Archive for June 2023

The Trying-to-Kill-It Edition Friday, June 30, 2023

Ten Foster + Partners-designed Apple Stores, by James Parkes, Dezeen

Apple has been working with Foster + Partners since 2014, when the technology company and architecture studio initiated its almost decade-long relationship to complete a retail location in Istanbul, Turkey.

Apple describes its first stores as looking "like nothing else", but is now more focused on renovating and restoring buildings such as its Los Angeles store, Champs-Élysées store and Rome flagship.

Who Killed Google Reader?, by David Pierce, The Verge

There was a sign in the Google Reader team’s workspace at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. “Days Since Cancellation,” it read, with a number below: zero. It was always zero.

This was in 2006 or so, back when Google Reader was still growing. Back when it still existed at all. Google’s feed-reading tool offered a powerful way to curate and read the internet and was beloved by its users. Reader launched in 2005, right as the blogging era went mainstream; it made a suddenly huge and sprawling web feel small and accessible and helped a generation of news obsessives and super-commenters feel like they weren’t missing anything. It wasn’t Google’s most popular app, not by a long shot, but it was one of its most beloved.

Within the company, though, Reader’s future always felt precarious. “It felt so incongruent,” says Dolapo Falola, a former engineer on the Reader team. “Literally, it felt like the entire time I was on the project, various people were trying to kill it.”

On App Stores

Meta Is Planning To Let People In The EU Download Apps Through Facebook, by Alex Heath, The Verge

Meta is planning to let people in the EU directly download apps through Facebook ads, setting the company up to eventually compete with Google and Apple’s app stores.


Meta isn’t alone in wanting to become a distributor of mobile apps when the EU’s DMA goes into effect. In March, Microsoft said it hoped to launch an alternative app store for games on iOS and Android in Europe next year.


Audio Hijack 4.2.2, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

It’s now easier to use VoiceOver with the Parametric EQ and Ducking blocks as well as the Session List window, and VoiceOver now better identifies the position of blocks.

Younify Is A Streaming TV Guide That Actually Works, by Jared Newman, TechHive

Younify [...] automatically combines your watchlists and watch history from 10 major streaming services, then lets you start watching with one tap. While it’s still rough around the edges, no other universal guide is this comprehensive at keeping track of what to watch.


Why Asia’s Super-app Companies Are Stuck In A Rut, by The Economist

The idea of a company using a single platform to offer a variety of services to consumers has an intuitive appeal. But after more than a decade of discussion about the coming dominance of super-apps, many of the Asian firms are still struggling to find a balance between size and profitability. With no end in sight to higher funding costs, a speedy recovery for these one-time darlings of tech investors is hard to foresee.

iPad Keyboard Maker Brydge Revived Under New Ownership; Details On Unpaid Salaries And Unfulfilled Orders Unknown, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

That acquisition has now been revealed, with a company called Uinta Products announcing that it has acquired Brydge’s assets with support from investment firm Claret Capital.

In a press release announcing the deal, Uinta Products says that it plans to relaunch Brydge Technologies. The press release describes Uinta Products is a “rising entity in the technology industry.”

Bottom of the Page

I've just had a crash in Xcode that turned the screen to gibberish. It's not even a kernel panic nor a blue-screen-of-death, but the entire screen went kaboom, with little pieces of the original screenshots scattered all over with psychedelic-like patches of bright colors of different hues mixed in.

Did Xcode just crashed the video driver?

(Of course, like any old bugs in any new computers nowadays, I 'solved' it by rebooting.)


Thanks for reading.

The Not-VR-At-All Edition Thursday, June 29, 2023

Devs Find That Vision Pro Can’t Do True Room-scale VR, But That’s No Surprise, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

But look at it in terms of user experience and use cases, and you've got to agree that either Vision Pro is a severely limited VR headset that, in many ways, accidentally misses the point of VR (escaping reality into an uninterrupted virtual world), or it's not really meant as a competitive VR solution at all. What we're seeing with the discussions about these safety limitations is some VR developers being disappointed as they learn that it's not designed with their types of apps and games in mind.

Ahead Of Season 1 Finale, Apple Has Made The Entire First Episode Of ‘Silo’ Free — on Twitter, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

You can’t buy prestige, and Apple has chosen to bestow some on Twitter through this promotion. Is it outrageous that Apple continues to advertise on Twitter? I say no. But it feels a bit skeevy, and more than a little curious, that they choose to.


Paste: The Clipboard Management Utility Gets An Elegant New Design On The Mac, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The focus of today’s update is the design of the Mac version app, but it’s also available on the iPhone and iPad. However, it’s the design of the Mac app that makes Paste feel so Apple-like and sets it apart from the myriad other clipboard managers that are available.

Aussie-made Simplsaver Budgeting App Eases Money Management, by Chris Button, GadgetGuy

Living up to its name, the locally-developed app avoids the complexity of many other budgeting solutions. After adding in your income and expenses, the app then calculates what your finances look like on a monthly basis.

SnapCalorie Taps AI To Estimate The Caloric Content Of Food From Photos, by Kyle Wiggers, TechCrunch

SnapCalorie, powered by AI, attempts to get an accurate calorie count and macronutrient breakdown of a meal from a single photo taken with a smartphone.


Apple Defies EU Over Antitrust Charges In Spotify Probe, by Foo Yun Chee, Reuters

Apple will on Friday seek to fend off a revised EU antitrust charge and possible hefty fine linked to claims it prevents music streaming companies such as Spotify from informing users of other buying options outside its App Store.


Apple has said there is no merit in the case triggered by a Spotify complaint in 2019, pointing to the Swedish music streaming service's dominant market share in Europe, where Apple Music trails in third or fourth place in most EU countries.

Its other argument is that it has revised rules to allow reader apps such as Spotify and Netflix to include links to their website for sign-ups and user payments, allowing app developers to bypass its controversial 30% App Store fee.

Brands Focus On Stories In Refining China Livestreaming To Boost Profits, by Casey Hall, Reuters

Apple's move illustrates how livestreaming is evolving in China from an initial model of massive sales via big discounts, as more big brands seek greater control of a process rendered costly by a fragmenting market and growing use of superhosts.

Bottom of the Page

If there isn't a visionOS app that puts flying toasters all around the room on launch day, I will be very disappointed.


Thanks for reading.

The Software-Enhancement Edition Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The AirPods Max Are Getting Left Behind, So Are New Apple Headphones Coming This Year?, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Apple is working from a solid (albeit very pricey) foundation. But as with any iPhone that’s come and gone over the years, we’re starting to see that the company’s headphones can only keep up with the latest software enhancements for so long. The open question is how long Apple will wait before bringing the AirPods Max back up to par.

Apple Joins Opposition To Encrypted Message App Scanning, by Chris Vallance, BBC

Apple's statement now means that some of the most widely used encrypted apps oppose this part of the bill.

The government argues it is possible to provide technological solutions that mean the contents of encrypted messages can be scanned for child abuse material.

The only way of doing that, many tech experts argue, would be to install software that would scan messages on the phone or computer before they are sent, called client-side scanning.

How Microsoft Excel Tries To Rebrand Work As Excitement, by Benjamin Charles Germain Lee, Wired

Microsoft Excel—the famed spreadsheet application with number-crunching and graphing capabilities—is the defining software of the white-collar workplace. Canonically categorized as “office productivity software,” its spreadsheet interface can be found on desktop monitors throughout commercials and TV shows as a staple of the cubicle. Along with its siblings Word and PowerPoint, Excel is the basis for curriculum material in schools and universities, a topic of academic research (which has concluded the software is “pervasive in businesses of all sizes”), and the subject of a quite simply enormous subreddit: r/excel boasts over 600,000 “spreadsheet warriors.” Somehow, Excel has also become so ubiquitous as to be recognized as a compelling setting for esports.


Apple Fails To End Lawsuit Over CEO Tim Cook's China Sales Comment, by Jonathan Stempel, Reuters

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers' decision late Monday night clears the way for shareholders led by a British pension fund to sue over a one-day plunge that wiped out $74 billion of Apple's market value.

The lawsuit stemmed from Cook's comment on a Nov. 1, 2018, analyst call that while Apple faced sales pressure in markets such as Brazil, India, Russia and Turkey, where currencies had weakened, "I would not put China in that category."

U.S. Supreme Court Spurns Apple-Broadcom Challenge To Caltech Patents, by Blake Brittain, Reuters

The justices turned away an appeal by Apple and Broadcom of a lower court's ruling affirming a trial judge's decision to prevent the companies from contesting the validity of the patents as they defended against the California Institute of Technology's lawsuit.

Bottom of the Page

Excel is so fun that, in one of my previous job, every month I will expect someone somewhere will mess up an Excel document and change all the ISBNs to numbers in scientific notations.


Thanks for reading.

The Answer-Was-No Edition Tuesday, June 27, 2023

The Mac Pro’s Biggest Problem Is The MacBook, by Monica Chin, The Verge

I wanted to know whether Apple’s purported target demographic — people who spend their days animating, making visual effects, and doing various other tasks generally associated with big, powerful computers — were actually interested in purchasing this machine. So I asked a bunch of them, and the answer, basically across the board, was no. Not because the Mac Pro is bad but because Apple’s other computers, namely its laptops, have just gotten too good.

Why Tips Like 'Turn Off Your iPhone For Five Minutes' Don't Actually Help Users, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

While true that rebooting an iPhone on a weekly or daily basis may ever-so-slightly help reduce the threat presented by spear phishing and zero-click exploits, those aren’t threats that most users need to worry about. In fact, for most users who do need to worry about those threats, Apple’s Lockdown Mode exists as a much more robust solution.

Essentially what Albanese did was cherry-pick a piece of advice meant for the security community, remove the nuance, and pass it off as generalized advice for all iPhone users.

Vision Pro Accessibility: Great Potential, But Many Unknowns, by Shelly Brisbin, Six Colors

I’m sure there will be alternatives that allow me to use the Vision Pro, but the question for me, and for blind users, too—many of whom are already excited about the platform—is whether the device will give enough of an upgraded experience to make it worth seriously considering it as an alternative to a Mac or an iOS device when I’m doing anything beyond watching a movie or playing a game.


Apple Increases iCloud Storage Prices In The UK And Other Markets, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has upped the price of iCloud storage in the United Kingdom and some other geographic regions, possibly reflecting changes in foreign currency exchange rates. iCloud pricing in the United States remains the same.

Apple Launches 2023 Back To School Promotion In Canada And Mexico, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple’s annual Back to School promotion is now available in Canada and Mexico after launching in the U.S. earlier this month. Now through October 2, college and university students in these countries can receive a free Apple gift card or accessory with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, in addition to Apple’s standard educational discount on these products. Students can also receive 20% off AppleCare+ plans for eligible devices.

Affinity Photo Review - Affordable Photoshop Alternative, by Eugen Wegmann, translated by Karen Haslam, Macworld

If you are a beginner, hobby graphic artist, or photographer, Affinity Photo is an incredibly attractive alternative to Adobe Photoshop, which hardly differs from the class leader in its essential functions. You lose out on the really smart features here and there, but there is nothing wrong with learning how to retouch and select objects properly by hand.

Pixelmator Pro Review: An Affordable Alternative For Pro Photoshop Users, by Macworld

There’s no doubt that Pixelmator Pro’s powerful array of editing tools represents excellent value for money, and the video editing features that arrived at the beginning of 2023 make this app even easier to recommend.


Streak Redemption, by Lukas Mathis, Ignore The Code

If you do have streaks in your app, to avoid completely demoralizing your users after a streak loss, offer them a chance at streak redemption.

Bottom of the Page

For the Mac Pro to be late and underwhelming, it certainly seems like something is not right back in Apple Park.


Thanks for reading.

The Exists-to-Serve Edition Monday, June 26, 2023

I Turn Off Every Apple Watch Fitness Notification — Here’s Why, by Jeff Parsons, Tom's Guide

Let's get one thing straight: technology exists to serve you, not the other way round. With that concept firmly in place, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I disable a whole chunk of fitness notifications on my Apple Watch Ultra, Fitbit Charge 4 or whatever other health-related wearable I’ve got strapped to my wrist.

Apple Has Finally Unveiled The Vision Pro. Here’s What It’s Launching Next, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Some observers at WWDC noticed that the EyeSight feature wasn’t functional on the demo hardware. That stemmed partly from a desire for secrecy: The feature, which helps differentiate the headset from rival models, is one of the most locked-down aspects of the project. Now Apple can expand the number of engineers working on it to ensure that the technology is fully functional for next year’s launch.


But let’s get back to Apple’s existing product categories. The company is focused on several key updates for the second half of this year and the first half of 2024.

In addition to the iPhone 15 lineup this fall, there will be two Apple Watch Series 9 models and an updated version of the Ultra (the watches are codenamed N207, N208 and N210).


XML Is The Future, by Bite Code!

You do need the cloud, containers, nosql, go, rust and js build systems. Modern software requirements, customers’ expectations and incredible new features are not to be ignored.

Just not for everything.


Siri's A Disaster, And It Feels Like Apple Doesn't Care, by David Price, Macworld

I don’t understand why Siri isn’t Priority No. 1 at Apple Park right now. Because–and I must apologize to regular readers for harking back to a favorite complaint here–the voice assistant simply isn’t fit for purpose, and its deficiencies taint my experience with nearly every Apple device I own. That includes, as previously mentioned, the devices (such as the Apple Watch) on which I very rarely use Siri, because Siri won’t take a hint and pushes its way into my life anyway. But it’s particularly infuriating on the ones where I rely on Siri, which is to say the HomePods in the living room and kitchen, and the iPhone, hooked up to CarPlay when selecting songs on a drive.

Bottom of the Page

Is Siri the next butterfly keyboard?


Thanks for reading.

The Unexpected-and-Thrilling Edition Sunday, June 25, 2023

Dolby Atmos Wants You To Listen Up. (And Down. And Sideways.), by Bob Mehr, New York Times

In the past two years, Wood has been busy mixing old and new records in Dolby Atmos, an audio format that lets engineers create a listening experience more immersive than traditional stereo by placing sounds around and above the listener. Working for a variety of labels, Wood has performed Atmos mixes for the Supremes, the Pogues, Jennifer Lopez, Modest Mouse, Gwen Stefani and Soul Asylum — some 300-plus tracks in total, the equivalent of two dozen albums.

“The whole thing has been pretty unexpected and thrilling,” he said.

I Force-closed My Apps For 3 Days. It Made Me Kinda Hate My Phone., by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

I was genuinely expecting to come out of this experiment with something positive to say about force closing your apps when you're done with them. I wanted to have something to latch onto so that when I see someone doing this, I could think to myself, "well, I don't like it myself, but at least I can see why they prefer it."

Sadly, I found this to be a completely negative experience with absolutely zero upsides for me. My phone felt marginally slower, it felt less useful, and it required me to keep track of what things I wanted to have "open" and "closed" in a way that I simply didn't have to think about ever before.


Learn How Procreate Can Help You Master Colour And Light, by Jana Schirmer, Creative Bloq

Procreate is my go-to painting app. This Procreate tutorial for iPad is all about mastering colour and light. The Procreate team is constantly improving the app and adding new features and Procreate is extremely fast and so far I haven’t suffered from lags while painting. I love to take the iPad out and about, and work in coffee shops. It’s fun to change your creative environment and leave your desk for a while.

Pixelmator Pro 3.3.7, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The new Frequency Separation effect can adjust fine details and overall tones in images separately, while the Low Pass effect smooths out fine details or removes noise.

GraphicConverter 12.0.3, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Lemkesoft has issued GraphicConverter 12.0.3, adding direct access to saved Smart Folders and Smart Searches and improving QR code creation with custom colors and error levels.


Do Life Hacks Work? The Truth Is, We’ll Never Know, by Ben Ambridge, The Guardian

But assuming Coles’s findings hold water, the implications for psychology research – and the “life hacks” that we’ve all been sold on the back of them – are catastrophic. The beliefs that participants bring to the experiment affect the results, and not just a little bit: Coles found that the average placebo effect (eg feeling amused because that’s what you expect the experiment to do) is just as powerful as the average real effect (eg feeling amused because the experimenter has told you a genuinely funny joke). It’s as if, in medicine, sugar-pill placebos – on average – worked just as well as the real thing.

Bottom of the Page

The only time that I force-quit apps -- besides apps misbehaving, that is -- is when I have this weird notion that I want to restrict the list of apps my phone can open. I will not be distracted by these other apps throughout the day if I limit myself to these few carefully selected apps.

Of course, I always fail. I have no idea why I still do this from time to time.


Thanks for reading.

The Hungry-Domain-of-the-Screen Edition Saturday, June 24, 2023

Your Phone Is A Mindfulness Trap, by Michael Owen, The Atlantic

A phone is not a villain, just a vessel. But with some narrow exceptions, where movement is the point, it does tend to exert on us a kind of physical binding, an arrest of motion and focus. Some of the apps I’ve mentioned include a daily yoga video or cues for a mindful run, but these serve a double purpose, roping our assertions of embodiment back into the hungry domain of the screen. Do you know what else is on that screen? Instagram. The effect of a mindfulness app, as with any other kind, is to keep you in the place you already spend much of your time. It’s a motionless place, and, not by coincidence, also a bit mindless.

I Lost My Apple Watch Streak – Here’s Why It Should Have More Humanity, by Craig Grannell, Stuff

I lost my smartwatch streak. For hundreds of days, I’d maintained a hundred percent move/exercise/stand record. But as midnight approached, I spotted too late I lacked time to log enough exercise. Despite having had an elliptical trainer session that morning, which my Apple Watch had duly ignored. Fume.

I know. In a list of first-world problems, this is one of the first-worldiest. It’s a bit obsessive to care to the level I do about maintaining a streak. And it’s a bad sign my immediate response to losing it was something my iPhone’s autocorrect would interpret as “duck it, then”. Yet I found I’m not alone.

Coming This Fall

Apple Is Making AirPlay And Content Sharing Better In Your Home, Hotel Room, And Car, by Maria Diaz, ZDNet

Content sharing is a concept I navigate daily in a home with three kids. As technology becomes more essential to daily life, Apple is putting more emphasis on sharing. With the latest software updates coming to Apple products this fall, the company is making sharing content at home, in the car, and even in hotel rooms more effortless.

On App Stores

Apple's Phil Schiller Refuses To Fix App Review And "Needs To Get His Meaty Paws Off The App Store", by Neil Long,

Shoemaker also believes that Apple is no longer doing enough to earn its 30% cut of most in-app purchases. “Apple deserved the 30% in 2009 but look, it’s 2023, things have changed a lot,” he tells us. “Tim [Cook] doesn’t want to give up this 30%, this is just a cash cow, especially as people aren’t upgrading their devices as they once were.”

“I agree with that developer you spoke to – this is a utility and they need to be charging utility prices, not innovation prices. I think they would do amazingly well if they dropped it down to 5%, something closer to credit card prices.”


Expand Your Apple Health Data With These Smart Blood Pressure Monitors, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The goal of the Apple Health app is to be a one-stop shop for all of your health-related data, including putting Apple Watch data alongside data from third-party apps, your healthcare provider, and more. This makes it easy to view trends over time, improvements, and more for all of your health data.


App Store Connect Adds visionOS App Support Ahead Of Vision Pro Launch, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple unveiled its mixed reality headset called Vision Pro earlier this month. As of this week, developers have been able to access the necessary tools to create apps for visionOS. Now the latest version of App Store Connect is out with support for visionOS apps.


iOS 17 Has A Bunch Of Great Features–that No One Will Ever Use, by Jason Snell, Macworld

If you’re reading this column right now, you’re one of the most well-educated people on the planet about Apple stuff. But your friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances? They might never know about flashy new operating-system features unless you personally show them off. It’s one of Apple’s most vexing problems: keeping devices relatively simple while also trying to make complex new features discoverable.


I don’t have any answers here. I recognize how hard a problem it is to make new iPhone features discoverable and how hard it is to change ingrained user behavior. The new TipKit APIs suggest that Apple continues to wrestle with the issue.

Apple Is Very Serious About Industry 4.0, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

Apple this week held its first Smart Manufacturing Forum for SMBs event in South Korea at the Apple Manufacturing R&D Support Center. It’s not only a education and research hub, it also builds smart process related equipment, potentially for use across Apple’s supply chain.

Bottom of the Page

Oh hey, I am not a afternoon-nap person, but I have successfully taken an afternoon nap today. And it was kept at 20 minutes too. Science (I think) must be proud of me.

(Actually, I have no idea what is the latest science on napping. Good or bad?)

(I know the latest science is that wine is not good at all. What about coffee? I am still addicted to that.)


Thanks for reading.

The Opportunity-to-Define Edition Friday, June 23, 2023

Why Is Apple Getting ‘Spatial’?, by Sarah Kessler, New York Times

When it comes to spatial computing, Collins said, “no one knows what that is — and that provides Apple the opportunity to define it.”

Interesting Tidbits From Apple's visionOS Design Docs, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

This is the big one: I think everyone is thinking about how iPad-style apps can be adapted to the visionOS UI, but the big opportunities here are in what apps you can make that fundamentally could not exist on any of our current computing platforms.

Apple Vision Pro To Feature 'Travel Mode' For Better In-Flight Experience, by Steve Moser, MacRumors

Given that the cabin of an airplane with its enclosed space and unique environmental factors can be challenging for VR devices, Travel Mode seems to be Apple’s solution for ensuring a smoother experience.

Get Ready For The Battle Of The Metaverses, by Steven Levy, Wired

But Apple’s passion was clearly directed into redefining work and expanding popular apps, like a mindfulness tool that relaxes your breathing and, presumably, your soul. Instead of calming your inner being with a soothing image on a flat screen, Apple delivered a full-body embrace in the form of flower-petal-like shapes oozing toward you and ultimately surrounding you in a blast of om-itude. And Apple’s workplace simulation dazzled with graphic fidelity and an endless flow of display screens controlled by ridiculously intuitive finger motions.

On Security

Turn Your Phone Off Every Night For Five Minutes, Australian PM Tells Residents, by Elias Visontay, The Guardian

Australia’s prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has told residents they should turn their smartphones off and on again once a day as a cybersecurity measure – and tech experts agree.


“We all have a responsibility. Simple things, turn your phone off every night for five minutes. For people watching this, do that every 24 hours, do it while you’re brushing your teeth or whatever you’re doing.”


Why Amy Sedaris, Who Can’t Drive And Doesn’t Play Games, Made A Racing Level For Apple Arcade’s ‘What The Car?’, by Todd Spangler, Variety

Sedaris helped create a custom level in “What the Car?”, an absurdist racing game exclusively available on Apple Arcade created by developers who don’t own cars (see screenshots below from the level, “Amy Sedaris Can’t Drive”). Of course, Sedaris is a New Yorker who can’t drive and doesn’t play video games. So when the game’s developer, Triband, reached out about the “What the Car?” project via Sedaris’ agent at UTA, she initially was confused.

“I’m not a game player. But I see people on trains playing games — and they look exhausted,” Sedaris said. “I don’t drive. It gives me too much anxiety. And I’m in New York, so you don’t need to drive.” But “once they said, ‘It’s for people who don’t play games and don’t drive,’ I immediately got it!”


Apple And LG Team Up To Bring AirPlay To Hotels Later This Year, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

At WWDC this year, Apple announced its plans to expand the availability of AirPlay in hotel rooms starting later this year. Now, LG says that it will be the first brand to add AirPlay to its specialized hotel TVs, starting later this year.

Apple Taps HDFC Bank To Launch Credit Card, In Talks With NPCI For Apple Pay, by Anand J, Moneycontrol

iPhone maker Apple is in talks with banks and regulators to launch its credit card, dubbed "Apple Card," in India. The company's CEO, Tim Cook, met with HDFC Bank CEO and MD Sashidhar Jagdishan during his trip to India in April, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The technology giant is also holding discussions with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to possibly launch Apple Pay in the country, a third source told Moneycontrol. It is not clear whether these discussions are regarding its credit card being powered by NPCI's Rupay platform or whether this is for Unified Payments Interface (UPI). The advantage of launching a Rupay Credit Card is that it can be linked to UPI as well. In India, only banks are allowed to launch credit cards. UPI allows customers to make seamless and fast payments by scanning QR codes through mobile phones.

Bottom of the Page

I can't wait for the day when Apple has miniaturized the Apple Vision Pro to just a simple add on to my glasses.

I hope I am still alive… and have enough spare money to purchase yet another platform.



Thanks for reading.

The Cuts-Across Edition Thursday, June 22, 2023

Apple Updates All Active Operating Systems To Block Exploited Security Vulnerabilities, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Apple has updated all its active operating systems to address (in varying combinations) three security vulnerabilities, all of which are actively being exploited in the wild. The most concerning of the three vulnerabilities affects the kernel and thus cuts across all Apple operating systems, new and old. macOS, iOS, and iPadOS also receive fixes for a WebKit vulnerability, and iOS 15.7.7 and iPadOS 15.7.7 plug yet another WebKit vulnerability that has presumably been addressed in newer versions but afflicts versions prior to 15.7.

Apple Releases iOS 16.5.1 With Fix For Lightning To USB Camera Adapter Bug, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

According to Apple’s notes for the update, the update includes important security fixes and is recommended for all users. It also addresses a bug that could prevent charging with the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter.


Apple Releases visionOS SDK And Developer Tools, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Today, Apple announced the visionOS software development kit that will allow developers to start creating apps for the Apple Vision Pro. In addition to the SDK, an update to Xcode is introducing Reality Composer Pro, which lets developers preview 3D models, animations, images, and sounds. There’s also a new visionOS simulator that can be used to test different room configurations and lighting for visionOS apps.

Spotlight On: Developer Tools For visionOS, by Apple

For Ryan McLeod, creator of iOS puzzle game Blackbox, the SDK brought both excitement and a little nervousness. “I didn’t expect I’d ever make apps for a platform like this — I’d never even worked in 3D!” he says. “But once you open Xcode you’re like: Right. This is just Xcode. There are a lot of new things to learn, of course, but the stuff I came in knowing, the frameworks — there’s very little change. A few tweaks and all that stuff just works.”

visionOS is designed to help you create spatial computing apps and offers many of the same frameworks found on other Apple platforms, including SwiftUI, UIKit, RealityKit, and ARKit. As a result, most developers with an iPadOS or iOS app can start working with the platform immediately by adding the visionOS destination to their existing project.

Developers’ Early Experiments With visionOS, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Within hours, developers had downloaded the Xcode beta and begun testing the visionOS waters, building their apps for the Apple Vision Pro. Although there is undoubtedly a lot of work to be done to fine-tune their apps for use in a spatial computing context, it’s impressive how quickly Apple’s new tools allow developers to get started.

To give readers a sense of what the developers of some of our favorite apps have been able to accomplish in under 24 hours, we’ve collected posts we’ve found on Mastodon and Twitter below.

Solve Myopia In A Pinch With An iPhone, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

The discussion of how Apple’s Vision Pro puts a little screen in front of each eye reminded me of a neat discovery I made a while ago: if you’re near-sighted, you can use an iPhone to stand in for your glasses and even see in the dark.

Coming Soon

Apple Services Preview: Better Integration, Increased Customization, And Sharing Options, by John Voorhees, MacStories

All told, there are more services-related updates coming this fall than you might have expected, given the brevity of their appearances in the WWDC keynote. Although Apple Podcasts and Apple Music are getting the most extensive set of new features, Maps, Fitness+, and other services are getting excellent enhancements too.


SkySafari 7 Pro App Review, by Jamie Carter,

Planetarium apps show you what's up in the night sky, but few go much further than that. SkySafari 7 Pro proves to be the exception. It is an expensive, expansive and exhaustive app that marries an immersive user interface with the ability to control a host of telescopes.


Apple Illegally Interrogated Staff About Union, Judge Rules, by Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg

The judge wrote that Apple should be required to “cease and desist” from coercively interrogating workers about their legally protected labor activism. It should stop confiscating pro-union literature in its break rooms and “interfering with, restraining or coercing employees” in the exercise of their rights, according to the decision.

How Scammers Use Psychology To Create Some Of The Most Convincing Internet Cons – And What To Watch Out For, by Stacey Wood, Yaniv Hanoch, The Conversation

Online fraud is today’s most common crime. Victims are often told they are foolish for falling for it, but fraudsters use psychological mechanisms to infiltrate the defences of their targets, regardless of how intelligent they are.

So it’s important to keep up with the latest scams and understand how they work.

Why Spotify’s Podcast Experiment Went Off The Rails, by Amrita Khalid, The Verge

Spotify knows something is wrong with its podcast strategy — and these past few weeks have proved it. The company’s missteps reveal how fundamentally different the formula of success is in podcasts from film, video games, books, and even music. Franchises, IP, and name recognition can be enough to deliver a hit across many different mediums. But in the world of podcasts, a series from an acclaimed filmmaker, best-selling author, or even a former president can barely register on the charts. And after years of chasing this hit-making strategy, it all seems to be falling apart.

Bottom of the Page

There is, no doubt in my mind, profits to be had in the podcasting world. But, I don't think this is Netflix-money kind of world.


Thanks for reading.

The Won't-Have-to-Call Edition Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Apple Expanding Self-Service Repair Program To iPhone 14 Lineup And More Macs, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple today announced that its self-service repair program will be expanding to the iPhone 14 lineup, 13-inch MacBook Air with the M2 chip, and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips starting June 21.

Apple Just Fixed The Most Annoying Part Of Its Self Service Repair Program, by Chris Welch, The Verge

But perhaps more importantly, the company seems to be responding to feedback by eliminating needless friction from the process. The “System Configuration” validation step that’s required after repairs — and involves calling Apple on the phone — has been criticized as burdensome. With the new changes, you won’t have to call the company’s repair support team anymore.

“Self Service Repair users can now initiate System Configuration by placing their devices into Diagnostics mode and following onscreen prompts,” Apple wrote in today’s press release. “Users no longer need to contact the Self Service Repair support team to run the final step of a repair, but the team will still be available to assist as needed.” No more time-wasting phone calls? Sounds like the right move, Apple.

Apple Services

Stuck In A Podcast Bubble? Apple Podcasts Just Made Discovering New Shows Much Easier, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Ever get stuck in a podcast bubble? Apple Podcasts search just got a big refresh that helps surface great shows from the vast catalog through new subcategories. Apple is also adding new ways to discover podcasts by language and more.

iPhone App Store Rolling Out New Ad Format, Visible On Today Tab Without Scrolling, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple today announced it is officially rolling out a new ad format for the App Store. The new Today tab format is more compact than the previous full-height card design but is viewable immediately upon opening the tab on the iPhone. The previous design required the user to scroll down the page to see it.

A nonsponsored slot continues to take the first position, but the ad placement is now always above the fold. The new format also allows Apple to make it easier for advertisers to submit campaigns and get approved more quickly.

Coming This Fall

'Sign In With iPhone' Passkey Support Comes To Apple․com, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

You can now forgo entering your password on and domains thanks to newly added passkey support. When running iOS 17 on an iPhone, any Apple site on the web can rely instead on Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate your login.

As part of iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma, your Apple ID is automatically assigned a passkey that can be used for iCloud and Apple sites.


Google Chrome On iOS Will Let You Search With Just Your Camera Soon, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Google is adding some more features to its Chrome iOS browser to tempt iPhone users away from Safari. Chrome on iOS is getting built-in Google Lens support soon, which will allow Chrome users to search for anything they see using just their camera. Translations are also being improved, alongside better calendar entry support and a new mini Google Maps view.

Spotify Launches New Desktop Experience For Mac And PC With Three-column UI, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Spotify is out today with an overhaul for its desktop experience. The new UI brings redesigned ‘Your Library’ and ‘Now Playing’ sections to align more with the iOS/Android Spotify app and make it more seamless to “explore, curate, listen to, and organize Spotify on a computer or web browser.”


The iPad Was Meant To Revolutionize Accessibility. What Happened?, by Julie Kim, MIT Technology Review

Most AAC companies were started by experts in technology development, not distribution. For at least the last three decades, they’ve developed their products as FDA-approved medical devices to increase the chances that Medicaid, private health insurers, and school districts will pay for them. To compensate for the small market size, developers backed into a convoluted business model that required a physician or licensed speech pathologist to formally “prescribe” the device, strategically (and astronomically) priced to subsidize the cost of its development.

Before 2010, companies building their own AAC hardware and software from scratch could get away with keeping their pricing strategy opaque. But when Apple mass-produced a better version of the hardware they’d been developing in house, the smoke and mirrors disappeared, exposing a system that looks a lot like price gouging.

But it would be too easy to call AAC companies the villain; considering they operate in the same market-driven system as the most popular consumer technology products in the world, it’s a minor miracle they even exist. And the problem of jacking up products’ prices to cover the cost of their development is hardly unique. All too often—in the absence of a public or private entity that proactively funds highly specialized technology with the potential to change, even save, a small number of lives—some form of price gouging is the norm.

EU Wants “Readily Removable” Batteries In Devices Soon—but What Does That Mean?, by Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica

Let's take it as a given that prying at a delicate screen or glass back with strong solvents on hand doesn't meet the definition of "readily removable." We might also accept that "readily" includes the "without professional tools" provision. What counts as a "professional tool?"

Here again, is a fairly wide range. Are an iFixit heating tube, guitar pick, and spudger professional tools? Apple's Self Service Repair program, which has you rent a suitcase with custom tools and use specialized software to register parts, might seem to hit the mark of "professional tools." Some might hope that this language all but heralds the return of pre-iPhone cellphones, the kind with a back you could remove with your thumb and spare batteries you could keep in a bag. That seems unlikely, but it's also not excluded by the language.

The Grievous iPhone Design Flaw That Makes Us All Look Like Absolute Lunatics, by Dan Kois, Slate!

Bottom of the Page

Okay, Apple. Looks like AAC is another Sherlock opportunity. Go ahead.


Thanks for reading.

The All-New-Features Edition Tuesday, June 20, 2023

The Real System Requirements For Apple’s 2023 Operating Systems, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Apple has released developer betas of macOS 14 Sonoma, iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, and tvOS 17, with public betas coming soon and releases likely in September or October of this year. As those releases draw near, many people are wondering whether their current hardware will run the new operating systems, or if it’s time to upgrade. Overall, the news is good: Apple has deprecated only five Macs (in three product lines) from 2017, three iPhones from 2017, and three iPads from 2015, 2016, and 2017.

However, just because a 10.5-inch iPad Pro can run iPadOS 17 doesn’t mean it will have access to all the new features. I’ll first look at the basic requirements for each operating system and then dive into which features have more specific hardware requirements.

The Apple Vision Non-Pro Will Still Be Very Expensive, by Benjamin Mayo

I’m not sure the Apple Vision product line will ever reach prices that low, at least as Apple how envisions it (pun intended) today as an augmented reality spatial computer. The EyeSight feature alone must add hundreds of dollars in cost to the bill of materials — between the curved lenticular front-facing OLED display and the sensors needed to drive it. Without considering anything else, the existence of EyeSight means the lowest I can ever see an Apple headset going is $1500 — and that’s not a near term thing, that’s many years off.


Broadcasts Brings SharePlay To Internet Radio Streaming, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Broadcasts 3.2 adds support for Apple’s SharePlay group experience feature from iOS. This lets you invite others to easily listen to the same internet radio station with a simple invitation.

Logitech’s Beloved Mac Keyboard Gets Even Better With New MX Keys S Upgrade, by Rikka Altland, 9to5Toys

The main reason why we’re getting this sequel to the popular keyboard is the newfound Quiet Click technology that makes the release have a quieter design than before. That more silent operation not only earns the keyboard its new designation but also makes for a less noisy typing experience for the people around you, although I have to say that you’ll still be able to enjoy those satisfying clicks with each keystroke – it just won’t be something that your roommates or coworkers are forced to enjoy.


‘This Is Ridiculous!’: Apple Fans Aren't Happy About New European Mobile Law, by Axel Metz, TechRadar

According to the new rules, consumers must be able to “easily remove and replace” any “portable batteries” used in mobile devices sold in European territories from 2027 onwards. The EU’s intention is to make batteries “more sustainable, more durable, and better-performing,” in an effort to reduce e-waste.

Sounds good, right? Well, that depends on who you ask. At present, iPhone batteries are notoriously difficult to access and replace, with Apple’s best iPhones demanding hefty repair fees once their batteries begin to degrade. However, many Apple fans fear that the tech giant could be forced to dramatically redesign the iPhone in order to accommodate the EU’s new requirements.

The Hottest New Perk In Tech Is Freedom, by Rani Molla, Vox

Tech companies with fewer employees are using remote work as a way to pull in more talent in what had been a notoriously difficult hiring environment and to signify that they, unlike Big Tech, are where progress is happening. People in the tech industry, especially, are more likely to be lured by remote work, according to Gartner, which has found that better work-life balance and greater flexibility were the top benefits tech employees would choose over 10 percent higher compensation.

From Conference To Festival: The Evolution Of WWDC, by John Voorhees, MacStories

WWDC 2023 was excellent, and it’s clear that a lot of work went into making it memorable for everyone who attended. I left tired and a little sick, but happy to have been part of the events and mostly glad to have had a chance to spend time with so many amazing people for a few days. If the experience can be extended a little and the socializing facilitated with a centralized meeting spot, all the better.

Bottom of the Page

A festival that conicides with WWDC week? Sure sounds like a third-party opportunity.

The biggest issue: Apple will probably not tell this third-party the date of the next WWDC in advance. I wonder the current two-month notice is sufficient for a festival organizer.


Thanks for reading.

The Depictions-of-Apples Edition Monday, June 19, 2023

Apple Is Taking On Apples In A Truly Weird Trademark Battle, by Gabriela Galindo, Wired

The Fruit Union Suisse is 111 years old. For most of its history, it has had as its symbol a red apple with a white cross—the Swiss national flag superimposed on one of its most common fruits. But the group, the oldest and largest fruit farmer’s organization in Switzerland, worries it might have to change its logo, because Apple, the tech giant, is trying to gain intellectual property rights over depictions of apples, the fruit.

“We have a hard time understanding this, because it’s not like they’re trying to protect their bitten apple,” Fruit Union Suisse director Jimmy Mariéthoz says, referring to the company’s iconic logo. “Their objective here is really to own the rights to an actual apple, which, for us, is something that is really almost universal … that should be free for everyone to use.”

Yes, Your Mac's Storage Is Hamstrung, But You Wouldn't Even Know It If I Didn't Tell You, by Oliver Haslam, TechRadar

It matters to benchmark testers, and it matters to people who aren't cross-shopping any of these affected Macs anyway. And it matters to me because I'm irked Apple ever put us into this position.

But do you know who it doesn't matter to? Anyone who bought an M2 MacBook Air and is too busy marveling at how quickly their apps load. Even if they could load a fraction of a second quicker if they'd plumped for the 512GB of storage instead.

Apple Finally Breaks Android’s Grip On Southeast Asia, by Joan Aurelia Rumengan, Rest of World

Historically, Apple has struggled in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia — the fourth-largest country in the world — Chinese companies like Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Realme have dominated smartphone sales, with high-end Android phones going for as little as $500. Chinese brands have done a much more effective job than Apple at localizing their marketing, as well as creating goodwill with local communities through job creation and disaster relief initiatives.

But Apple has been making strides in Indonesia on the strength of its product quality and the rising wealth of Southeast Asia as a whole, even through the uncertainty of the pandemic. Glen Cordoza, senior analyst at Counterpoint, told Rest of World Apple’s popularity in the region was boosted by the iPhone 13 and 14, and a consumer perception that Apple produces high-quality products.

Bottom of the Page

Shame on you, Apple, for going after apple sellers with apples in their logos. Shame on you.

And may I remind you, Apple: you were the one who changed your distintive six-colored rainbow-striped logo to a generic picture of an apple. Now you are messing with other people's logos just because their logos are also apples and fruits?

Shame on you, Apple.


Thanks for reading.

The Everything-and-Anything Edition Sunday, June 18, 2023

A Note To Steve Jobs Isn’t The Weirdest Thing In My Notes App – Not By A Long Shot, by Thomas Mitchell, The Sydney Morning Herald

All of which is to say, the Notes app is everything you want it to be and anything you need it to be: part therapist, part diary, part logistical planner, and part dumping ground for insane thoughts.

And while the Notes app is an inherently personal platform, it’s nice to know I’m not alone in spilling my soul.

Is Apple TV+ The New Place For Prestige?, by Usama Masood, Collider

It is clear from Apple TV+’s upcoming programming and their approach so far that the streamer's strong emphasis on creator-driven storytelling is allowing it to excel in all different genres and setting the service apart from others. [...] Apple TV+ may have less content overall, but it's been taking more risks and choosing to forego quantity over quality, making it the new place for prestige.

Young People Have No Idea What We Used To Do After Work. Let Me Regale You., by Dan Kois, Slate

The very idea that, once work hours were over, no one could get hold of you—via email, text, Slack, whatever—is completely alien to contemporary young people, who never let their cellphones leave their hands. Yes, it’s because they’re addicted, but it’s also because we’re all expected by bosses, co-workers, and friends to be online and available pretty much every time of day. Especially since the pandemic and the growth of remote work, job responsibilities seem to be ever-expanding to fill all available time. One survey suggests that U.S. workers were logged into their employers’ networks 11 hours a day in 2021, as opposed to 8 hours a day before the pandemic. A survey of U.K. workers found a majority said they wished their employers would restrict work communication to work hours only.

Bottom of the Page

Today, I'm starting off with a new design of my hobby project. Wish me luck.


Thanks for reading.

The Follow-Your-Friends Edition Saturday, June 17, 2023

Apple Music’s Hidden Social Network Is Basic But Great For Discovery, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

You can follow all of your friends, and they can follow you back. On each user’s profile, you can see a breakdown of all their public playlists, what they’ve listened to most recently, and a list of their followers and who they’re following. This makes it easy to find other people you might want to follow as well.

I find Apple Music’s profile system to be a valuable tool for finding new music. People have diverse music tastes, and I enjoy visiting people’s profiles to see what they’re listening to. Being able to view people’s custom playlists is also very useful.

Music Video Shot On iPhone 14 Pro Shows Its Storytelling Power, by Jeremy Gray, PetaPixel

Musical artist Grant Knoche’s new music video for his song “First Hello” was shot exclusively on an iPhone 14 Pro, showcasing another example of how artists use iPhone’s impressive video capabilities to produce professional-caliber content.

Japan To Regulate Smartphone App Stores To End Apple-Google Duopoly, by Kyodo News

The Japanese government said Friday it plans to implement a new law that regulates smartphone app stores to promote easier market access for third-party developers and spur competition amid the Apple Inc. and Google LLC duopoly.

The envisaged law would make it mandatory for the dominant smartphone operating system providers to allow the entry of third-party app stores if they are deemed safe, government officials said.


Apple Mac Studio (2023) Review: The M2 Ultra Rips, by Monica Chin, The Verge

The sense I get from speaking to Alex and from other professionals who use Apple’s desktop hardware is that the M1 Ultra is so fast that speed is no longer a hang-up in their workflow. The biggest bottlenecks in Alex’s current workday tend to be glitches in Premiere and other software he has to use, which is something I hear from folks in video and graphic design all the time — in the age of the Ultra, raw power is just not a limitation for him.

Apple Launches Beats Studio Buds+ In More Countries, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple this week began selling its new Beats Studio Buds+ in the UK and most other countries, with the exceptions of Brazil, Mexico, and Taiwan, where the earbuds will be available starting mid-August.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack: Micro-review, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

Say what you will about Apple having unfair advantages here, but the system integration is really what sold me on this pack.

AirCard’ Puts Apple’s Find My Tech Into An NFC-enabled Digital Business Card, by Fernando Silva, 9to5Mac

The main purpose of the AirCard is to be a tracker for your wallet while also being able to use the Find My network. The secondary function is to have it be used as a virtual business card. So if you are at an expo, an event, a business meeting, or just at a party, you can have someone scan your QR code or tap the NFC tag, and you can send over the information you want that other person to have.


Bob Iger Announced Exciting Plans For Apple's Vision Pro Headset, But After Wide Cuts, Some Are Questioning Disney's Appetite For 'Rebellious Innovation', by Lucia Moses, Insider

But the innovation team that worked on Disney's Apple Vision Pro offering is being disbanded, with its founder and leader exiting the company as part of the cuts.


Disney's announcement at Apple's WWDC was vague by design; as with any splashy tech rollout, some features that were promised may not happen. But inside Disney, there's pressure to deliver on the innovative offering just as staff and resources are being scaled back.

Bottom of the Page

Who knows what Hollywood and Disney will look like in one year's time, let alone when Apple finally release a mainstream (read: lower-cost) version of the Apple Vision. But I think it is safe to say, there will be shows on Apple TV+ that take advantages of the immersive viewing.


Thanks for reading.

The Visual-Hygiene Edition Friday, June 16, 2023

New Apple Features Put A Spotlight On Myopia, by Kimberley Young, Optometry Today

“The features have the potential to make a big impact in educating and encouraging children to have good visual hygiene and be conscious of their own visual habits and risks,” Shah said, but cautioned that it would be important to emphasise that the features “are only part of the picture to encourage healthy behaviours.”

Considering the use of the features, he suggested: “It may only take a notification or nudge to remind a user to shift position or take a break.”

Changed Your iPhone's Passcode And Forgot It? iOS 17 Gives You 72 Hours To Reset It, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

If you change your iPhone’s passcode and forget it soon after, iOS 17 has a new option available to help out. Specifically, it is now possible to reset an iPhone’s new passcode with the previous passcode for up to 72 hours after the change is made.

Apple Retail

Apple's Battersea Store Opens Today, Second To Feature All-New Design, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Apple today opened its new store in Battersea, South West London – the second to feature the company’s overhauled retail store design after the Tysons Corner revamp last month.


Beats Studio Buds + Review: Better Than AirPods (But Not AirPods Pro), by Jason Cross, Macworld

Priced similarly to 3rd-gen AirPods, the Beats Studio Buds+ have a more usable design, ANC, and better sound quality. But they’re missing a few Apple ecosystem perks and 2nd-gen AirPods Pro have more features and sound better.

How And Why To Use FIDO Security Keys For Apple ID, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

In a world that needs Apple’s recently-improved Lockdown Mode to protect good people against bad ones, high-risk individuals should consider using physical security keys to protect their Apple ID.

Apple To Discontinue Apple Card Financing For iPhones Bought Without A Carrier Connection, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple is making a big change to its Apple Card Monthly Installment purchase option for iPhone buyers. Starting in August, Apple says that it will no longer allow customers to purchase SIM-free iPhone models using Apple Card financing. Instead, carrier connection with AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon will be required.


Apple Vision Pro Micro OLED Displays — What You Need To Know, by Malcolm McMillan, Tom's Guide

Micro OLED suddenly became a major tech buzzword as soon as Apple announced the Vision Pro at WWDC. The mixed reality and VR headset features two Micro OLED displays — giving each eye a display with greater resolution than a 4K TV in a surface area the size of a postage stamp.

But what actually is Micro OLED technology? And how does it differ from microLED? Is one better than the other? What are the advantages and disadvantages of Micro OLED? Can you only use it with certain display sizes?

The Workers Already Replaced By Artificial Intelligence, by Ian Rose, BBC

Any job losses would not fall equally across the economy. According to the report, 46% of tasks in administrative and 44% in legal professions could be automated, but only 6% in construction and 4% in maintenance.

The report also points out that the introduction of AI could boost productivity and growth and might create new jobs.

There is some evidence of that already.

Bottom of the Page

I will pay good money to watch Broadway shows live with live audiences.

(Can you tell I've been listening to the "Musical!" playlist over at Apple Music?)


Thanks for reading.

The Zero-Screen Edition Thursday, June 15, 2023

What Hollywood Tech Pros Think Of Apple’s Big Headset Gamble, by Carolyn Giardina, Hollywood Reporter

Once Hollywood studios wrap their heads around what’s possible, we’ll start to see waves of new experiences getting produced that take advantage of the extended canvas. Content creators have always been sensitive to the audience’s “second screen” experience (the idea that people are watching TV while looking at their iPad or iPhone for contextual information). Apple’s Vision Pro might be described as an “infinite screen” experience.

But at the same time, because the contextual content can be 3D and integrated into your environment, it could feel more like a “zero screen” experience to users. That may be what people have been looking for to handle the cognitive load we face from all the devices in our lives. Over the past year, a lot of filmmakers have expressed an interest in developing their experiences “beyond the screen.”

RIP Apple Mail Plug-ins, by Michael Tsai

With extensions, you can just click a checkbox in Mail’s settings. And the places to hook into Mail are now stable, rather than changing with each macOS version and with the specter of extension points disappearing as Mail was rewritten with more static Swift code. In theory, I will be able to spend more time improving the app rather than just keeping it working as Mail and macOS evolve. The downside of extensions, though, in addition to the limited functionality, is that we are dependent on Apple to fix bugs, because we can no longer patch them in Mail ourselves.

Apple's Secret Weapon To Getting PC Games On Mac, by Christina Warren, Inverse

Apple’s hope is that developers will use the Game Porting Toolkit as a jumping-off point to optimize the game code and shaders to make the experience really work for Mac gamers. The unsaid (but very clear insinuation) would be for those developers or studios to then submit the newly “converted” titles to the Mac App Store, where Apple enjoys a 30 percent revenue cut. And sure, some studios and developers may choose to do just that, depending on the work involved and the potential for the user base. But even without that, this new technology, wrapped in a developer toolkit, is the best thing to happen to the Mac gaming market in at least 30 years.


New Mac Pro Has Hard Drive Issue, Apple Planning Fix In macOS Update, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

In a support document published today, Apple said certain SATA hard drives might unexpectedly disconnect from the 2023 Mac Pro after the computer wakes from sleep. Apple said it is “aware of this issue” and will fix it in a “future macOS update.”

Capture One's Photo-editing App Arrives On iPhone, by Kris Holt, Engadget

Capture One has brought its eponymous photography app to the iPhone. Photographers can connect their camera to their phone and shoot images directly to the app. Capture One works with more than 500 cameras, the company says, including Canon, Sony, Nikon, Fujifilm, Leica and Sigma models.


Gimlet Media's Story Was Always Going To End Like This, by Alex Sujong Laughlin, Defector

If Gimlet was meant to last, to become a household name like the other three-letter media companies before it, if it was meant to make narrative podcasts for the foreseeable future, it failed at all of those goals. But Gimlet also succeeded in all the ways it was supposed to. When Blumberg and Lieber pursued VC funding right at the beginning of this story, they wrote that story’s end, too. This is because venture-backed companies have an obligation to chase profit at any cost—even the journalism, even the livelihood of the employees, even the life of the company itself. That story only ever ends one way. As I watch ad revenue for podcasts dry up and hear from friends and colleagues who have lost their jobs, and from even more who hate their jobs but have nowhere to go, I wonder what it means that the sun at the center of our universe was always designed to be a flash in the pan.

Bottom of the Page

Since, if I remember correctly, 2005, I had never have a single day when I run out of podcasts to listen.


Thanks for reading.

The Pinch-to-Stretch Edition Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Apple’s Racial Equity And Justice Initiative Surpasses $200m In Investments, by Apple

Apple today announced its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI), a long-term global effort to advance equity and expand opportunities for Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and Indigenous communities, has more than doubled its initial financial commitment to total more than $200 million over the last three years. Since launching REJI in June 2020, Apple has supported education, economic empowerment, and criminal justice reform work across the U.S., with recent expansion to Australia, the U.K., and Mexico.

MacBook Air 15-inch Exclusive: I Ask Apple About 'World's Thinnest' Design, $1,299 Price, Why We Didn't Get More Ports And More, by Mark Spoonauer, Tom's Guide

We honestly started by setting our target of can we make a 15-inch laptop that is the same thickness as the 13-inch? It's not as easy as in the in the video when you hit the pinch to stretch and it just magically gets two inches bigger. One of the big things that the team really had to focus on is reliability performance and durability over that large screen size. The display where the LCD needs to be structurally really sound. And so we use a structural adhesive to attach the panel to the chassis piece that we call the display housing.

Beware Of Siri Creating Alarms Instead Of Timers, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Something has recently changed with Siri such that it occasionally misses the final word—usually “minutes”—in the standard command, turning “Set a timer for 20 minutes” into “Set a timer for 20.” I have become so accustomed to timers just working that I hadn’t been looking at the screen like Paul had, so I didn’t notice that Siri interprets that second command as a request to set an alarm for “20” (8 PM.) As you can see from the scrollbar in the third screenshot below, I’ve ended up with a slew of random alarms in the Apple Watch’s Alarms app.

Apple Vision

Apple Vision Pro: A Watershed Moment For Personal Computing, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

I’m convinced that Vision Pro and the visionOS platform are a watershed moment in the arc of personal computing. After trying it, I came away reflecting that we’ll eventually think of software before spatial computing, and after it. For better or worse – we can’t know if this platform will be successful yet – Apple created a clear demarcation between the era of looking at a computer and looking at the world as the computer. Whether their plan succeeds or not, we’ll remember this moment in the history of the company.

Coming This Fall

Apple’s Latest Sherlock Targets Your Grandparents’ Tech, by Wes Davis, The Verge

We’re used to seeing Apple’s new features come from some currently popular app. But it’s less common for Apple to reach back and find inspiration in old, once-ubiquitous tech that predates the iPhone and even the company itself — and this year, that’s exactly what it did, starting with answering machines.

PSA: Disabling iCloud Drive In iOS 17 No Longer Turns Off Third-Party App CloudKit Syncing, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

By making iCloud Drive and third-party app iCloud access configuration independent from one another in iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma, cloud management better reflects the Settings interface. It also means that users with company-issued devices where iCloud Drive is disabled as a matter of policy will still be able to use third-party apps that depend on iCloud syncing to function properly.


Yoga Day Challenge Returns To Apple Watch With New Stickers To Unlock In Time For iOS 17, by, 9to5Mac

The International Day of Yoga takes place on June 21 this year, and Apple is marking the occasion with a special Yoga Day Challenge for Apple Watch users.

Rex’s New App Makes It Easy To Discover And Share Recommended Places With Friends, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Using a combination of AI and computer vision technologies, the app aims to make it easier to get started sharing your recommendations by scouring your phone's Camera Roll for photos from favorite spots, which you can then add to curated playlists that are shared with friends and followers.

Satechi’s New USB-C Docking Station Lets Your 15-inch MacBook Air Drive Three 4K Monitors, by Rikka Altland, 9to5Toys

The new Triple 4K Docking Station arrives with the ability to drive three monitors at once, turning your MacBook Air into more of a desktop-worthy machine with 100W pass-through charging and some additional I/O.

Nomad’s New Stand And Base Charge Slower But Cost Less, by Antonio G. Di Benedetto, The Verge

Want a fancy-looking charger for your MagSafe-compatible iPhone but don’t want to pay such a hefty premium price? Nomad is offering a new pair of chargers that do just that, and the key is cutting out Apple’s true MagSafe compatibility and its required Made for iPhone tax.


Apple’s Original Vision Products Were A Line Of CRTs, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

but like many other Apple products, it’s using a name steeped in history.

Ok, steeped may be a little strong, but Apple has had other products with “vision” in their names over the years. Seven products, to be exact, and all of them are long-forgotten CRT displays.

Bottom of the Page

I am not attracted to the 15-inch MacBook Air, just because I want my notebook computer to be really portable.

But if my eyes continue to worsen as I get older, and if I am not going anywhere after I retire, a large-screen notebook computer that allows me to move between the living room and the bedroom will be more attractive.

Will I have enough spare money lying around to get me a desktop computer and a notebook computer? That may be more of a limiting factor.


Thanks for reading.

The Social-and-Societal Edition Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Apple Vision Pro Evokes Deep Ambivalence, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

First, I want to explain what it is, both in terms of how we talk about it and its physical construction. Then I’ll segue into thoughts about what you can do with it and for whom it’s best suited. Finally, I want to explore some deeper social and societal issues surrounding a device that enables the wearer to experience a different reality than those around them.

A Developer's View Of Vision Pro, by David Smith

I’m going into developing for this platform knowing that economically it might not be (initially) a gold rush. I view it far more as a long-term investment in my future business rather than something which needs to pay off right away.

Apple’s Vision Pro Strategy Is Starting To Look A Lot Like The iPod, by Michael Simon, Macworld

Like the iPod, it makes sense to price Vision Pro so high. With the first version, you want to showcase the best possible tech, and in the case of the Vision Pro, it needs to blow people away. Apple will sell some Vision Pro headsets for sure, but its main job will be to make people want one—so when the cheaper model arrives they’ll rush to buy one. Just like the iPod mini.

Apple TV+ 'Monsterverse' Show Filming In 3D For Vision Pro Viewing, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

According to ScreenTimes’ Sigmund Judge, the live-action Godzilla and Titans TV series that’s based on Legendary’s Monsterverse franchise has been shooting in a three-dimensional format supported by Apple’s newly announced headset, based on conversations with people familiar with its production.

New Mac Studio

M2 Ultra Mac Studio Review: Who Needs A Mac Pro, Anyway?, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

There will always be people who are upset about the appliance-like, non-upgradeable nature of Apple's desktops, especially in the Apple Silicon era, where basically nothing inside the machine can be upgraded after the fact. Upgrading components used to be an easy way to squeeze a few more years out of an aging Mac Pro tower, and in an ideal world, it would still be something that Apple supported and encouraged.

But even the Mac Pro can't really be upgraded in that way anymore, which makes the M2 Ultra version of the Mac Studio the one that most pros should buy. It's expensive—it's hard to spend $4,000 on a consumer desktop PC, even one with a top-tier CPU and GPU in it—but what you get is a powerful-but-tiny Mac that's quieter and more power efficient than any PC you can buy or build.

Apple M2 Ultra Mac Studio Review: It Shreds Through Photo And Video Edits, by Jaron Schneider, PetaPixel

It’s incredible to me how fast this computer handled the Lightroom Classic tasks, and is a testament to both the M2 Ultra’s capability and to Adobe’s optimization for Apple silicon.

In Premiere Pro, it’s a closer fight but the M2 Ultra still wins. Overall, its score is well above the competition and it only loses to the NUC Extreme in the RAW video score.

Editors who work in Apple’s Final Cut will be even happier. I have watched this computer chew through nine simultaneous 4K and 8K video streams and play them all back at their full resolutions, simultaneously. It then was able to export a two-and-a-half minute, 4K video that used these same streams in less than 30 seconds.

New MacBook Air

Apple MacBook Air 15-inch Review: Exactly What Was Asked For, by Monica Chin, The Verge

Using this device on a day-to-day basis does not feel particularly different from using the 13-inch Air. The keyboard and touchpad and trusty webcam notch are all the same. The biggest difference to report — and this will come as no surprise — is the screen. The 15.3-inch panel is large, especially with its slightly taller than 16:10 aspect ratio. It affords, frankly, much more space than I would ever know how to take full advantage of. I can comfortably use two windows side by side; on the 13-inch Air, I might have to zoom out a notch or two. Big screen devotees, you’ll be thrilled.

The second big difference is the weight. The 13-inch Air is 2.7 pounds, and the 15-inch Air is 3.3 pounds. There is just over half a pound of difference, and it is noticeable. While the 15-inch Air is a world lighter than its larger 16-inch M2 Pro cousins, it is significantly chunkier than the 13-inch Air.

15-inch MacBook Air Review: Sometimes Bigger Is Better, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

To counteract the extra power draw of the bigger screen, Apple has increased the size of the Air’s battery, but all that does is make the battery life of the two models identical. There’s also a bit extra space in the 15-inch model’s case for a more expansive speaker system. (When I compared it to the 13-inch model, I noticed some differences, but they were extremely subtle.)

On Listening

Evaluating Apple AirPods Pro 2 Hearing Protection And Listening, by Nicky Chong-White, Jorge Mejia, and Brent Edwards, The Hearing Review

The study results show that the active noise cancellation technology in the AirPods Pro 2 earbuds effectively reduces ambient noise levels by, on average, 27 dB across frequencies, reducing the risk of noise-induced hearing loss. In addition, the AirPods Pro 2 showed substantial improvement in low-frequency attenuation compared to its predecessor, making for a safer and clearer listening experience. With effective hearing-related features such as ANC and automatic reduction of harmful noises combined with additional features previously evaluated, such as personalized amplification, and microphone directionality, the AirPods Pro offers considerable benefits for those seeking to protect their hearing and have clear audio experiences in noisy environments.

It’s Time To Let The Noisy World Back In, by Lauren Larson, Wired

Training myself to tolerate noise, and annoyances in general, is part of a long process of exiting the bunker I built around myself during the worst months of the pandemic. I’ve been experimenting with letting more sounds in. I try to jog without my headphones once or twice a week; I run along a creek sometimes, and its babbling is pleasant and summery, less repetitive than the creek sound offered by Noisli. In May, I purposely left the baby white noise machine at home on a trip to West Texas (where, truth be told, there was no noise anyway) and I have stopped having breakfast with it. I try to focus on the morning birds, the wind in the trees, and other woodland niceties.

I would love to live without needing the illusion of control over my surroundings—to dance in the breeze like an inflatable tube man. Unfortunately, you can’t force yourself into an entirely new personality. But you can take off your headphones.


‎Where Respect Is Due, by Apple

We’ve always had the utmost respect for the user. Every internal decision about look and function answers the questions “What does the customer need?” and “How can we help them be more productive?” (Not “How can we give them what they’re asking for?” because that isn’t the right question to answer.) The Macintosh was introduced to help anybody do great things. It’s something we believe in completely.


New Mac Pro Has 'Product Of Thailand' Label, Final Assembly Still In USA, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple’s new Mac Pro has a “Product of Thailand” label, but final assembly of the desktop computer still takes place in the U.S., according to an FCC filing.


[T]he label indicates that final assembly of the Mac Pro will continue to be based in the U.S., even if manufacturing is largely in Thailand. All other Macs are fully manufactured and assembled in Asian countries.

Bottom of the Page

My policy is not to install beta operating systems (and firmware) on the one and only one devices that I own and use daily. And because even though I do have multiple Apple devices, I don't have spare devices for each product category, my policy basically means I don't install betas at all.

But I am intrigued by the new Adaptive Audio on AirPods Pro. On paper, and in keynote videos, this sounds great. I guess the test for me is whether it can filter out all the engine and track and human noises in subway trains, while allowing station announcements coming through. Not that I have recently missed my station, but silently counting number of stops in my head is getting less and less cool.


Thanks for reading.

The Giving-a-Template Edition Monday, June 12, 2023

How Apple’s Vision Pro Could Save Its VR Competitors, by Tim Culpan, Washington Post

With Apple giving rivals a template for how a mixed-reality headset should work, and by providing vendors a guide for making the parts required, the entire industry will get the kind of boost not seen since Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone.

How Apple Can Bring Down The Price Of Apple Vision Headset From $3,500, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The three priciest components in the Vision Pro are its camera and sensor array, its dual Apple silicon chips and the twin 4K micro-OLED virtual reality displays. For a non-pro model, Apple could probably use lower quality screens, either an iPhone-grade chip or an older Mac chip and fewer cameras for lesser performance.


But there are a few areas I believe Apple will not compromise on in a cheaper Apple Vision. The external screen, known as EyeSight, to show a wearer's eyes, as well as the eye- and hand-tracking system, are as core to the Apple Vision as a touchscreen is to an iPhone. I would expect a cheaper model to keep those features.

M2 Ultra Chip Benchmark Results Reveal Impressive Performance Gains, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

More interestingly, the scores reveal that the new Mac Pro should have around 2× faster overall CPU performance than the fastest Intel-based Mac Pro with a 28-core Xeon W processor. This feat is even more impressive given that the new Mac Pro starts at $6,999, while the 28-core Intel-based model started at $12,999, nearly double the price.


Why Millions Of Usable Hard Drives Are Being Destroyed, by Sean McManus, BBC

There are several ways a drive can be purged. Hard drives can be overwritten with new patterns of data, for example, which can then be checked to make sure the original data has gone. With today's storage capacities, it can take a day or two.

By comparison a cryptographic erase takes just a couple of seconds. Many modern drives have built-in encryption, so that the data on them can only be read if you have the encryption key. If that key is deleted, all the data is scrambled. It's still there, but it's impossible to read. The drive is safe to resell.

Bottom of the Page

I'm buying new glasses. No, nothing to do with Vision Pro. Seriously. My current glasses are scratched beyond pretending-the-scratches-does-not-exist.

Glasses, especially for my old and lousy eyes, are not cheap. But, hey, still cheap than Vision Pro.

(No way am I going to pay for both Vision Pro and extra pair of lens.)


Thanks for reading.

The Hundreds-of-Thousands Edition Sunday, June 11, 2023

The Vision Pro’s Biggest Advantage Isn’t Apple’s Hardware, by Emma Roth, The Verge

Unlike other headset ecosystems, though, Apple is promising hundreds of thousands of apps on day one, a feat it’s able to pull off thanks to work on other platforms. Apple will automatically convert iPad and iPhone apps to “a single scalable 2D window” that works on the Apple Vision Pro — with no work required from developers unless they want to make any changes. And for the developers who want to create something new for the headset, Apple is making it easy for those already acquainted with its ecosystem to create apps for visionOS, its new mixed reality operating system.

Strap On, Tune In. The Sad, Yet Compelling Future, As Seen Through Apple’s Vision Pro Goggles, by Navneet Alang, Toronto Star

I’m surprised to feel somewhat optimistic about the Vision Pro, or at least impressed. When you think of it as a device to use alone to do work and be more productive, it’s actually quite compelling, not least because it appears to expand the range of what is possible in computing.

But when you think of a work device literally strapped to your body, projecting information into your reality, and making you accessible when you wear it, the sheen wears off a bit.

Apple's New 'Personal Voice' Feature Can Create A Voice That Sounds Like You Or A Loved One In Just 15 Minutes, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Just reading this press release moved me to tears. The Personal Voice feature gives me hope that people with ALS and other speech-impacting conditions might suffer ever-so-slightly less. I wish this had been a feature when our mom was here, but I’m thrilled it’s something on the horizon for others.

I’d even go as far as to say that I think everyone should spend 15 minutes setting up the Personal Voice feature once it’s available. As my sisters and I learned with our mom, your ability to speak can be taken away in a matter of weeks, and it might be too late at that point to set up something like Personal Voice.


List One Task, Do It, Cross It Out, by Oliver Burkeman

And just to spell it out: the point here isn't "stop multitasking and focus on one thing, and you're a bad person if you don't!" Rather, it's that (with a few technical exceptions) you never actually are multitasking to begin with. Instead, you're just anxiously switching your attention rapidly between things – because you're not sure which one's more urgent, and/or because you think you'll get them done quicker that way, which is almost never true.


The Genius Behind Messi’s Move To Miami Goes Way Beyond Soccer, by Andrés Martinez, Slate

This mediafication of sport is here to stay. Purists would like to believe that sporting leagues go about their own business organically and make agreements with media companies on the side. But really, these worlds are now explicitly converged: Professional sport’s organic purpose is to serve as media content.

Bottom of the Page

I think a lot of us, and me is definitely included, will be trying out the new Personal Voice feature from the upcoming iOS. I wish the voice will survive through, I hope, quite a few more iPhones before I have to use it for real.

On a similar vein, I am seriously thinking of learning Voice Over on iPhone and iPad and macOS, just in case. Not sure how to start though.


Thanks for reading.

The Include-More-Models Edition Saturday, June 10, 2023

Apple's Vision Pro Reignites Excitement In China's XR World, by Rita Liao, TechCrunch

The country’s virtual and augmented reality industry went from the talk of the town a few years ago to a disappointment to investors and consumers who expected to see mass adoption quickly — last year, XR device shipment crossed 1 million units in China, a number that’s insignificant compared to the reach of other consumer electronics.

While Wall Street traders are skeptical of Vision Pro’s price tag and usability, China’s mixed reality community is excited that the device’s debut has rekindled the public’s interest in XR, which could eventually help bring the necessary talent, supply chain resources and investments into the nascent space.

You Can Thank Slumping Laptop Sales For The 15-inch MacBook Air, by Dan Seifert, The Verge

But by holding the release to this year, Apple is able to counter the slow Mac performance for the past few quarters and have something new to shore up growth against the strong performance from last year’s M2 Air. It’s a playbook Apple has used in the past — when iPhone sales start to slow down, it expands the lineup to include more models.


My AirPods Max Saved My Dream Vacation From Becoming A Disaster — Here’s How, by Dave Meikleham, Tom's Guide

I don’t know who came up with the concept of noise-canceling headphones, but I do know they have my undying respect.

The Green Bubble Problem Is About To Get Even Worse, by Jay Peters, The Verge

Maybe these changes won’t make a difference. Who makes phone calls anymore, anyway? And as excited as I am about stickers, I’m not convinced they’re going to catch on. But if iPhone users take a liking to these new features, it’ll be yet another way Apple creates even more space between iPhone users and Android users.

The Bay Area German Bar That Brought Down Apple’s Famed iPhone Security, by Grant Marek, SFGate

It’s probably the most infamous security breach in Apple’s 47-year history.

On Thursday, March 18, 2010, a drunk Apple software engineer named Gray Powell left an iPhone 4 prototype on a barstool inside Redwood City’s Gourmet Haus Staudt beer hall — a seemingly innocuous act that would eventually result in a $5,000 cash purchase of stolen property, a police raid and accusations of extortion from then CEO Steve Jobs.

It also set off a media frenzy outside Volker Staudt’s German beer hall, a mere 20 miles from Apple’s Infinite Loop headquarters.

Bottom of the Page

I've hit a brick wall with my hobby project. I still don't believe in cross-platform user-interface, but I am tiresome of having multiple designs squeezed into a single project just to cater to the different platforms.

Maybe I should take a breather for the next few weeks.


Thanks for reading.

The New-Affordances Edition Friday, June 9, 2023

For Many, The Key To Spatial Computing Success On Vision Pro Will Be Spatial Awareness, by Steven Aquino, Forbes

One of the unsung master strokes of building iOS is how Apple has taken that canonical framework and spun off multitudes in iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and now visionOS. The adage goes that familiarity breeds comfort, which applies very much to accessibility. That Apple’s solar system revolves around the sun that is iOS (at least under the hood) means a disabled person can effortlessly jump from device to device, all the while knowing things look and work more or less similarly. Vision Pro is no exception in terms of continuity; what sets it apart is the UI paradigm.

When I said we’re truly standing on the precipice of a new era, I meant it. It’s not hyperbolic in the slightest. The whole idea of “spatial computing” means new questions (and new affordances) for everyone.

It’s Time To Start Paying Attention To 15-inch Laptops, by Monica Chin, The Verge

But perhaps more importantly, I hope that a giant Air will elevate the 15-inch category overall. I hope it might do to its competition what the 13-inch Air did to the ultraportable space. That is: Put the pressure on. Make them sweat. Make companies figure out how they can make their top lines stand out.

No Man’s Sky Developer Shares How They Brought It To macOS — And What’s Next For Mac Gaming, by Roland Moore-Colyer, Tom's Guide

"I know that Apple cares about gaming on Mac, you can see that with support for Metal 3 and things like Metal FX Spatial and Temporal. The new Apple silicon has incredible performance and energy profile. There are an awful lot of Macs and Macbooks out in the world, and whilst maybe not everyone considers themselves a gamer, pretty much everyone does play games. I don’t see why it needs to be a niche.

Our small contribution is to bring our game to Mac to the best of our ability, to offer it for free to our large player base, and to start the journey there. We’ll listen to the community and continue to update the game on Mac, just like every other platform."

More From WWDC

WWDC: 18+ Ways Apple Plans To Make You More Secure, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

Vision Pro, Apple Silicon, Macs, new enterprise tools — and privacy protection were all among the many WWDC announcements Apple made this week.

Introducing these protections, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president for software engineering said: “We are focused on keeping our users in the driver’s seat when it comes to their data by continuing to provide industry-leading privacy features and the best data security in the world.

iOS 17 Finally Makes It Easier To Scan And Tap QR Codes, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Now, when you scan a QR code, the linked button pops up at the bottom of the Camera interface, right above the camera shutter button. This makes it easy to tap with one hand, and you don’t have to chase the button as it moves around.


Apple Is Ignoring Something Big About Augmented Reality, by Jeremy Littau, Slate

Vision Pro may someday live up to Apple’s lofty pitch, but acceptance that leads to mass adoption will depend on how users behave, and social rules around new technology take time. We can’t shortcut the awkward phase if we want to build social norms for AR/VR devices—and it will all be much messier than Monday’s pitch implies.

Chinese Censors Take Aim At AirDrop And Bluetooth, by Kelly Ng, BBC

AirDrop is especially popular among activists because it relies on Bluetooth connections between close-range devices, allowing them to share information with strangers without revealing their personal details or going through a centralised network that can be monitored.

But soon after Mr Xi secured a third term, Apple released a new version of the feature in China, limiting its scope. Now Chinese users of iPhones and other Apple devices are restricted to a 10-minute window when receiving files from people who are not listed as a contact. After 10 minutes, users can only receive files from contacts. Apple did not explain why the update was first introduced in China, but over the years, the tech giant has been criticised for appeasing Beijing.

Bottom of the Page

Dear Apple, now do a MacBook mini.



Thanks for reading.

The Lacks-Nunchi Edition Thursday, June 8, 2023

Apple’s Journal App Needs To Read The Room, by Victoria Song, The Verge

If my parents were alive, they’d say this AI-powered feature lacks nunchi. Nunchi is one of those untranslatable words, but it’s a Korean term for quickly sussing out other people’s feelings and adjusting your behavior based largely on nonverbal context clues. It’s kind of like an amplified version of reading the room, mixed with mind reading and emotional intelligence. For example, my spouse might deduce I’m feeling sad because I’m looking at photos of my dead family while lying comatose in bed. Without commenting on it, they’ll get me a bowl of my favorite ice cream or suggest we go out for a walk. My iPhone would probably just assume I just really love my family (why else would I look at photos if not to feel happy?!) and suggest two new slideshows featuring them set to spunky tracks. My spouse has nunchi; my phone doesn’t.

So, forgive me for not feeling 100 percent confident in the Journal app’s machine learning. A part of me is terrified that when I download the iOS 17 beta, I’ll open the Journal app, and it’ll recommend that I write about an afternoon visit to Chuncheon, Korea, in June 2022. That it’ll pair D.O’s That’s Okay — a song I listen to whenever I miss my mom — with pictures of her gravestone overlooking picturesque rolling green hills. Or the photos of me and my relatives reunited for the first time since the covid pandemic, red-eyed and trying to put on a brave face for the relatives who couldn’t make it to the burial.

First Impressions Of Vision Pro And VisionOS, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

What you see at first is just ... your world. You just see the room you’re in. There’s no status information, no metadata, no indicators. Just input from the cameras on the front of the headset, presented on the displays in front of your eyes. It does not magically look indistinguishable from real life, but it does not feel like looking at a screen at all. I noticed absolutely no perceptible latency. I definitely could not see pixels — the experience is “retina” quality. [...]

Again, it doesn’t look at all like looking at screens inside a headset. It looks like reality, albeit through something like a pair of safety glasses or a large face-covering clear shield. There is no border in the field of vision — what you see through Vision Pro is every bit as wide a field as what you see through your eyes. Most impressively, and uncannily, the field of view seemingly exactly matches what you see naturally. It’s not even slightly wider angle, or even slightly more telephoto. There is no fisheye effect and no aberrations or distortion in your peripheral vision. What you see in front of your face exactly matches what your own eyes see when you lift the Vision Pro up over your eyes. Imagine a set of safety glasses that used a glass treatment that gives the world a slight bit of a “film look”. A slight tint (that tint might get dialed in closer to reality by next year — to me it felt ever so slightly warm, color-wise), and a slight bit of visually flattering smoothness to everything.

The Mac Pro Ends The Apple Silicon Transition, But It’s Just One Step In A Much Bigger Journey, by Jon Porter, The Verge

It’s made Apple Silicon something of a double-edged sword for professional users, unlocking more performance but at the cost of modularity.

So no, we’re probably not going to see users swapping out their M2 Ultra processors to M3s in a couple of years’ time. But that doesn’t mean Apple necessarily has another trash can on its hands. Many of the problems with the 2013 Mac Pro stemmed from the fact that Apple itself struggled to release spec upgrades over time, having to rely on both Intel for CPUs and AMD for graphics. As it settles into a regular update cadence for its M-series chips, Apple has laid the groundwork for a much more seamless upgrade cycle this time around.

More From WWDC

IHG To Offer Apple AirPlay Integration With In-room TVs, by Mark Caswell, Business Traveller

IHG Hotels and Resorts has announced a new collaboration with Apple, allowing guests to stream content onto their in-room TV using the AirPlay system.


The new service will begin to roll out to selected IHG properties worldwide before the end of the year.

Apple Maps Is Finally Getting Offline Navigation, by Emma Roth, The Verge

Just like when you’re using Apple Maps online, the offline map will be able to show nearby places and your estimated time of arrival, along with directions for driving, walking, cycling, and public transit.

iOS 17 Automatically Removes Tracking Parameters From Links You Click On, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Link Tracking Protection is a new feature automatically activated in Mail, Messages, and Safari in Private Browsing mode. It detects user-identifiable tracking parameters in link URLs, and automatically removes them.

Apple TV's Karaoke Feature Will Let You See Yourself On-Screen With tvOS 17 Update, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Starting with the tvOS 17 update launching later this year, Apple Music Sing will support Continuity Camera, allowing users to see themselves on their TV via a wirelessly-connected iPhone camera.


Apple Announces Businesses Can Accept iPhone IDs Later This Year, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple today announced that iPhone users will be able to present a driver’s license or ID stored in the Wallet app at participating businesses and venues starting later this year. Users will simply hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near the business’s iPhone to verify their age and identity for things like alcohol, rental cars, and more.

Apple's Back-to-school Sale Includes Gift Cards With Select Products, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

When you shop at Apple’s Education Store, you can get an Apple gift card when buying an eligible product.

Calling All Bird Lovers: We're Obsessed With This Identification App, by Jill Duffy, PC Magazine

Part of the appeal of birding may be the very low barrier to entry—you don't need anything more than to go outside to observe birds. And if you want help identifying them, the Merlin Bird ID app by Cornell Lab is where you should start.


Messi’s Move To MLS Is A Big Deal For Apple, by Andrew Webster, The Verge

Lionel Messi has found a new home, and it’s a big win for Apple. The legendary soccer player has said that he will be signing a deal with Inter Miami in MLS, fresh off of winning the World Cup last year with Argentina, and the club confirmed the news with a not-so-subtle tease on Twitter. Having arguably the best player in the game is a big coup for both the club and the league — but also for Apple, which has MLS streaming rights for the next decade.

I Played Diablo 4 For Windows On My MacBook Pro. It Was Complicated, Impractical, But Very Cool., by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

My hope is that the open source community will make some tools over the new few months that makes setting up Windows games on your Mac easier than it is right now. This won't make gaming on the Mac mainstream, but it would be awesome to have a simple solution to give people who are a little more adventurous with their computing and can hack something together.

Longer term, it would be amazing if Apple could make Windows games run completely automatically on macOS, similar to what Valve has done with the Steam Deck.

Bottom of the Page

Why didn't Apple demo-ed Vision Pro with soccer?


Thanks for reading.

The By-Application-Only Edition Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Vision Pro Developer Kits Will Help Devs Get Their Apps Ready Before Launch, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

[The] company will offer a Vision Pro developer kit, which will be hardware that will "provide the ability to quickly build, iterate, and test on Apple Vision Pro so your app or game will be ready to deliver amazing experiences." The kits will be available by application only.


For those who can't or don't want to spring for a Vision Pro dev kit, Apple will also host developer labs in six cities (Cupertino, London, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo) where the company will offer "direct support" to developers who want to test Vision Pro apps. This service will also be available by application only.

I Tried Apple's Vision Pro. Here's What I Think It Really Means For Us., by Krista Jones, Esquire

Apple did what it always does: creates a new wave of expectation for a device. All else shall follow. And with the arrival of the Vision Pro, the size of a screen doesn’t matter anymore, because now, we will be living in it.

Hands-on With Apple Vision Pro: This Is Not A VR Headset, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Even when turning the crown all the way up to maximize immersion, I was still much more aware of my surroundings than in any VR headset. [...] Instead, it’s a first look at something else entirely.

Apple Vision Pro Has A Two User-account Limit: Yours And A Guest, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

During a demo of the Apple Vision Pro, Apple told me that it does…sort of. As of now, visionOS supports two user accounts: a primary user and a guest account. Apple could change this policy before the actual release next year if its beta research tells them it’s an in-demand feature.

More From WWDC

Apple Adds Pronoun Fields With Privacy Focus To Contacts App On iOS 17, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

OS 17 introduces a widely requested feature to the Contacts app in the form of a new pronouns field.


The pronouns field isn’t just useful with contact cards for others; you can add your own pronoun preferences to your personal contact card as well. Once doing so, your pronoun preferences will be shared along with your other contact information when you trade cards with someone.

Apple Music On iOS 17 Introduces Crossfade, Collaborative Playlists, And New Music Player, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

The first major update is the ability to crossfade between songs, which Apple says will let you smoothly transition between songs so your music never stops. ‌Apple Music‌ iOS users have been waiting for this feature for a while now, making it one of the headlining additions to the Music app in iOS 17.

WWDC 2023: watchOS 10’s Redesign, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

Fundamentally, Watch interactions are measured in seconds, not minutes. The design language that Apple is encouraging in watchOS 10 seems like it will help make those interactions much more efficient when it comes to helping users see the information they want at a glance and then go back to their day.

Apple’s New Proton-like Tool Can Run Windows Games On A Mac, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Apple has created a new Game Porting Toolkit that’s similar to the work Valve has done with Proton and the Steam Deck. Apple’s tool will instantly translate Windows games to run on macOS, allowing developers to launch an unmodified version of a Windows game on a Mac and see how well it runs before fully porting a game.


Apple says this is more for evaluating games right now before they’re ported across to macOS, but there’s nothing stopping macOS users from installing this Game Porting Toolkit and trying games out.


15-inch MacBook Air Hands-on: Just What Some Folks Were Asking For, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

We’ve written that the 13-inch Air is the best Mac laptop for most users, since most don’t need what the Pro has to offer. I think that statement still stands, but for those who want to sacrifice just a little bit of practicality for much more luxurious screen real estate, this is likely to be a welcome addition to Apple’s lineup.


Apple Makes iOS 17 Developer Beta Free For Registered Developers, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

For years, access to the iOS developer beta and other developer builds has only been available through a $99/year developer account. Shaking things up this year and increasing access in a big way, Apple has just made the iOS 17 developer beta and other betas free to anyone who registers as a developer.

Latest Apple Xcode IDE Improves Code Completion, by Paul Krill, Infoworld

Unveiled June 5 and now in beta, Xcode 15 offers enhanced code completion to help developers write safer code faster, now referencing all development assets. Projects build faster due to improvements in the compiler and a new linker, optimized for the multicore architecture of Apple silicon hardware.


Apple Has Bought An AR Headset Startup Called Mira, by Zoe Schiffer and Alex Heath, The Verge

Apple has acquired Mira, a Los Angeles-based AR startup that makes headsets for other companies and the US military, according to a posts from the CEO’s private Instagram account yesterday seen by The Verge and a person familiar with the matter. Apple confirmed the acquisition.

‘Ted Lasso’: Did Apple Just Tease A Possible Spinoff On Social Media?, by Lynette Rice, Deadline

A tweet went out this morning that suggests a new coaching team that’s made up of Beard (Brendan Hunt), Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) and Nathan (Nick Mohammed) could be in the works for a season four or spinoff of Ted Lasso.

Bottom of the Page

Apple added the "Pro" moniker to the Apple Vision Pro probably to signify there will be a lower-cost version in the future. But, are there be any visionOS feature that will not be available in the Apple Vision Air? If there are anything to cut, I suspect it is all the VR stuff. So no watching Star Wars on Tatooine at night. On the other hand, you will see your charts in Numbers and Excel.


Thanks for reading.

The Full-Tilt-Engineering Edition Tuesday, June 6, 2023

First Impressions: Yes, Apple Vision Pro Works And Yes, It’s Good., by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

I don’t know whether it will be the ‘next computing mode’, but you can see the conviction behind each of the choices made here. No corners cut. Full tilt engineering on display.


Overall, I’m hesitant to make any broad claims about whether Apple Vision Pro is going to fulfill Apple’s claims about the onset of spatial computing. I’ve had far too little time with it and it’s not even completed — Apple is still working on things like the light shroud and definitely on many software aspects.

It is, however, really, really well done. The platonic ideal of an XR headset. Now, we wait to see what developers and Apple accomplish over the next few months and how the public reacts.

I Wore The Apple Vision Pro. It’s The Best Headset Demo Ever., by Nilay Patel, The Verge

I also know that Apple still has a long list of things it wants to refine between now and next year when the Vision Pro ships. That’s part of the reason it’s being announced at WWDC: to let developers react to it, figure out what kinds of apps they might build, and get started on them. But that’s the same promise we’ve been hearing about VR headsets for years now, from Meta and others. Apple can clearly outpace everyone in the industry when it comes to hardware, especially when cost is apparently no object. But the most perfect headset demo reel of all time is still just a headset demo reel — whether Apple’s famed developer community can generate a killer app for the Vision Pro is still up in the air.

Disney+ Will Be Available On The Apple Vision Pro At Launch, by Aisha Malik, TechCrunch

Iger said the integration will allow Disney to bring its content closer to fans for “deeply personal experiences” in “previously impossible ways.” To demonstrate these experiences, the company showed a sizzle reel depicting its various brands. The video showed a user watching a scene of “The Mandalorian” and interacting with a virtual recreation of Tatooine, a Star Wars desert planet.

New OSes

Apple Announces iOS 17 With New Communication And Sharing Features, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

iOS 17 features personalized contact posters with photos, memojis, and eye-catching typography that appear during calls and in the updated address book. The update also brings live voicemail, updates to phone, FaceTime, Messages, and more.

New iPhone Feature Warns About Unwanted Nudes, by Amanda Silberling, TechCrunch

Along with several other safety features, Apple is releasing Sensitive Content Warning, which lets adult users know if they receive a photo or video that they might not want to see.

Apple’s New Journaling App Turns Your iPhone Into A Digital Diary, by Jess Weatherbed, The Verge

Apple has unveiled Journal, a new journaling app for iOS that allows iPhone users to regularly log their daily activities. Announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, Journal is the company’s latest step into the health and wellness segment, joining other iOS apps like Fitness, Sleep, and Breathe that help users track and manage aspects of their everyday lives.

StandBy Is A New iPhone Feature That Could Be Great For Apple Home Users, by Jennifer Pattison, The Verge

StandBy comes with iOS 17 and kicks in automatically when your iPhone is charging and on its side. It’s designed to be seen from a distance and can display the time with customizable clock faces, Apple Home controls, the weather, music controls, app smart stacks, and other features. At night, StandBy adapts the screen to lowlight, taking on a red tone to avoid being disruptive at night.

Apple's Notes App Now Lets You Create Links Between Notes, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

With just a few taps, you can create links between notes, making it easy to jump from one idea to another. Long press on a space in any note, and a new “Add Link” option can be found in the pop-up menu. Tapping it lets you link to another note by searching its title or entering a URL.

Apple’s Adding Adaptive Audio To AirPods Pro, by Scharon Harding, Ars Technica

Apple touted the upcoming Adaptive Audio update as a way to use AirPods Pro with fewer distractions. It uses machine learning so it can detect noises you would want to block out, like cars honking, but not the ones you would want to hear, like someone speaking to you in real life.

Apple will also add what it's calling Personalized Volume, which allows AirPods Pro to make automatic volume adjustments based on "environmental conditions" and how you use the device, Apple said.

Apple Announces macOS Sonoma With Support For Desktop Widgets And Screensavers, by Jon Porter, The Verge

Apple has just unveiled macOS Sonoma, the latest version of its desktop operating system, onstage at WWDC 2023. The headline features are support for widgets on the desktop, as well as new aerial screensavers that can also serve as your wallpaper.

Apple’s iPadOS 17 Adds Personalized Lock Screen And Interactive Widgets, by Chris Welch, The Verge

The new tablet software update is set to gain many of the same features of iOS 17, including a handful of new Messages features (like automatic voice note transcriptions), expanded AirDrop capabilities, and smarter autocorrect for text input.

Apple Revamps watchOS 10 With Widgets, Topographic Maps, Mindfulness Features And More, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

At the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference today, Apple previewed the coming improvements to its smartwatch operating system, which include an updated user interface with a renewed focus on widgets, plus refreshed first-party apps, like Compass, Mindfulness, Maps and more, plus other new features.

12 Compelling Features Coming To Apple’s Operating Systems In 2023 - TidBITS, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

There’s no way to cover even those features that Apple highlighted in the keynote, much less the many others it describes in preview pages on its website. Instead, I focus here on 12 features I look forward to trying or find generally compelling, in no particular order.

The New Apple OS Features I Want Right Now, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

Processing the keynote is like taking in a big meal: sometimes you have to just sit back and digest. So much information flies by that it can be hard to pick out the details that are important to you, but as I compiled , I found myself thinking about all the new capabilities that would make the biggest difference to me right now.

New Macs

Three New Macs Complete The Apple Silicon Transition, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Watching the start of Apple’s WWDC keynote today felt a bit like watching an American football team score on a long touchdown pass on the first play of the game… and then come back to do it again on its next two possessions. That first score was the announcement of the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air, followed quickly by a new Mac Studio powered by the M2 Max or the new M2 Ultra and then the long-awaited Mac Pro, also based on the M2 Ultra. All three Macs are available for order today and will be shipping 13 June 2023.

I Have Some Questions About The New New Mac Pro, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

Are some extra Thunderbolt ports and a bunch of open PCI slots enough to justify the Mac Pro’s $3,000 premium over the Mac Studio? For most users, my guess is no. The days of the Mac Pro being the most powerful, most capable Mac are over, at least for now.


Several of us who cover Apple have heard that there are those inside the company that did not want this machine to see the light of day, believing the Mac Studio to be enough to hold down the high-end of the Mac line. Seeing the machine that Apple announced this week, I think they may eventually get their way.

Apple Officially Drops M2 13-inch MacBook Air Price, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

While the larger MacBook Air starts at just $100 above the previous 13-inch $1199 MacBook Air price, Apple is dropping the smaller M2 MacBook Air price by $100.

More From WWDC

Apple Announces Winners Of The 2023 Apple Design Awards, by Apple

Today, Apple proudly unveiled the winners of its annual Apple Design Awards, celebrating 12 best-in-class apps and games. This year’s winners, spanning development teams around the world, delivered creative and innovative apps grounded in great design.

Six different categories recognize one app and game each for inclusivity, delight and fun, interaction, social impact, visuals and graphics, and innovation. The winners were chosen from 36 finalists, all of which demonstrate outstanding technical achievement.

Apple Avoids “AI” Hype At WWDC Keynote By Baking ML Into Products, by Benj Edwards, Ars Technica

Notably, Apple mentioned the AI term "transformer" in an Apple keynote. The company specifically talked about a "transformer language model," which means its AI model uses the transformer architecture that has been powering many recent generative AI innovations, such as the DALL-E image generator and the ChatGPT chatbot.


Apparently, Apple's new transformer model in iOS 17 allows sentence-level autocorrections that can finish either a word or an entire sentence when you press the space bar. It learns from your writing style as well, which guides its suggestions.

Apple Software Chief Craig Federighi On iOS 17’s New Privacy Features, Why He’s Afraid Of AI, And Why He’s Not, by Michael Grothaus, Fast Company

Federighi notes that Apple already uses a number of static and dynamic analysis tools to help the company spot potential code defects that may be hard for a human to detect. “As those tools get more and more advanced” with AI, he says, “we will be on the forefront of using those tools to find problems and to close them before attackers who might have access to similar tools would be able to use them.”

What does concern Federighi from a privacy and security standpoint, however, is the human element. Specifically, he worries about a rise in the use of deepfakes, AI-generated audio and video that can make it look like anyone is saying or doing anything. As AI tools become more accessible in the years ahead, deepfakes could increasingly be used in so-called social engineering attacks, in which the attacker persuades a victim to hand over valuable data by tricking them into thinking they are communicating with someone they’re not.

Bottom of the Page

The question is not how much room can other lesser headset… sorry… spatial computers come in at a lower price to gain market share. (Certainly, the room is quite large.) The question is how long before Apple closes down the room.

Time to start the photocopiers.


Thanks for reading.

The Store-Is-Now-Down Edition Monday, June 5, 2023

Apple Store Down Ahead Of WWDC Today: New Macs And More Expected, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple’s online store is now down ahead of today’s WWDC keynote at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. In addition to previewing its rumored AR/VR headset, Apple is expected to announce a 15-inch MacBook Air and potentially updated Mac Studio models.


Camo Studio 2.0.3, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Reincubate has issued Camo Studio 2.0.3, a maintenance update with expanded support for virtual cameras built to work with DSLRs and GoPros.

The Best Travel App Is An iPhone Feature You're Probably Ignoring, by Sasha Lekach, Mashable

I'm not abandoning Google Maps anytime soon, but I've recently stumbled upon the joys of an app that comes with every iPhone.

I'm talking about the Compass app.

Bottom of the Page

As I am typing this, it is four hours to go before the start of the WWDC keynote. By then, hopefully, I'll be in my alternate reality where monsters are real, long-lost friends come nagging me, and I can fly. Essentially, I am asleep and dreaming.

So, see you tomorrow, and let's see how much lighter our wallets are.


Thanks for reading.

The This-One-Announcement Edition Sunday, June 4, 2023

Virtual Reality Start-ups Pin Hopes On Apple To Lure Back Funding, by Patrick McGee, Financial Times

Ori Inbar, founder of Super Ventures, an early stage augmented reality fund, acknowledged that “things have advanced at a much slower pace than we all anticipated”. The Apple event, however, is likely to be an “amazing” catalyst to “drive forward all the investments in hardware, software, tools and applications”, he added.

Inbar is concerned nonetheless that the whole industry is pinning its hopes on this one announcement.

Is Apple's Buzzy New Classical Music App Worth The Hype?, by Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

As welcome as it is, for instance, to have Selaocoe’s personal introductions to many of his native pieces, the liner notes for the album provide significantly more information and, most important of all, the texts of songs.

Indeed, for a company so invested in “song” — and that is still the term applied for everything when you use Apple Music on the computer — not to care about the words is troubling. My music education, like that of so many others, began as a kid by reading liner notes, many of which could be quite erudite.


Oscar-Winner Kevin Costner's Autio App Will Transform Your Next Road Trip, by Chris Littlechild, SlashGear

We all know that Google Maps features such as time travel street view can be invaluable when you're learning the lay of the land in a new town. What if you want something deeper than that, though? What if you want to look beyond the simple geographical features of an area and learn more about its heart, its soul, and its history? These are the kind of stories that are told by the Autio app — here's how the wonderful app can transform your next road trip.


Air Today, Obsolete Tomorrow? But My Ancient iPad Still Has Value, by Craig Grannell, Stuff

Lengthy arguments with command-line tools and quite a few reboots later, the iPad sprang back to life, in all its iOS 10 glory. I scoured my App Store purchase history and downloaded everything I could find, and sideloaded some missing titles I’d long ago backed up to iTunes by way of iMazing. (Thanks, previous me!)

Far from being obsolete, then, I now consider my iPad Air essential. Today, there are no other ways to revisit ‘retro’ iPhone and iPad games, and so this tablet is like a moment of history, frozen in time. Albeit one you can ‘unfreeze’ for a bit when you fancy a blast on Gridrunner.

Bottom of the Page

We've heard rumors that the upcoming Apple Reality headset will be able to run iPad apps. But, I am guessing, the reverse must also be true, right? Any apps created for the Apple Reality headset should also run on the iPad. Sure, one may not get the 'full' experience, but surely Apple didn't do all the AR demos over the many years for nothing, did it?

WWDC is almost here, and we will have many answers soon.


Thanks for reading.

The Into-a-Frenzy Edition Saturday, June 3, 2023

Apple’s Rumored VR Headset Has Sent Its Rivals Scrambling, by Amanda Hoover, Wired

Rumors that Apple will announce a virtual reality headset at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday have sent competitors into a frenzy. Meta announced its new Meta Quest 3 on Thursday. Lenovo released its latest ThinkReality VRX headset. Suddenly, a niche market that was struggling to capture a wide audience has many more eyes on it.


“It’s going to be a validation that this really is going to be the next chapter of technology and how we interact with it and consume it,” says George Jijiashvili, principal analyst at Omdia, a tech research and advisory firm. “If they pull it off in terms of making that headset really compelling and having actually useful apps and functions, then it will serve as a product that everyone looks up to.”

Apple Shares 'Beyond WWDC' Events For Developers, Uploads Themed Apple Music Playlists, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple has invited some developers to watch the WWDC keynote event at Apple Park in Cupertino, California, but for those who are unable to attend, Apple has highlighted a range of “Beyond WWDC” events that are happening next week. These events are designed for developers who want to meet up for learning, networking, and more.

Reality Pro’s Library Of Apple Music VR Concerts Has Been A Decade In The Making, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

[In] 2020, Apple acquired NextVR, a company that was focused on creating VR experiences for viewing live events like sporting events and concerts. [...] The work on content like this dates back over a decade. NextVR was founded in 2009 and built a wide library of content in the years prior to the Apple acquisition. With Apple’s pile of cash and connections, it’s easy to assume that NextVR has been able to further ramp up the pace at which this type of content is created.


‘Deeply Personal And Very Authentic’: How Podcasts Took Over The World In 20 Years, by Rachel Aroesti, The Guardian

During their short lifespan – to put it in perspective, we are now at the equivalent of 1950 where TV drama is concerned, and 1912 for widely available recorded music – podcasts have loudly made their presence felt. But their impact has stretched far beyond the podcast app on your phone. The form is also waging a stealthy campaign to remake pop culture: nudging comedy, television, film, celebrity and even music in new directions.

Bill Gates’ Fanciful Memory, by Ken Segall

Do I detect a wee bit of an ego issue? It appears that Bill never got over the many years that Steve Jobs was praised as the true visionary, and not him.

Bottom of the Page

Has any of these VR/AR/xR companies put up an ad to "Welcome Apple. Seriously."?


Two more days. And we will find out how serious Apple is, and where Apple is serious about.


Thanks for reading.

The Eighteen-Languages Edition Friday, June 2, 2023

She Presented Her Life-Saving App To Tim Cook At Age 16, by Amanda Breen, Entrepreneur

The teen, who's been coding since age 7 and knows about 18 programming languages (including her own), has already made a splash in the software world: She's developed numerous apps to make an impact — and was a winner of the Student Swift Challenge at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last year.


Entrepreneur sat down with Tsuboi to discuss the inspiration behind her early successes, her experience at WWDC 2022 and her big plans for the future.

Apple Transformed The iPhone 10 Years Ago — And We’re Still Feeling It Today, by Jay Peters, The Verge

While Apple has refined many elements of the way iOS looks over the years, on the whole, the core ideas remain. Apple’s app icons are still pretty flat. Apps still have a lot of white space and even some translucency, like in Safari and Messages. “Over the years, the design language did mature, and the novel elements of iOS 7 became foundational parts of all Apple design today: blurs, translucency, vibrancy, interactivity, animation, depth,” Trivedi says.

Apple Retail

Apple Plans Major Retail Push With New Stores Across China, US, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. is working on plans to expand and revitalize its retail chain, aiming to push deeper into China and other parts of Asia while overhauling established locations in the US and Europe.


Apple looks to bring fresh luster to its 22-year-old retail operation, which is one of the world’s most venerated chains but also has contended with pandemic woes, customer service problems and labor unrest in recent years. The idea is to build Apple’s brand in growth markets, such as India, while also giving consumers in the US and Europe a better experience.

Apple Store Battersea Power Station Store Opens On June 15; Wallpaper Available, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

We learned yesterday that an Apple Store at Battersea Power Station would be one of around 50 new retail stores the company plans to open in the next four years – and it turns out we don’t have long to wait for that one. The company has now revealed that it opens on June 15.


PSA: If You Run Windows, Make Sure To Update iTunes To Fix Security Vulnerability, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Windows users will want to make sure that they are running the latest version of iTunes, iTunes 12.12.9, in order to gain protection from a recently uncovered security vulnerability.

Drive Times App ETA Brings Its Handy Location Dashboard To CarPlay, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The newly updated app, which offers an alternative first step to planning a trip, isn’t meant to directly compete with mobile maps or other navigation apps. Instead, it serves as more of a “location dashboard” that can also sync with your calendar, showing you the travel times and traffic warnings to various destinations, like home, work, school, your next meeting, or anything else, across multiple forms of transport.


‘Ted Lasso’s Brendan Hunt Says “We Don’t Know” About Spin-Offs Or Season 4 But “Everything Is Possible” & Addresses Finale’s Late Kick Off, by Peter White, Deadline

Hunt explained that the reason the final episode of season three aired three hours later than previous episodes “wasn’t really Apple’s fault”.

“The episode was delivered late by us. Fun fact: the S1 finale featured roughly 100 VFX shots. The S3 finale had more than 600. It was a race against time to get the thing in. Our post people WHO ARE F*CKING INCREDIBLE were racing the clock,” he added.

iPhone In India: Foxconn To Manufacture Smartphones In Karnataka By April 2024, by BBC

Apple's biggest supplier Foxconn will start manufacturing iPhones in the southern Indian state of Karnataka by April next year, the state government has said.

The project will create around 50,000 jobs, it said.

Apple Denies Surveillance Claims Made By Russia's FSB, by Raphael Satter, Reuters

In a statement, the company said it has "never worked with any government to insert a backdoor into any apple product and never will."

Bottom of the Page

It seems that every year, at the eve of WWDC, I see a wishlist that has been repeated over the years: a Snow Leopard macOS this year, please?

Of course, now that all Apple's operating systems are intertwined with even more common features and functionalities, getting Apple to hold back on new stuff and concentrate on fixing existing bugs and paying off tech debts is, well, untenable. Apple needs new OS to sell new devices.

But, I hope Apple is, at least, uncomfortable to see developers wishing for a Snow Leopard every year. And do something about it.


Thanks for reading.

The Anticipated-New-Era Edition Thursday, June 1, 2023

Apple Declares The Start Of 'A New Era' In Thinly Veiled WWDC Tease, by Michael Simon, Macworld

While WWDC always includes Apple’s newest software advancements and could be described as “a new era” every year, it’s hard not to read this as a reference to the anticipated launch of the mixed-reality headset. While Apple is expected to launch numerous products at the event, “a new era” certainly speaks to something bigger than a 15-inch MacBook Air or some new iOS 17 features.

Beat Saber Is The Latest VR Game That Could Be Coming To The Apple Headset Next Week, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Beat Games co-founder Jaroslav Beck cryptically tweeted yesterday that “June 5th is going to be [popcorn emoji] [glasses emoji],” and as far as we know there are no 3D movie releases planned for Monday.

Wishing Well 2023, by Nick Heer, Pixel Envy

Whatever the future may bring, what I hope for this WWDC is what I hope for every year: bug fixes and performance improvements. If iPadOS represents one vision for the future of computing and xrOS is another, more distant one, the most mature products in Apple’s line should reflect a level of solidity and reliability not yet possible for its more ambitious ideas.

Angles Are All Weird

The Unsung Hero Of The Apple Watch Is Its Hidden Buttons, by Antonio G. Di Benedetto, The Verge

While I often prefer a universal solution over a proprietary connector, here’s the thing — Apple’s band release button beats the hell out of fiddling with little spring bars and jeweler’s tools. Instead, you just press a near-invisible button, slide your band out, slide another one in, and get a lovely audible click as it locks in. No fuss, no muss; just a simple swap for a different visual vibe to match your style and wardrobe.


The secret: there are actually three buttons in the Apple Watch, two of which interlock so precisely that Apple had to rethink its entire approach to manufacturing. “The tolerances in there are kind of insane,” say our sources. “It’s super hard to machine. You can’t get tools in there; the angles are all weird.” So the company wound up buying Swiss CNC machines that cost up to $2 million — each — just for the sake of its swappable band system. “It didn’t cut anything else on the watch, just this, that’s all it did.”


MLS Season Pass Drops Price For Midseason, Apple Says Service Uptake Beat Its Own Expectations, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

MLS Season Pass on Apple TV is dropping its price to account for the fact that about half of the season is now over. The 2023 pass subscription is now available for $49 (down from $99), with an additional $10 discount for Apple TV+ subscribers. The monthly subscription price is unchanged.

Although Apple does not release viewership figures, Apple SVP of services Eddy Cue commented this week that MLS Season Pass had exceeded its own expectations and doing “much better than forecasted” in terms of both subscription and viewership numbers.

Portal's Mac App Helps Users Focus With Immersive Backgrounds And Audio, by Ivan Mehta, TechCrunch

Portal for Mac has more than 80 environments to choose from, which include high-quality looping videos captured by the company’s own team. The startup said that it has used 12K cameras to record some of the most scenic and peaceful surroundings in the world.

The Roll App Is An AI-powered Video Studio For Your iPhone, by Jess Weatherbed, The Verge

Roll AI is a new video creation and collaboration platform for iOS and web that allows users to add simulated video effects to iPhone footage that would typically require professional camera equipment to achieve, such as stabilized pan or crane shots. It’s one of the latest examples in a boom of new apps and services that utilize AI to simplify technical creative processes like photo and video editing.

No Man’s Sky Just Launched On Mac With Cross-play Support, by Andrew Webster, The Verge

No Man’s Sky is touching down on Macs starting today. Hello Games announced that the space adventure is available for Mac users on Steam now (it’ll be free if you already own the PC version), while the game will be coming to the Mac App Store “shortly.” The studio says the game will be “available on any Mac with Apple silicon” and will also be playable on “Intel-based Macs with a Core i5 processor.”


Developers Generated $1.1 Trillion In The App Store Ecosystem In 2022, by Apple

Apple today announced the App Store ecosystem facilitated $1.1 trillion in developer billings and sales in 2022, building on developers’ track record of strong, resilient growth, an independent study by economists from Analysis Group found. The App Store continues to create incredible opportunity for developers around the world, with more than 90 percent of the billings and sales accruing solely to developers and businesses of all sizes — without any commission paid to Apple. Additionally, new analysis from the Progressive Policy Institute found the iOS app economy now supports more than 4.8 million jobs across the U.S. and Europe, with approximately 2.4 million in each region.


The iPhone Is Dead — Long Live The iPhone, by David Pierce, The Verge

The real story of the iPhone is not about smartphones. It’s about the way Apple taught the world to touch their screen, to rely on a single device to do everything, to interact with each other and the world through a piece of technology. The iPhone gave Apple an unstoppable marketing machine, an unparalleled supply chain, and a cultural cachet that’s downright bizarre for a gadget company. That’s all going to come in handy for Apple as it navigates whatever is next.

Apple didn’t invent the world we live in, but the iPhone certainly played an outsize role. And if what comes next is AR and VR and glasses on our faces, it’ll only work because the iPhone worked. The future may not be smartphones, but the iPhone’s not going anywhere.

The Case For Leaving Strangers In Your Family Photos, by Rebecca Onion, Slate

People’s relationship to photographs, and to strangers, is not the same as it was when I was young. Because we have smartphones, and thousands of jpegs taken at each individual event to pick from, why wouldn’t we pick the frames with no randos in them for our albums, before even considering Magic Eraser? I’ll tell you why: Because that blond lady in the suede ankle boots is there to remind me that J. was once a 4-year-old who made friends with strangers easily, and loved crowded festivals, way more than I ever have. The boots lady, in my opinion, stays in the picture.

Should We Know Where Our Friends Are At All Times?, by Rebecca Jennings, Vox

The typical conversation will likely go something like this: You’ll have plans to meet up with someone at a crowded place — a concert, a park, a beach, etc — and have an obvious immediate need to know where someone is. The tricky part, though, is gauging how long to extend the access: On Apple’s Find My Friends, you can choose to either share your current location for one hour, until the end of the day, or to share indefinitely. “If the person only shares their location with you for [an hour], it’s definitely, like, a signal. You’re like, “Oh, are we not good enough friends for you to permanently share your location with me?’” Camberg says she gets around the awkwardness by sharing her location permanently with people to avoid that conversation, “and then maybe turn it off a few days later when we aren’t together.”

“It can be very awkward to bring up the topic of, ‘Hey, start sharing your location with me’”

Bottom of the Page

It would be quite funny if all the press and developers are in Apple Park for WWDC, and all are given the new headset just so they can participate in a virtual WWDC where you see Tim Cook and folks presenting in India.


(This, of course, will never happen.)


Thanks for reading.