’s available consists of short vignettes on players, clubs, stadiums and the like. But MLS has bigger plans. The league’s deputy commissioner, Gary Stevenson, said on Thursday that it has partnered with British company Box to Box Productions to produce a documentary series.


MLS’ deal with Apple is still in its infancy and specific terms of the pact have been hard to come by. Sources familiar with the arrangement, though, have suggested over the past few months that the league’s agreement with Apple contains an “opt-out” clause that allows Apple to walk away from the agreement if the league doesn’t drive a certain number of subscribers to Season Pass in a set timeframe. Garber did not confirm or deny such a clause.

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Can AI chatbots censor themselves? From all the (bad) examples I see on the web, I don't think so?


Thanks for reading.

The Ear-Plugs Edition Saturday, March 4, 2023

Can The AirPods Pro Protect Your Hearing? We Put Them To The Test., by Brent Butterworth, Lauren Dragan, New York Times

Of course, some hearing protection is always better than none. If you find yourself in an unexpectedly loud environment, and all you have on hand are earbuds, they’re worth popping into your ears, especially if they offer noise cancellation. Our measurements suggest that all of these earbuds will reduce the sound level by at least a few decibels, which is probably better than stuffing your ears with wadded-up cocktail napkins. But until companies specifically design their earbuds to double as hearing protection—a development that may not be too far off, considering the results of this testing—we’d say that your safest bet at the next festival is to keep a pair of concert earplugs on your keychain.

Rumor: Apple Springing For Yellow Variant Of iPhone 14 Soon, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

We’re quickly approaching the time of year when Apple has introduced a fresh color for its latest iPhones. After going with “Alpine Green” last year, a rumor suggests that the spring color will be yellow this time around.


Apple’s Business-oriented “Mac Notebook Upgrade Program” Has Been Discontinued, by Umar Shakir, The Verge

Apple partnered with a bank in 2021 to let small businesses lease new M1 Macs for as low as $30 per month, with easy options to upgrade if and when more powerful devices are released. Now that’s no longer being offered, and businesses that had signed up will now have to sign up for a different program from CIT Group, the bank Apple partnered with, or go another route to get their computers.

GraphicConverter 12, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The upgraded app introduces the Metadata Juggler dialog, which enables you to combine several editing steps, save them, and open them again at any time.

Timing 2023.2, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Daniel Alm has released Timing 2023.2, adding a device picker to the toolbar to simplify excluding iOS device times from your reports when the new Screen Time Integration feature is enabled.


Apple’s Cloud Chief To Leave, Adding To Wave Of Departures, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The executive, Michael Abbott, is stepping down in April, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the move isn’t public. Abbott will be the second top lieutenant to services chief Eddy Cue to leave this year, joining a growing list of company vice-presidents who have departed the iPhone maker in late 2022 and early 2023.

Making Everything Wireless Was A Mistake, by Ian Carlos Campbell, Inverse

The tech industry’s intolerance for creating physical connections between the things we own is about control, plain and simple. A device that allows for no user input other than the mediated interface of a touchscreen, mouse, or keyboard lets software rule what you can and can’t do.

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Yellow. The funnest color ever.


Thanks for reading.

The Proper-Functionality Edition Friday, March 3, 2023

Apple Now Offering Depth And Water Seal Tests For Apple Watch Ultra, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Apple today published a new support document letting Apple Watch Ultra users know that they can request a Depth and Water Seal Test by Apple to determine if their watch’s depth gauge and seals are working properly.

The document describes a couple of scenarios under which users might want to have their watches tested, including assurance of proper functionality of the depth gauge for those who rely on it such as for diving and to check for unseen damage in the case of impacts to the watch.

EU Antitrust Regulators Narrow Apple Antitrust Probe, Zeroing In On Anti-Steering, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Putting the legality of Apple’s anti-steering rules aside, I think they make the company look spiteful and petty. They certainly aren’t in the interest of users. Apple is only really Apple when they put the user first.


Apple Maps Redesign Expands To Finland, Norway, And Sweden, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

The new experience provides more detail, improved navigation, custom-designed 3D models of popular landmarks, immersive turn-by-turn walking directions powered by augmented reality, and more.


New Apple Tool Lets Developers Compare Their Apps To Those Of Competitors, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Apple has introduced a new way for developers for platforms like the iPhone to track their apps' performance. It's a new dashboard called peer group benchmarks that shows percentile data on how an app compares in certain metrics to other similar apps.

The new dashboard will appear within App Analytics, a tool that is already offered as part of App Store Connect. This is Apple's portal for a suite of services that developers can use to manage their apps across the tech giant's various app stores.

Accessibility: Try, Then Listen, by David Smith

Seek to understand the ‘why’ of what they are experiencing not just the ‘what’. Is there a fundamental disconnect between your own mental model of how something is being used? Can you find a way to accommodate for a wider audience? Did you just plain miss something that you can straightforwardly fix? Excellent…then start the cycle again and try to fix it.


Apple Pumps The Brakes On Artificial Intelligence, by Jesus Diaz, Fast Company

The fact that Apple is the first company to pump the brake on generative AI feels quite refreshing. It’s refreshing because, yes, this technology is undoubtedly awesome and full of more creative potential than a genetic chimera of Warhol, Kubrick, and Bowie high on LSD, but it also contains a huge potential for destruction. Refreshing because we need to stop and take a breather to collectively think about how to regulate it. And refreshing because history has taught us that if you leave world-changing technology to the Valley bros, there’s a damn good chance it will go wrong (see our current social media experiment). Someone with power needed to do something to slow down our blind march towards an AI future, even if it’s just slapping a 17+ limit onto an app.

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The weekend's here. Time to switch my internal mode: instead of worrying about OWASPs and CSPs, I'm going to dream about SwiftUIs.


Thanks for reading.

The Permanently-Shuttered Edition Thursday, March 2, 2023

Apple Abruptly Shutters Store In North Carolina After Shootings, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

After employees were informed of the plan, Apple updated its website to show that the location — at the Northlake Mall in Mecklenburg County — would be shuttered permanently. The shootings at the mall contributed to the decision, the people said.

Apple told employees that there will be no layoffs and that staff at the Northlake Mall site would be transfered to the nearby SouthPark location in Charlotte or roles working at the company’s online store.

Apple Blocks Update To Email App With ChatGPT Tech - WSJ, by Akash Sriram, Reuters

Apple Inc has delayed the approval of an update to an email app with AI-powered tools due to worries that it may generate inappropriate content for children, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing communications between the iPhone maker and the app developer.

Europe's Plan To Rein In Big Tech Will Require Apple To Open Up iMessage, by Ben Brody, Protocol

European regulators on Thursday revealed their plan to rein in the anti-competitive practices of Big Tech and fundamentally remake how some of the world's most powerful companies do business. The rules, which target tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Meta and Google, are far-reaching and would have huge ramification for those companies' software and services.

The Digital Markets Act, which on Thursday was agreed to by European Union authorities, establishes new rules to govern the behavior of tech's "gatekeepers" — most of them U.S. companies — through measures like forcing the largest messaging apps to exchange texts, video or files with smaller players. Apple's iMessage and Meta's WhatsApp in particular would have to open their long-closed ecosystems, making them interoperable with other messaging apps.


Pedometer++ App Revamped With iPhone Workout Tracking, Rich Maps On Apple Watch, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

First and foremost, Pedometer++ now supports workout tracking for users without an Apple Watch. As David explains in his blog post announcing the update, the Apple Watch version of Pedometer++ has supported workout tracking for years, but this update expands the functionality to users without a watch as well.

“This lets you see your workout’s duration, distance, speed and other metrics while you walk,” David says.

Tweetbot And Twitterrific Face The Cliff, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

If you are a subscriber to either Tweetbot or Twitterrific, I beseech you to decline these prorated refunds. It’s a couple of bucks for you, but in the aggregate, this amounts to an existential sum of already booked revenue for these two companies, both exemplars of the indie iOS and Mac community.

Reinstall the app if you’ve already deleted it. Tap that “I Don’t Need a Refund” button and feel good about it. We have a month. Spread the word.


Apple’s MFi Scheme For USB-C Is A Good Thing, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

But I don’t think it’s just greed driving this decision. It’s the need to secure your iPhone and everything it contains. It also follows several attacks in which key industries have been targeted and systems infected using USB-C. Given Apple’s commitment to secure the supply chain, this is a problem that needs to be resolved, particularly as the company co-chairs the Cyber Readiness Institute.

The move may also reflect cross-industry preparations to bring the company in line with the EU Cyber Resilience Act, which will demand manufacturers take steps to secure all manner of electronic products before they're sold.

Apple Doubles Investment In Its European Silicon Design Center, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple today announced a major expansion to its European Silicon Design Center, which will see the company creating a custom-designed state-of-the-art R&D center in Germany.

Apple Needs To Just Let The iPhone SE Die, by David Price, Macworld

In any case, one doesn’t get the sense that Apple is especially interested in the budget market for which the SE was originally designed. Don’t force it, Apple. Give up the SE, and focus on the flagship phones you really believe in.

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I'm still hoping Apple adopts the iPhone mini design for future iPhone SE. It should remain a capable computer phone, but maybe just a little fewer features than the regular iPhones just because it will sell at a lower cost.


Thanks for reading.

The Cleaner-Methods Edition Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Some People Are Upset At The Way iPhones Charge. Here’s Why., by Chris Velazco, Washington Post

While it barely raised eyebrows when it was first released in an update in October, the feature — which attempts to charge iPhones using electricity generated through supposedly cleaner methods — has gotten Apple customers and critics debating on social media.


If you haven’t noticed anything unusual about the way your phone has been charging, though, it might be worth leaving the feature on. An untold number of iPhones in the United States are trying to prioritize charging when more sustainably generated electricity is available, too — it couldn’t hurt to see if the feature manages to make sort of a dent in carbon emissions.

Apple Responds To EU's Decision To Narrow Antitrust Case Involving Spotify, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The investigation will now focus entirely on Apple preventing streaming music apps from informing iPhone and iPad users within the app that lower subscription prices are available when signing up outside of the App Store.


In a statement shared with MacRumors, an Apple spokesperson said the company is “pleased” that the Commission has narrowed its case.

Coming Soon

iOS 16.4 Beta 2 Re-Adds Page Turning Animation To Apple Books, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The second beta of iOS 16.4 that was introduced to developers today appears to have a limited number of new features, but it does have a major update for those who use Apple Books - it reintroduces an option for the page turning animation.

Apple Music Classical Launch Could Be Approaching Based On Code In iOS 16.4 Beta 2, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Code in the beta suggests that listening to ‌Apple Music‌ Classical will require users to have the standard ‌Apple Music‌ app installed. “To listen in ‌Apple Music‌ Classical, you’ll need to install ‌Apple Music‌,” reads a line in the MusicKit framework.


Apple Schedules Apple Watch Activity Challenge For International Women's Day, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has announced its next Activity Challenge for Apple Watch users. This time, Apple is celebrating International Women’s Day with a challenge that will take place on March 8.

Apple Watch Running Track Mode Expands To More Countries, by DC Rainmaker

Apple’s running track mode depends on Apple Maps data combined with what is essentially a giant running track database. Whereas every other company instead detects the running track in real-time over the course of the first 1-2 laps (and then saves that for future usage). Both methods have their pros and cons.

In the case of Apple, it’s only available for those countries they’ve explicitly turned on, but it means that the second you step onto the track, it’s ready (no track calibration needed).

Pixelmator Pro Update Makes It Easier To Remove Color And Improve Photos, by Jeremy Gray, PetaPixel

Pixelmator Pro version 3.3, codenamed Mosaic, is now available and includes an all-new Remove Color adjustment to make it easy to remove color from images and video quickly. The latest release also includes powerful Clarity, Selective Clarity, and Texture adjustments for enhancing fine details in photos.

This Smartphone App Can Check Your Health Just By Scanning Your Face — And I Tried It, by Richard Priday, Tom's Guide

Developed by Canadian outfit NuraLogix, Anura can test up to 30 different parameters by using "transdermal optical imaging" — that being reading the activity of the blood vessels in your face. No smartwatch or fitness tracker is needed for this analysis — all that's need for this investigation into potential health problems (and not diagnosis, as the app is clear to state) is your phone's selfie camera.


Microsoft’s Phone Link App Now Lets You Use iMessage From Your PC, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Microsoft is using Bluetooth to link Windows devices to iPhones, passing commands and messages to users’ Messages (iMessage) app. That means you’ll be able to message contacts that also have iPhones straight from your PC, but there are some limits. You won’t be able to send pictures in messages or participate in group messages.

MLS Opens New Season On Apple TV+, But How Many People Watched Is A Mystery: Sports On TV, by Bill Shea, The Athletic

The traditionally tight-lipped Apple isn’t disclosing audience data, at least not so far, and the streamed games are not measured by Nielsen. MLS isn’t talking, either.

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My day job today is an interrupt-driven kind of day: it seems like I have talked to a lot of people, it seems like I dipped into a lot of projects, but when the sun sets, I can't tell how many things were done.

Well, at least one important decision was made. :-) It wasn't all bad.

I can't wait to lie on my bed and listen to some classical music.


Thanks for reading.