The Plus-Model Edition Thursday, May 18, 2023

Beats Studio Buds Plus Review: It’s Cool To Be Clear, by Chris Welch, The Verge

At their core, the Studio Buds Plus are an upgraded refresh of earbuds that originally debuted in 2021. Though I praised their comfort, I was underwhelmed by the rest of what the Studio Buds had to offer. Now, Beats is trying to address those weak points with this “Plus” model: the sound has been refined, there’s more powerful active noise cancellation, and the transparency mode sounds more natural. Battery life has also been stretched out further.

AssistiveWare Ushers In Next Generation Of AAC Technology, by Apple

When Ashburn asks Jay why he loves the beach, he picks the “sunset” button, then says, “No school. Yes beach.”

In 2015, Jay was diagnosed with autism. By the age of 4, he started using Proloquo2Go, an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) app created by development company AssistiveWare, available for iPhone and iPad.

‘We Are Losing Money’: Companies In Apple’s Repair Program Say They Can’t Compete With Tech Giant, by Josh Taylor, The Guardian

Apple has indicated it takes an average of eight weeks for repairers to be admitted to the program, but repairers Guardian Australia has spoken to said the wait time can be up to six months – and that it feels like the applications sit in a black hole, without any point of contact within Apple to provide an update on their status.

Once repairers are admitted to the program, they receive training from Apple, as well as access to Apple parts, tools, repair manuals and diagnostic software for the company’s iPhones and Macs.

But they say the price of the parts, as well as the process to get a discounted rate for replacement parts, make it difficult for repairers to compete with Apple’s own repair program.


Pepsi And Apple Team Up For Free Music Streaming This Summer, by Chris Morris, Fast Company

On Tuesday, the soda giant announced its “Press Play on Summer” promotion, which will offer unlimited streaming on Apple Music this summer with the purchase of select limited-edition beverages. Other prizes include clothing, $5 prepaid Mastercard gift cards, Beats headphones, and VIP flyaway trips to Apple Music Live events.

Apple Maps EV Routing Expands To Its Second Car Following 2020 Debut, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

This means that when your iPhone is connected to CarPlay, Apple Maps will track your car’s charge level and provide detailed navigation directions for road trips. This includes whether or not you’ll need to stop to charge as well as charging times. It will also show you your estimated charge upon arrival at your destination.


Apple's Neural Engine And The Generative AI Game, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

One of the many lesser shared truths around Generative AI is how much energy it takes to run. Any company that wants to constrain its carbon emissions and meet climate targets will want to run those tasks on the device, rather than in a server farm. And Apple is committed to meeting its climate goals. The best way to achieve them while using similar tech is to develop on-device AI, which has a home on Neural Engine.

Do Business Macs Still Need To Run Windows?, by Ryan Faas, Computerworld

That question may sound surprising or even shocking — typing it even felt a bit heretical — but in a “mobile first, cloud first” world (to borrow Microsoft’s onetime tagline), one in which businesses and IT departments are trying to adapt to post-Covid realities and where most IT budgets are being stretched, it’s a question that should be asked.

The answer, for most, is no. For a great many companies, we’re in a world where Windows is optional — and sometimes the other options are better.

TidBITS Doesn’t Cover Rumors. Here’s Why, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

In the technology field, outside of a whistleblower revealing illegal behavior, lies about a company’s products or services (particularly around data security), or activities that could endanger the public, leaks of confidential corporate information generally cause everyone to suffer—or at least look bad.


Getting on my high horse is unlikely to make much difference in the tech media landscape. But I feel that shining a light on the corrosive nature of trafficking in leaks is worthwhile if doing so can even slightly reduce their supply and demand.

Bottom of the Page

Yes, the original iMac ushered in an era of clear plastics. But, in my opinion, the best use of clear plastic was the G4 Cube.


Thanks for reading.