The Visual-Reminders Edition Tuesday, July 11, 2023

How Do You Request Music Using Siri?, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

So I have spent decades selecting music by looking through an alphabetized collection—either a lineup of CDs on a shelf or a scrolling list of artists. The CDs were particularly effective because favorite artists stood out by virtue of occupying more shelf space, whereas in iTunes and now Music, David Bowie takes up the same amount of space as Vib Gyor. (Until searching, I had no idea who Vib Gyor is, and they’re not in Apple Music. I think the iTunes Store gave their “We Are Not An Island” song away in its New Music Tuesdays promotions, which were a slightly helpful way to find new music.)

With voice commands directed to a HomePod, though, I have to figure out what I want to listen to without any visual reminders that might trigger a positive—or negative—response, and I’m not happy with how well I’m doing that. I find that I listen to a relatively small subset of music simply due to the limited details I can bring to mind at any given time. Of course, I could pull out my iPhone and scroll through the Music app whenever I wanted to play music—and I do that occasionally, but it’s too much work most of the time.

Rapid Security Responses For iOS/iPadOS 16.5.1 (A) And macOS Ventura 13.4.1 (A), by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Apple has released Rapid Security Responses for iOS 16.5.1 (a), iPadOS 16.5.1 (a), and macOS Ventura 13.4.1 (a) to fix a WebKit vulnerability that could allow malicious Web content to execute arbitrary code. Unsurprisingly, this vulnerability is being actively exploited, and I encourage you to install these updates as soon as feasible.

Apple Pulls iOS 16.5.1 And macOS 13.4.1 Rapid Security Response Updates Due To Safari Bug, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple earlier today released new Rapid Security Response updates for iOS 16.5.1, iPadOS 16.5.1, and macOS Ventura 13.4.1 users, but Apple has pulled the software, likely due to an issue that caused certain websites not to work after the RSRs were installed.


The iOS 16.5.1, iPadOS 16.5.1, and macOS Ventura 13.4.1 Rapid Security Response updates fixed a WebKit vulnerability that Apple says may have been actively exploited. Unfortunately, it appears that the updates changed the Safari user agent to include an (a), leading some websites to break.

On Security

ShadowVault macOS Stealer Surfaces As The Newest Sophisticated Mac Malware, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Guardz says that ShadowVault isn’t just another malware, it’s “a sophisticated piece of software built with one purpose – to steal” and that the malware can “have a catastrophic impact on business functionalities and user privacy.”


Porsche Is Updating How CarPlay Works In Its Cars, Adding Climate Controls And More, by Umar Shakir, The Verge

Porsche’s CarPlay integration is showing a hint of what a total Apple in-car solution could look like. Quick actions like warming up the car within the CarPlay interface, as well as changing sound profiles, are examples of how Porsche seems to be embracing an Apple solution. Porsche has been a fan of Apple’s software in the past, including being an early adopter of CarPlay, and including Apple Podcasts as its native podcast app.

Best Laptop Docks For MacBook Air: Make Your Awesome Computer Even Better, by Bryan M Wolfe, TechRadar

If you use your laptop in a specific location, like a home or office, a laptop dock can significantly increase your productivity. It provides a more desktop-like experience, allowing you to connect multiple displays, use various peripherals, and even charge your laptop from a single central location.


Fifteen Years Of OmniFocus For iPhone And The iPhone App Store, by Ken Case, Omni Group

We thought it was important to get our app out to the press for review, and in the past we’d always done that by sending out free “Not For Resale” copies of our apps. We had press asking us for demo copies—but the App Store was an adaptation of the iTunes Music Store. At its launch, there weren’t any mechanisms for free copies of paid apps: no promo codes, no TestFlight, no trials or in-app purchases. What to do? The next morning, we went to the local Apple Store, bought a bunch of iTunes gift cards matching the price of our app, scratched the backs of each one to get at their codes, and then emailed out all those codes to potential reviewers. (Linda wrote, “Ask me how fun it is scratching off gift cards to get at the codes! SO FUN!”)

If Apple Is Worth $3 Trillion, Why Does The User Experience Feel So Cheap?, by The Macalope, Macworld

Look, it’s 2023. If you buy an iPhone, backing it up should be included. That’s all. But it’s not too much to ask from a company that’s doing pretty okay, thank you very much.

Apple Opens Store On China's WeChat Platform, by Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh, Reuters

The move by Apple comes as Chinese consumers increasingly turn to social media platforms such as WeChat and ByteDance's Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, to shop.

Besides its own stores and website, Apple already operates a shop on Alibaba Group's Tmall online marketplace. Apple also tried marketing its products on a livestream in China for the first time in May with an hour-long show.

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Also: Look, it's 2023. And we still have websites that breaks when the user-agent string is a little different?


Thanks for reading.