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.

Bottom of the Page

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.