The One-Screen-Experience Edition Thursday, April 27, 2023

Apple’s Weather Chaos Is Restarting The Weather App Market, by David Pierce, The Verge

With Dark Sky gone and WeatherKit unreliable, a lot of weather apps have started to integrate with multiple sources to make sure they’re always online and to offer the most accurate forecasts everywhere. It presents a tough UI challenge, though: giving users one digestible full-featured forecast is hard enough, let alone five or six slightly different ones.


Weather apps have to walk a tricky line: they have to give you that one-screen experience where you can open the app and get a sense of the weather in a second or two while also offering the kind of depth and knowledge that no built-in app will ever match. And then slowly leading users down the rabbit hole, teaching them how to read radar and compare forecasts.

Apple Empowers Small Businesses To Grow And Serve Their Customers, by Apple

From the inception of an inventive business idea through the planning stages, grand opening, and subsequent growth and expansion, small business entrepreneurs are harnessing the power of Apple hardware, software, and services every day to manage their operations and connect directly with customers.

Should We Trust Apple With Mental Health Data?, by Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge

I’m emphasizing non-screen interventions, particularly for health, because I’ve been watching what happened with research on social media: it makes people feel bad. I love computers (duh, I write online), and I love the stuff people do for them. But I am increasingly convinced we need to get the hell outside because we are weird primates who evolved with outside, not computers. We also need face-to-face time, as we all discovered the hard way in 2020. If you want to feel calmer, happier, and more connected, I feel confident that the best way to do that is to log off. No AI can possibly replicate those needs because, as social animals, what we need is other people.

But even if I am wrong about that — and I might be! — I am still concerned by Apple’s notification approach and its science-blind approach to behavioral health. That 12-hour stand goal on the Apple Watch? Someone just decided that was important. There’s no research behind it, as Apple told me all those years ago, just vibes. The decision to track calories as the default for the Move goal is dangerous for people with eating disorders. The focus on streaks can create compulsive behavior. I am doubtful the subscription services are going to be any better.

On Security

PSA: Google Authenticator's Cloud-Synced 2FA Codes Aren't End-to-End Encrypted, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Earlier this week, Google updated its Authenticator app to enable the backup and syncing of 2FA codes across devices using a Google Account. Now an examination by Mysk security researchers has found that the sensitive one-time passcodes being synced to the cloud aren’t end-to-end encrypted, leaving them potentially exposed to bad actors.


With A New Classical-only App, Apple Frees The Music From Its Metadata, by Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post

Perhaps the most appealing thing about Apple Music Classical is how much it behaves like a classical music fan — tuning the rest of the music world out entirely in favor of focused, attentive, indulgent listening. It feels like an escape from the rest of your phone.

I Really Don’t Want To Read The Comments, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

My larger point is, if there’s something on the Web that annoys you—and maybe only you!—you can probably find a way to turn it off with a Safari extension. And these days, Safari extensions generally work across Mac, iPad, and iPhone, so if you can block something in one place you can probably block it everywhere.

Astropad Studio Gets Apple Pencil Hover Tilt And Azimuth Plus Peer-to-peer Networking, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The two major improvements are tilt and azimuth support with Apple Pencil Hover and the ability to directly connect your iPad and Mac wirelessly for a faster-than-ever and more stable experience.

Windows 11’s Limited iMessage Integration Has Publicly Launched, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Phone Link has been around for a long time, but it previously only worked with Android phones. Now it also works with iPhones, but the feature set is comparatively limited. The basics are more or less here, though—iPhone users can use their Windows PCs to make and take calls, read and respond to text messages, see notifications, and access their iOS contacts list.


Apple Discloses Number Of Monthly Active Users For The App Store In Europe, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The Digital Services Act sets out rules to be enforced against “very large online platforms,” which is defined as platforms with 45 million monthly active users or more. Apple says it views the App Store for each of its operating systems as a separate platform, so that only the iPhone iOS App Store would classify as a very large online platform.

However, Apple said that it will “align” all of its App Stores with the Digital Services Act requirements, even though it would only be legally required for the iOS App Store to be in compliance. DSA rules include protecting children from being profiled for advertising purposes, limiting the spread of misinformation, and more. Apple said that the “goals of the DSA align with Apple’s goals to protect consumers from illegal content.”

As Smartphone Upgrades Plummeted, Used iPhones Sold Like Hotcakes, by Scharon Harding, Ars Technica

Because Apple products are expensive, used or refurbished alternatives are popular with shoppers looking to save money but stay in Apple's ecosystem. Used iPhones and other products don't have the same warranties as new devices, but customers who buy refurbished Apple products from Apple directly, for example, can see a limited warranty and purchase AppleCare protection to make the purchase more secure.

What I Learned Unsubscribing From 22 Newspapers, by Charles Jun, Lenfest Institute

It’s not hard to guess why unsubscribing to a service, especially access to local news, would be so tedious. The most gracious interpretation of these cumbersome or downright infuriating experiences would be that a company does not have the bandwidth or resources to improve user experience. The most ungracious is that the company wants to eke out a few more dollars out of a subscriber who may give up cancelling a subscription until the next month, or the month after. After all, they’re leaving, so why keep them happy? Also, how much damage would a complaint about a poor cancellation process cause if potential customers are more interested in reading and supporting local journalism than experiencing a subscription cancellation?

But news organizations aren’t just any e-commerce business. Journalism — especially local journalism — is built on trust. Journalists talk all the time about building trust with their audiences and ensuring that their coverage is representative. That should extend to business practices as well. In many cases, dealing with their subscription is the only direct interaction they have with a publication, and as a result, outlets should treat their audience members with respect — just as they would do a source or other community member.

Bottom of the Page

Did Apple refuse Ted Lasso to have more episodes this latest season, but allowed the show to have longer -- much longer -- episodes instead?

Yes, perhaps creatively, the stories may demand longer runtime instead of more episodes, but, well, you do know I am still going to break up your episodes and watch them over multiple nights?


Thanks for reading.