Archive for October 2023

The Greasy-Monkey-Paws Edition Tuesday, October 31, 2023

A Magic Number: New MacBook Pros And iMacs Usher In The M3 Era, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

I got my greasy monkey paws on a Space Black laptop and can report that Apple’s as good as its word in the sense that it seems generally more resistant to fingerprints and other smudges.

But I don’t want to exaggerate this feature: you can still see fingerprints. They just aren’t as prominent. This is a progressive improvement over something like the Midnight M2 MacBook Air, but it’s not a cure-all.


If you were hoping that Apple might use this update to the iMac to continue its slow eradication of the Lightning port from its accessory line, I have bad news.

Apple Announces A Speedier M3 iMac, by Victoria Song, The Verge

While a spec bump isn’t always the most exciting, this is overdue since Apple never updated the iMac with its M2 chip. At least now it’s first out the gate with the M3 at a time when the last of the Intel iMacs may have really started showing their age.

Apple’s Cheaper 14-inch MacBook Pro Is Killing The Old 13-inch Version, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

This effectively means that the MacBook Pro is getting a price increase from $1,299 to $1,599. But the $1,599 Pro includes many features that were never included in the 13-inch Pro. [...] The death of the 13-inch MacBook Pro also means the death of the Touch Bar.

Apple's USB-C To MagSafe 3 Cable Now Available To Order In Space Black, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models announced today are available in a new Space Black finish when configured with M3 Pro or M3 Max chips. Accordingly, Apple has released its USB-C to MagSafe 3 cable in Space Black for $49.

More Scary Stuff

A Toast To The Ghosts, by Michael Steeber, Tabletops

Every few years, frighteningly good plans for a new Apple Store are announced and snuffed out before construction begins. Sometimes Apple’s strategy changes, and sometimes bureaucratic roadblocks leave a city on the trick end of a treat.

On this All Hallows’ Eve eve, I’m taking a look back at the fleet of ghost ships that haunt Apple Retail.


This App Is Making Podcasts More TikTokable, by Ariel Shapiro, The Verge

Users can record simultaneously from two iPhones to produce a vertical video of two shots stacked on top of each other. It is a format that is optimized for TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts, which are becoming increasingly important in the podcast space.

Belkin’s New 2-in-1 Charging Dock Might Blend Into Your Bedroom, by Jay Peters, The Verge

Yes, it offers the types of features you’d expect from a $129.95 charger, including letting you fast charge iPhones with MagSafe as well as Apple Watches. But if you do pay up for the new charging dock, you’re probably buying it because it looks great.


Build A Deck Of Heroes, by Allen Pike

A hero is not a singular ideal worth copying. Heroes are ideas, deployable when you need inspiration or motivation of a particular type. You can joyfully Marie Kondo your garage, even if she hasn’t been tidying much herself recently.

Heroes are best collected, then used tactically to keep you growing and moving. Assembled like a deck, if you will.


Concertgoers Use iPhone 15 Zoom For 'Front Row Feeling' Amid High Ticket Prices, by Pesala Bandara, PetaPixel

The price of attending blockbuster concerts has reached astronomical heights, but Americans are still buying tickets even for worse seats. However, the iPhone 15 zoom is allowing concertgoers to work around this and get the close-up view they want.

Billboard Releases Royalty Calculator For Spotify And Apple Music, by Arielle Lana Lejarde, Fader

According to Billboard, Apple has a higher play rate than Spotify, but Spotify still pays out more due to its larger user base — Spotify paid labels and publishers $1.84 billion to Apple Music’s $1.68 billion in the first six months of 2023.

Google CEO Acknowledges Importance Of Being Default Search Engine In US Trial, by Diane Bartz, Reuters

Google, which started paying for default status on devices in 2005, monitored for compliance. At one point, the company expressed concern to Apple (AAPL.O) that its Safari browser would send particular queries, especially lucrative ones, to companies like

"We were obviously doing the deal for default placement," said Pichai.

Google Once Asked Apple To Preload Its Search App On iOS, by David Pierce, The Verge

Apple, of course, did not go for the deal. The company famously doesn’t preload third-party software on its devices, and Apple’s Eddy Cue said in his own testimony in this case that Apple likely never would. But given the unprecedented scope of the deal between the two companies and the ramifications both sides feared if it fell apart, Pichai clearly thought it was worth a shot.

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I am not going to buy any of the new iMac or MacBook Pro computers today. (And my wallet breath a sigh of relief.)

However, the days of my Intel-based Mac mini being able to run the latest version of macOS is definitely numbered. So, I am looking out for a new Mac mini -- hopefully something that is smaller (I like small stuff), and, more importantly, something that is cheaper.

Maybe it is too much to hope for? For quite a few moment in history, Apple barely updates the Mac mini, and you'd be lucky if you buying cycle coincides with Apple's update cycle. But, new silicon brings new hope, doesn't it?


Thanks for reading.

The Navigating-Difficulties Edition Monday, October 30, 2023

How Apple Gave People A Library Of Classical Music – And Made It Accessible, by David Phelan, Independent

Earlier this year, Apple launched Apple Music Classical as a standalone music app that comes included in the price of Apple Music. It was an unusual move for a streaming platform perhaps more associated with Drake and Taylor Swift. And building it was a major undertaking, given the vast complexity of classical music libraries and the difficulties in navigating them.

Apple Music Classical continues to grow. In its latest move, Apple announced a new partnership between Apple and the London Philharmonic Orchestra with the release of a live recording of Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust coming on 3 November. This is just one of the partners Apple Music Classical has.


Arc 1.14, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The Browser Company has released Arc 1.14, introducing a Shared Collections feature that enables you to share permanent links to Spaces, Folders, Split Views, and selected tabs to anyone on any browser.

Eve Motion: The Best HomeKit Motion Sensor, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The Eve Motion sensor connects directly to the Home app on your iPhone, triggers HomeKit automations quickly in response to motion events, and has a very reliable connection in my experience of many months of real world use.

Resident Evil Village Now Available On The Apple App Store Globally, by Abel Wong, TechNave

Resident Evil Village has finally arrived on the Apple App Store just in time for Halloween tomorrow. Mind you, this is not some mobile version of the game but a full-fledged one.


Apple Is Getting Ready For Prime Time, by Alex Cranz, The Verge

This big prime time Apple event feels like the natural next step for the company. No one else in the tech space has had the same success as Apple at getting people to treat their announcements as big events. [...]

And after the iPhone event, it feels pretty clear the company has come close to the pinnacle of what it can do with an hour-long mid-day infomercial. One of the only ways to get bigger, grab more attention, and become a more consistent part of the conversation is to go prime time.

Apple’s Blue Ocean, by John Siracusa, Hypercritical

When thinking about Apple’s next blue ocean, it’s tempting to ignore past innovations. Technological progress seems like an arrow pointing in only one direction, never turning back. But I just can’t shake the idea that a return to removable, user-accessible batteries has now become a blue-ocean opportunity just waiting for Apple to sieze it.

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I sure hope we will get to see the Great Pumpkin in tonight's Apple product announcement video.


Thanks for reading.

The Moment-to-Reflect Edition Sunday, October 29, 2023

Apple’s Journal App Is Kind Of Smart — And Kind Of Basic, by David Pierce, The Verge

With access to all that information, Journal could, in theory, start to put things together and prompt you to not only add them to your personal timeline but also take a moment to reflect on them. Apple is coy about exactly how it all works, though, and exactly what signals matter and how.

Apple Sends Out Gift Boxes With AirPods Max And Snacks To Promote M3 Mac Event , by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple is sending out special gift boxes to select influencers, such as Lamarr Wilson. The boxes include a pair of AirPods Max headphones and some “sweet and spooky” snacks and drinks to consume while watching the event on Monday night.

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What the news article is saying: Apple is sending AirPods Max headphones to 'influencers', probably trying to influence them to give a positive reaction to tomorrow's event.

What my brain is telling me: Apple has too many AirPods Max headphones that it can't sell.



Thanks for reading.

The From-the-Get-Go Edition Saturday, October 28, 2023

iPhones Have Been Exposing Your Unique MAC Despite Apple’s Promises Otherwise, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

On Wednesday, Apple released iOS 17.1. Among the various fixes was a patch for a vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2023-42846, which prevented the privacy feature from working. Tommy Mysk, one of the two security researchers Apple credited with discovering and reporting the vulnerability (Talal Haj Bakry was the other), told Ars that he tested all recent iOS releases and found the flaw dates back to version 14, released in September 2020.

“From the get-go, this feature was useless because of this bug,” he said. “We couldn't stop the devices from sending these discovery requests, even with a VPN. Even in the Lockdown Mode.”


Keyboard Maestro 11, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The major upgrade for the popular automation and clipboard utility introduces a new Macro Wizard and a new keyboardmaestro command line tool for triggering macros.

Google Maps Gains Immersive View For Routes And Other AI Features, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Google Maps is getting a new Immersive View for routes that uses artificial intelligence, Street View, and aerial images to preview every step of a journey ahead of time.


Sofia Coppola Says Her Five-Hour Apple TV+ Series Got Axed Because ‘The Idea Of An Unlikable’ Female Lead ‘Wasn’t Their Thing’, by Zack Sharf, Variety

“The people in charge of giving money are usually straight men, still,” she said earlier in the interview. “There’s always people in lower levels who are like myself, but then the bosses have a certain sensibility… If it’s so hard for me to get financing as an established person, I worry about younger women starting out. It’s surprising that it’s still a struggle.”

Apple did not return Variety’s request for comment. The company did not entirely abandon Wharton, however, as it has an adaptation of the author’s unfinished novel “The Buccaneers” set for a streaming debut next month. Apple has a variety of shows featuring female protagonists, from “The Morning Show” to “Bad Sisters.”

Google Paid A Whopping $26.3 Billion In 2021 To Be The Default Search Engine Everywhere, by David Pierce, The Verge

The US v. Google antitrust trial is about many things, but more than anything, it’s about the power of defaults. Even if it’s easy to switch browsers or platforms or search engines, the one that appears when you turn it on matters a lot. Google obviously agrees and has paid a staggering amount to make sure it is the default: testimony in the trial revealed that Google spent a total of $26.3 billion in 2021 to be the default search engine in multiple browsers, phones, and platforms.

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It does seem logical< that Apple will be releasing M3 computers this coming Monday, because doing an event with M2 doesn't seem like the right thing to expect. It also seem logical that there will be no new computer form factor, because it is only an online pre-recorded event, and no one seems to be invited to Apple Park to touch and try out new stuff.

But, somehow, back in my mind, these two becausees doesn't add up.

Oh well, and that's why nobody is paying me to be a pundit.


Thanks for reading.

The Trail-Blazers Edition Friday, October 27, 2023

Tim Cook, Troy Kotsur Honored At The National Association Of The Deaf’s Breakthrough Awards, by Caroline Brew, Variety

“CODA,” starring Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur, made history at the 2022 Oscars. The film, written and directed by Sian Heder, became the first featuring a predominantly deaf cast to win best picture. Kotsur’s best supporting actor win made him the first male deaf actor to win an Oscar and the second ever deaf actor to win — with Matlin being the first for her 1987 best actress win for her role in “Children of a Lesser God.”

Heder and Kostur were among the honorees at the National Association of the Deaf’s 2023 Breakthrough Awards. Hosted by Matlin and civil rights attorney Alexis Kashar, at the Audrey Irmas Pavilion on Wednesday night, the event celebrated trailblazers working to advance the Deaf and hard of hearing community in arts, media and technology. The other honorees included Tim Cook, Linda Bove, Howard Gordon, Christine Sun Kim, Chella Man, John Maucere and Lauren Ridloff.


Apple Watch Users Complain Of Rapid Battery Drain And Overheating With watchOS 10.1, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Seemingly coinciding with the release of watchOS 10.1, a number of Apple Watch users are complaining of abnormal battery drain issues.

Cisco Brings Webex To Apple Watch And Apple TV, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

Not only is Cisco optimizing its Webex video conferencing platform with AI, but it is also extending it across the Apple ecosystem with support for Apple TV and Apple Watch.

SmartGym Gets Heart Rate Zones, Advanced Logging, And More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The latest release comes with more useful features like heart rate zones, advanced logging, and more flexibility for assigning routines to specific days.

Luminar Neo Brings Generative AI Tools To Hobbyist Photographers, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Luminar Neo, the photo-editing software from Skylum (formerly Macphun), is rolling out a set of generative AI features to its desktop apps for Mac and Windows that will allow users to remove unwanted objects from their images, expand a canvas, or replace and add specific elements into a photo.

PhotoPills iPhone App Is A Swiss Army Knife Style Toolkit For Outdoor Photographers, by Kevin Lynch, iMore

The app hands the user a series of tools, or “pills” that help you to plan the timing and positioning of your shot as well as dial in the best settings for your camera.


iOS 17.2 Has A System To Update Sealed iPhones At Apple Stores, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

There are three new internal frameworks named FactoryOTALogger, FactoryOTANetworkUtils, and FactoryOTAWifiUtils that enable wireless OTA firmware updates by using a special external device.

US Trade Tribunal Issues Potential Apple Watch Import Ban In Masimo Patent Fight, by Blake Brittain, Reuters

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on Thursday issued an order that could bar Apple from importing its Apple Watches after finding the devices violate medical technology company Masimo's patent rights. [...] The decision will not have an immediate effect since it now faces presidential review and possible appeals.

Apple Store Workers Fear The Tech Giant Is Dodging Accountability For Shady Labor Practices, by Caitlin Harrington, Wired

In a letter sent to Apple board member and BlackRock cofounder Sue Wagner today, workers at the two unionized retail stores in Oklahoma City and Towson, Maryland, say that none of them have been contacted by the auditor. They are demanding to be included in the report, fearing that it will present an overly rosy view of life at Apple.

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I just discovered that, in iOS, something called a persistent id does not persist across devices.

So, a lot of rethinking and revamping this weekend then.


Thanks for reading.

The Tapping-Twice Edition Thursday, October 26, 2023

Apple Releases watchOS 10.1 With Double Tap, NameDrop And More, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The update also includes Double Tap, a gesture that is available on the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2. Double Tap can be activated by tapping the index finger and thumb together twice, and it can be used to answer phone calls, end phone calls, stop alarms, and more.

The Apple Watch’s Double Tap Gesture Points At A New Way To Use Wearables, by Victoria Song, The Verge

If you know anything about wearable sensors, that’s not as simple as it sounds. Wrist data is incredibly tricky to work with because there’s a lot of noise in the signal. On top of calculating how light reflects off of blood pumping through your veins, smartwatch algorithms have to account for your arm (plus muscles, veins, and tendons) physically moving around during different activities like walking, running, and gesticulating. Another challenge is no two people have the exact same body. Differences in wrist size and limb length have to be taken into consideration.

Ironically, the years that Apple put into improving heart rate helped cut through that noise. According to Clark, “the gaps in reliable signals for heart rate” were what his team used to confirm subtler motions like the double tap gesture.

PSA: Apple Watch Double Tap Won't Work With These Apps And Features, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The limitations make sense, as these apps are situations where you wouldn’t to risk the possibility of accidental input.

More OS Updates

macOS Sonoma 14.1 Is Now Available With Music Update, Warranty Status Feature, And 2 Bug Fixes, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The update brings changes to the Music app and warranty information in System Settings. It also address two bugs dealing with Location Services and encrypted external drives.

Apple Releases iOS 17.1 With AirDrop, StandBy, And Music Features Plus 7 Bug Fixes, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple has released iOS 17.1 for iPhone, bringing more features to AirDrop, StandBy, and Apple Music, as well as several prominent bug fixes.

Apple Releases iOS 16.7.2 And iOS 15.8 Security Updates To Patch Old Hardware, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

The company is also releasing security updates for a few previous-generation operating systems, so that people who aren't ready to upgrade (and older devices that can't upgrade) will still be protected from new exploits.

Price Updates

Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, And Apple News+ Receiving Price Increases, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple is increasing the prices of some of its subscription-based services, including Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and Apple News+, in the U.S. and many other countries around the world.

Apple Again Hikes Prices For Its Media Services, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

But News+? The primary and obvious appeal of Apple News+ is getting access to paywalled content from participating publications like the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. That’s a long list of newspapers and magazines. But the actual reading experience often stinks — most articles from most publishers in Apple News are lousy with huge ugly ads, breaking up each article every few paragraphs. And the ads are often almost comically low-class chumbox scams.

On Security

Hackers Can Force iOS And macOS Browsers To Divulge Passwords And A Whole Lot More, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Researchers have devised an attack that forces Apple’s Safari browser to divulge passwords, Gmail message content, and other secrets by exploiting a side channel vulnerability in the A- and M-series CPUs running modern iOS and macOS devices.

iLeakage, as the academic researchers have named the attack, is practical and requires minimal resources to carry out. It does, however, require extensive reverse-engineering of Apple hardware and significant expertise in exploiting a class of vulnerability known as a side channel, which leaks secrets based on clues left in electromagnetic emanations, data caches, or other manifestations of a targeted system. The side channel in this case is speculative execution, a performance enhancement feature found in modern CPUs that has formed the basis of a wide corpus of attacks in recent years.


The iPhone 15 Pro Brings Tangible Accessibility Benefits, by Shelly Brisbin, Six Colors

Since you can launch a shortcut with the Action Button (also available via Back Tap), there’s no end to the ways you can customize your own accessibility by doing things more quickly. I have a blind friend who’s using the Action Button to quickly toggle the speed of podcast playback between two favorite settings. Using a shortcut means she need not open Overcast using VoiceOver and then swipe to the speed slider every time she wants to make a change. Sometimes, accessibility means saving steps.

Apple Touts iPhone 15 Pro Camera In New 'On With The Show' Video, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple uses this new action-packed 60-second ad to tout features such as 5x optical zoom on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, ProRes video, Log encoding, and more.

PSA: An iPhone 15 Can Charge Another iPhone, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

If you plug an ‌iPhone 15‌ into another ‌iPhone 15‌, the two devices communicate with one another, determine which ‌iPhone‌ has the lower battery, and transfer power that way. So if you have a low battery and a friend with an ‌iPhone 15‌ has a full battery, you can plug your ‌iPhone‌ into your friend's ‌iPhone‌ and get yours to charge.

Apple Announces Concerts Feature In Shazam For Discovering Local Live Shows, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple is updating Shazam with a new feature it calls Concerts. The new section in the app will push personalized event recommendations for nearby performances based on Shazam history.

Apple Admits To BMW Wireless Charging Issue With iPhone 15 Lineup, Promises Fix Later This Year, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

In an internal memo shared with Apple Authorized Service Providers, Apple said charging an iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, or iPhone 15 Pro Max with a "small number" of wireless phone chargers built into certain recent BMW and Toyota Supra models may temporarily disable the NFC capabilities of the device.


Apple Plans AirPods Overhaul With New Low- And High-End Models, USB-C Headphones, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple plans to phase out both the second-generation and third-generation AirPods later next year, according to the people familiar with the matter. They’ll be replaced with two fourth-generation AirPods that are priced similarly to the current versions but are more differentiated.


Apple will differentiate the two options by including noise cancellation in the higher-end version.

Matter 1.2 Will Bring Robot Vacuums, Appliances, And More To The Apple Home App, by Stephen Warwick, iMore

Matter, the Apple-backed smart home standard that aims to revolutionize how people interact with Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem and beyond, has unveiled version 1.2 of its program -- which brings robot vacuums and more to your Apple Home.

The new standard was unveiled Oct. 23 and features nine new device types, including refrigerators, dishwashers, air conditioners and other appliances, as well as improvements to existing categories and the overall specification.

Report: Apple Continues To Explore Health Capabilities Of Vision Pro, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter, Ma explains that Apple has experimented with using the Vision Pro to track a user's facial expressions to detect depression, anxiety, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues. Specifically, eye-tracking, pupil dilation, and external cameras can measure a person's "affect," a psychological term that refers to how an individual expresses emotions.

Why Apple Is Doing The White House’s Bidding On A National Right-to-repair Law, by Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz

Even now, its stamp of approval isn’t a blanket one. When the Cupertino, California-based company expressed support for its home state’s right-to-repair, it cited “requirements that protect individual users’ safety and security, as well as product manufacturers’ intellectual property.” It also asked for limitations to be levied: The iPhone maker requested repair shops not be allowed to turn off Apple’s anti-theft remote locks and be required to disclose the use of non-genuine or used parts.

Still, instead of resisting the laws from the outside, Apple is choosing to participate in framing the laws from the inside. Perhaps that’s because it realizes the inevitability of the bill’s passing, experts suggest.

Inside Google’s Plan To Stop Apple From Getting Serious About Search, by Nico Grant, New York Times

Google, which the law will force to allow more competition in search, explored ways to lobby E.U. regulators to crack open Apple’s tightly controlled software ecosystem so Google could siphon users from Safari and Spotlight, the documents showed. Executives debated how aggressive the company should be in advocating for access to Apple’s operating system.

Google executives figured that if users had to make a choice, the number of European iPhone users who selected Chrome could triple, according to documents reviewed by The Times. That would mean the company could keep more search ad revenue and pay less of it to Apple.

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Am I convinced the M3 chips are coming this coming Halloween? Not yet. M2 is still scary fast, when upgrading from M1. But the question remains: will Apple put up an event -- even if it is just a recorded video scheduled for primetime audiences -- just to update iMacs from M1 to M2?


Thanks for reading.

The New-Computers Edition Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Apple Announces ‘Scary Fast’ Oct. 30 Event To Roll Out New Macs, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

On Tuesday, the company announced plans for a presentation next week, dubbing the showcase “Scary Fast.” The event will take place at 5 p.m. California time, airing on Apple’s website and online video services such as YouTube.

The logo for the event morphs into the icon for the Mac’s Finder — the application for managing files — in an clear indicator that new Mac computers will be the main introduction next week.

Repairability vs Integrity

Apple Announces New Nationwide Right To Repair Commitment, by Makena Kelly, The Verge

Apple announced that it would be making all of the parts, tools, and information necessary for consumers and repair shops to fix the device maker’s products during a White House event on Tuesday.


“We intend to honor California’s new repair provisions across the United States,” Brian Naumann, Apple vice president and general manager of the company’s repair business, said during Tuesday’s meeting. “Apple also believes that consumers and businesses would benefit from a national law that balances repairability with product integrity, usability and physical safety.”

Apple Stores Begin Same-Unit iPhone 15 Repairs As Parts Now Available, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Starting this week, parts are available for all four iPhone 15 models, allowing Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers to complete same-unit repairs for these devices, according to an internal memo obtained by MacRumors. This includes the back glass, battery, speakers, display, rear camera, and mid-frame.

Bye, iTunes

Apple To Revamp TV App In Step Toward Simplifying Video Services, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

As part of the overhaul, the company will discontinue its dedicated apps on the Apple TV set-top box that let users rent and buy movies and shows. It will also remove the movie and TV show sections from the iTunes Store app on iPhones and iPads.


The revamped app on the Apple TV box will include a new side panel on the left-hand side for navigating between video categories, matching a design aesthetic used by Netflix Inc. and other streaming services. In addition to running on Apple’s set-top box, the app is available on smart TVs produced by other companies.

Apple Is Finally Killing Off iTunes – For Real This Time, by Kirk McElhearn, Intego

iTunes. It was a magical name. It opened up musical vistas and inspired people to rip, mix, and burn their music. It moved music onto the most influential portable music player of the century. It created a store where you could buy new music with a click. But everything ends, and perhaps it’s time to bid farewell to iTunes.


Apple Pay Later Officially Launches In U.S. Following Early Access Period, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple Pay Later is a "buy now, pay later" feature that lets qualifying customers split a purchase made with Apple Pay into four equal payments over six weeks, with no interest or fees. The feature is available for eligible purchases between $75 and $1,000 made on an iPhone or iPad on most websites and apps that accept Apple Pay.

Apple Releases iTunes For Windows Update With Option To Listen To Podcasts And Audiobooks, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

According to Apple's release notes, downloading iTunes 12.13 will allow Windows users to listen to podcasts and audiobooks through the iTunes app so long as the Apple Music and Apple TV apps are installed.

Go Trick-or-treating With The Peanuts Gang In This Halloween-themed Charlie Brown iPhone App, by Kevin Lynch, iMore

Narrated by Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie, the app also allows you to make your own Peanuts character and dress them up in a spooky costume for the holiday. There’s also a selection of Halloween-themed games, like pumpkin carving, bobbing for apples, and trick-or-treating with the Charlie and his pals, whole you also get a chance to play piano with Schroeder.


TestFlight Makes It Even Simpler To Manage Testers, by Apple

Improved controls in App Store Connect let you better evaluate tester engagement and manage participation to help you get the most out of beta testing.


Why Apple’s Weather App Is So Bad, by Alex Abad-Santos, Vox

The basic idea: everyone gets their weather data from the same place, and there shouldn’t be drastic variances between what weather companies and apps are saying. Also: stop complaining.

But Stine did have a small concession. He explained that my complaints aren’t about the grand scale of weather forecasting which, as he pointed out, can have major economic and governmental impacts. My grumble, he said, is more about the trend of what he calls “now-casting” — and that’s a very different animal.

Used iPhone 12 And 13 Minis Are Hot In Japan As Apple Screens Go Big, by Ryuju Funatsu, Nikkei Asia

Demand for older, smaller iPhones has jumped in Japan since Apple introduced the iPhone 15 series as fans seek a niche that the new lineup does not fill.

Broadcasters Ask Government To Make Apple Pay News Outlets Under Online News Act, by Anja Karadeglija, National Post

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) said under the government’s proposed regulations only Google and Meta are covered by the Online News Act, “even though there are other platforms that benefit from the distribution of news content and are negatively impacting news businesses in Canada.”

The group gave the example of Apple, which includes Apple News, a free news-aggregator app, with its products and also offers Apple News+, a paid subscription service for content including magazines and newspapers. “The CAB believes that such services should be scoped into the framework, rather than excluded up front,” it said.

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Because it's almost Halloween, the new iMacs will come in five different shades of color of the night: gray. Either that, or we are getting Pumpkin Power and Black Dalmatian iMacs.


Thanks for reading.

The Pulp-and-Cardboard Edition Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Apple’s ‘Carbon Neutral’ Claims Come Under Scrutiny, by Kenza Bryan, Financial Times

Apple faces scrutiny from European environmental and consumer groups over its claims that its latest devices are “carbon neutral”, a term that Brussels proposes to ban in corporate marketing because it is “misleading”.


“Trees are turned into pulp and cardboard or toilet paper,” Kaskeala said, highlighting that “the carbon stored in these products is released back into the atmosphere very quickly”.

Documents detailing one scheme Apple has backed through a conservation fund show that the majority of the newly planted trees are chopped down to be sold as timber in little more than a decade.

Stop, Before You Close This Tab (Or Any Others) …, by Ali Jaffe Ramis, New York Times

Whenever my computer freezes and shuts down, I’m not surprised. I have a tab problem. As I’m writing this, I currently have 72 browser tabs open: my email, my calendar, the dinner menu of the restaurant where I’m meeting a friend tonight, directions for how to get there, an order confirmation for a refill of Sonicare toothbrush heads, my local yoga studio’s weekly schedule, medical claims forms, Ina Garten’s lemon orzo recipe to make this weekend. My phone, meanwhile, has no fewer than 263 open tabs.

These tabs reflect what’s on my mind. They contain my agenda and provide answers to the mundane questions that demand my attention (“How tall is Paul Giamatti?” “Are wine glasses dishwasher safe?”). Some of them — long-form articles I’ve been meaning to read, skin-care products I can’t afford, an eight-session pottery class that I swear I’ll take when I have the time, trailers for movies I’ll never have time to see, the Wikipedia entries for dog breeds I don’t own (but would like to), shoes I probably won’t buy but am considering because they are (or, more likely, were) on sale — tell a story about the kind of person I aspire to be. Some are reminders of things I don’t want to forget, like the real estate listing for the Sheepshead Bay apartment my grandma grew up in, or parking tickets I need to pay.

Quick Tip: macOS Sonoma/iOS 17’s AutoFill Everywhere Is A Lifesaver, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

In a very clever move, Apple has introduced essentially a manual mode for AutoFill. You’re no longer dependent on Safari recognizing that, yes, these are fields where you can put your address in. Instead, anywhere that you can enter text—and not just in Safari, but anywhere, in any app—bring up the contextual menu by right/two-finger/control clicking on the Mac or tapping and holding on iOS/iPadOS, and then go to the new AutoFill submenu. From there choose Contact or Passwords, depending on what info you want to bring up, and you can have it drop that info right into the form.

PSA: You Can Open QR Codes On iOS Without Scanning From Another Device, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Tapping and holding on the QR code will reveal a menu with the URL. From there, you can open the link in Safari, copy the link, or share it with someone else.

This Guy Turned The 'Action Button' On His iPhone 15 Pro Into A 'Starbucks Button' That Orders Him A Latte As He Approaches The Store, by Jordan Hart, Insider

"The more difficult part is ideating exactly what you want to happen and how, and when," Turner said. "Once you have that all laid out in your head, shortcuts provide a pretty easy canvas for you to lay that all out in."


Pixelmator Pro 3.4 Camelot Review: An All-purpose Image Editor For The Mac, by Jeff L Carlson, DP Review

For many photographers, a tool like Photomator is all they need for making adjustments to their photos. But when more image-editing power is needed, Pixelmator Pro represents a significant step up in capabilities.


What continues to impress me with Pixelmator Pro (and Photomator) is how the company is using machine learning technologies to push the edges of what we can do with photos, primarily to get good results with a small outlay of time. And, of course, we can’t underestimate the value (in dollars as well as features) of Pixelmator Pro as a good alternative to the Adobe ecosystem.

Vivaldi For iOS Is Not Delivering On Its Promise Just Yet, by Niléane, MacStories

Vivaldi for iOS is a promising foundation awaiting a building. While it is a fast and functional browser for the iPhone, it lacks several of the core features that have helped it define itself in a crowded marketplace on desktop. I anticipated a fun and customizable browser, but instead, I found myself with a more basic browsing experience compared to Safari. Still, I’m curious too see if Vivaldi innovates on this rather basic foundation, and whether it can evolve into more than just a companion app for its long-time desktop users.

Amazon Enables Passwordless Passkeys On iOS And The Web, by Umar Shakir, The Verge

Amazon’s rolling out passkey support for its online site and mobile shopping apps. Customers can log in to Amazon using just their devices’ biometrics and start shopping without the need to enter a password or follow through with two-factor authentication (2FA) through email or text.

VMware Fusion 13.5, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

VMware has updated its VMware Fusion virtualization package to version 13.5, adding support for downloading and installing Windows 11 as a guest operating system from the Fusion user interface on M-series Macs.


Apple's 'Killers Of The Flower Moon' Highlights Tech Giant's Film Strategy Shift, by Alexandra Canal, Yahoo Finance

"Unlike other studios, this is a smaller piece of the pie for Apple," Robbins said, explaining that luxury of flexibility allows the company to experiment with different types of distribution windows and even different types of films.

1Password Discloses Security Incident Linked To Okta Breach, by Lawrence Abrams, Bleeping Computer

"We detected suspicious activity on our Okta instance related to their Support System incident. After a thorough investigation, we concluded that no 1Password user data was accessed," reads a very brief security incident notification from 1Password CTO Pedro Canahuati.

Automattic Is Acquiring Texts And Betting Big On The Future Of Messaging, by David Pierce, The Verge

Matt Mullenweg, Automattic’s CEO, says Texts is not just a product acquisition but also the beginning of a huge new investment for the company. So far, he says, Automattic’s two main areas of focus have been on publishing and commerce — now, messaging is the company’s third pillar.

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Looks to me that Apple is doing something good for the environment, but its boasts went too far?


Thanks for reading.

The Mac-Centered Edition Monday, October 23, 2023

Inside Apple’s Big Plan To Bring Generative AI To All Its Devices, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

I’m told that the company tabled the iMac Pro plan a while ago due to cost concerns. So Apple has had to adjust. That’s included positioning the Mac Studio and Studio Display combination as a high-end iMac replacement. But any passionate iMac user knows that’s not an apples-to-apples comparison.

Fortunately, a new iMac is finally on the way. As I reported in March, the company has been readying the updated 24-inch iMac — a model that could be out soon. How soon? Well, I’m told that Apple is planning a Mac-centered product launch around the end of this month. That could be its chance to announce this model.


Mi'kmaw Language Users Can Now Text With New Apple Keyboard, by Oscar Baker III, CBC

The Mi'kmaw language keyboard, which rolled out Friday as part of Apple software updates, was a partnership between Apple and Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey, a language education authority for 12 communities in Nova Scotia.


Tim Cook Can't Make iPhones Without This Chinese Company And Its CEO, by Yang Jie, Wall Street Journal

Many Apple customers may not be familiar with Luxshare Precision or its leader Grace Wang, but they likely own its handiwork. Along with other Apple contractors, Luxshare manufactures AirPods, the Apple Watch and the recently released iPhone 15, including the top-of-the-line iPhone Pro Max. Luxshare is also the assembler of Apple’s first mixed-reality headset, due to reach consumers next year.


One reason: Chinese CEOs such as Wang are experts at doing what Apple wants.

Her story is intertwined with that of Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology, which long dominated iPhone assembly at its “iPhone city” in central China. Luxshare started by taking orders that Foxconn couldn’t fulfill and now is eating into Foxconn’s Apple share, according to analysts.

Chinese Retailers Offer Deep iPhone 15 Discounts, by Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh, Reuters

In China, Apple will occasionally allow partner vendors to offer discounts to spur demand. But Chinese e-commerce platforms have also been locked in a "value for money" battle as consumers tighten their belts amid a slowing economy, with discounting a key focus of forthcoming annual Singles Day shopping festival.

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It will probably be bad for Apple if the company has to announce, one year, that its iPhones are delayed and there will not be new versions for a single year. I am sure there are a lot of contigency plans and what-nots to ensure such a scenario doesn't happen.

Maybe it's time for Apple to also impose such discipline to its Mac and iPad lines. I know Apple want to release new computers only when the upgrades are truly ready, but it will definitely help the business if these products aren't, it seems to me, prepetually in transitional phases.


Thanks for reading.

The Extra-Helpful Edition Sunday, October 22, 2023

15 Ways Apple's Reminders App Can Keep You On Task, by Lance Whitney, PC Magazine

With the update to iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, you can create grocery lists, set up an early reminder alarm, quickly add new reminders based on previous ones, organize your reminders into sections, and complete a reminder from its widget.


Microsoft Fixes The Excel Feature That Was Wrecking Scientific Data, by Wes Davis, The Verge

Microsoft detailed the update in a blog post this week, adding a checkbox labeled “Convert continuous letters and numbers to a date.” You can probably guess what that toggles. The update builds on the Automatic Data Conversions settings the company added last year, which included the option for Excel to warn you when it’s about to get extra helpful and let you load your file without automatic conversion so you can ensure nothing will be screwed up by it.

The Best Augmented Reality Games For Mobile, by Bryan M. Wolfe, Stuff

These titles come in many forms and cater to different audiences. There’s Euclidean Lands, a great puzzle game suitable for all ages, while My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR is designed for younger users. Whether you want to catch Pokémon, battle with Warhammer or become a god, there’s an AR game out there for you.


Could "News Sobriety" Save Your Mental Health?, by Tanner Garrity, InsideHook

In a recent appearance on The Tim Ferris Show, a tech CEO named Sam Corcos claimed that he has been “fully news sober” for nearly a decade. What does that mean? No news, no television, no articles, no social media.

“No current events in any form,” he told an astonished Ferris. “I read Ryan Holiday’s book, Trust Me, I’m Lying, which really frightened me about the state of the media…[It was] originally a one-month experiment…[I decided] I’m just going to try a one-to-one replacement of reading books during that time period. And I read eight books that month, which was more than I probably read in the previous five years.”

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I need someone to tell me only the news I need, and not someone to tell me the news their advertisers want me to know.


Thanks for reading.

The Smart-Steroids Edition Saturday, October 21, 2023

A Closer Look At Apple Notes’s Smart Folders, by Josh Ginter, The Sweet Setup

The list of features has really evolved and it has become one of the best note-taking apps available today.

Right alongside the ability to tag your notes in Apple Notes is the ability to create smart folders. Smart folders are tags and folders on steroids — you can build out entirely custom ways to unearth and organize your notes.


Pokémon Sleep Helped Me Catch ’Em All — All The Z’s, That Is, by Alexis Ong, The Verge

As a lifelong insomniac who had recently regressed to upsetting levels of sleep dysfunction, this was a chance to finally dive into what seemed like a cute, low-stakes, low-barrier-to-entry app that could keep me company at four in the morning. The concept is simple: Pokémon Sleep is framed as a “sleep research study,” where, each week, the player feeds and studies a Snorlax, whose “drowsy power” attracts other pokémon when it sleeps. As the Snorlax grows, it attracts more pokémon, which can be caught as indentured research assistants to collect food for the Snorlax. No one sleeps until the player sleeps. As the day goes on, the helpers get tired — their smiles start to fade, and their little eyelids droop while they wait for the sweet release of unconsciousness.

The only way to play is to sleep; if you want to be good, you need to sleep well, but if you want to be great, you need to sleep consistently well.

Agenda 18.2, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The release now enables sorting of individual projects by title, edited date, or creation date and grouping by color.

YouTube Music Rolls Out Apple HomePod Support, by Abner Li, 9to5Google

This lets you use voice commands — “Hey Siri, play music” — to start YouTube Music on a HomePod. It’s a nice alternative to manually starting the app on your phone and then using AirPlay. Like on Google Assistant speakers, you must be a paid YouTube Premium or Music Premium subscriber.


Beyond The Apple Zero-Days: A Deep Dive Into Cyber Threat Dynamics, by Callie Guenther, SC Media

It's crucial to acknowledge the symbiotic relationship between popularity and vulnerability. Apple's expanding market share and its iconic status naturally make it a bigger target. But the recent onslaught of zero-days targeting Apple may represent broader cyber-espionage trends rather than solely an indicator of Apple's security stance.

China Vice Premier Pushes For More Apple Investment, Cooperation, by Ethan Wang and Bernard Orr, Reuters

China's Vice Premier Ding Duexiang told Apple CEO Tim Cook the group was welcome to participate in developing China's digital economy, as Cook made a surprise visit to Beijing less than a month after the Chinese launch of its iPhone 15.


Cook said Apple was confident in the prospects of Chinese market, and was willing to strengthen cooperation with China in fields including high-end manufacturing and digital economy, the state radio reported.

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I am sad that there isn't a successor to the iPhone mini from Apple. Even the rumored iPhone SE will have a much bigger form factor.

At least this year's Magsafe wallet is still compatible with the mini. There may yet be hope for a small iPhone still. (Or maybe it's just that credit cards haven't grown in size.)


Thanks for reading.

The Celluloid-Rollout Edition Friday, October 20, 2023

Apple Aims For Box Office Glory With Rollout Of Martin Scorsese Epic, by Christopher Grimes, Financial Times

This weekend Apple will roll out acclaimed director Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon in more than 3,600 US cinemas and thousands more in 63 other markets around the world. Cook has taken a deep personal interest in the film, appearing at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and throwing his support behind an auteur-friendly Hollywood rollout that is more rooted in the celluloid era than the iPhone age.

Jon Stewart’s ‘The Problem’ Not Moving Forward At Apple Amid Creative Differences, by Lesley Goldberg, Hollywood Reporter

Sources tell THR that there had been tension between Apple and Stewart ahead of the show’s third season return over topics featured on The Problem. Those same sources note that Apple approached Stewart and informed the host that both sides needed to be “aligned” regarding topics on the show. Stewart, sources say, balked at the idea of being “hamstrung” by Apple, which threatened to cancel the series. Stewart, sources say, wanted to have full creative control of the series and, after Apple threatened to cancel the series, told the tech company that he was walking away from the show rather than have his hands tied.


Photon's App For Pro Photographers Lets You Shoot And Save To An External Drive, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Photon, an iOS app for pro photographers, is introducing a new feature that will allow iPhone 15 Pro users to save their photos directly to an external drive, freeing up valuable disk space on their device.


Apple Launches Push Notification Delivery Metrics Monitoring For Developers, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Developers on Apple platforms now have a new way to gain insight into push notification performance for their apps.

Apple has announced the release of its new push notification delivery monitoring metrics feature first introduced back in June at WWDC.


FCC Greenlights Superfast Wi-Fi Tethering For AR And VR Headsets, by Wes Davis, The Verge

Several tech companies, including Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Meta, petitioned the FCC to let them access the 6GHz band in 2019. The decision could benefit some of the more difficult projects those companies have been working on, such as AR glasses.

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Will Stage Manager be the last attempt by Apple to do multi-tasking on an iPad? Surely, starting next year, the solution is to get a Vision Pro?

(And for the less rich, either get used to Stage Manager, or to go get multiple iPads?)



Thanks for reading.

The Observational-Dataset Edition Thursday, October 19, 2023

New Apple Research Highlights The Health Benefits Of Pickleball, by Apple

Researchers from the Apple Heart and Movement Study share new insights into one of the fastest-growing sports around the world: pickleball. To see how this emerging sport compared against the long-standing game of tennis, and how it impacts overall health, researchers turned to the data.

In one of the largest observational datasets of pickleball activity collected using Apple Watch, researchers found trends in both pickleball and tennis workout data that highlight the potential health benefits of both activities.

Apple’s $130 Thunderbolt 4 Cable Could Be Worth It, As Seen In X-ray CT Scans, by Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica

If your goal is to buy one cable that will hold up to abuse, work with the power and data speeds of today and a reasonably distant tomorrow, and remove cables from your list of things that might be the problem? Lumafield's images show why Apple's alpha-cable might just be worth it.

Inadvertent Balloon Drops (Or, The Default Conundrum), by Jason Snell, Six Colors

There’s no great answer here. For every Haughey or Hurley who is interrupted by inappropriate animations, there’s probably someone else who discovers the feature in a family call and thinks they’re delightful. But in a case like this, where embarrassment in front of other people is a strong possibility, I feel like our devices should probably ask permission rather than forgiveness.


Apple Releases Second AirPods Pro Firmware Update Since Adding Features In iOS 17, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple has released a new firmware update for AirPods Pro. The update likely includes additional bug fixes and improvements to the wireless earbuds and their charging case.

The Creator Of Apollo For Reddit Has Moved Onto Smaller And Weirder Things, by Jay Peters, The Verge

As an example of what Pixel Pals is now capable of, look no further than Language Pal, a language-learning widget that just launched for free. With Language Pal, you can practice vocabulary across 10 different languages (including, hilariously, “Canadian”) through a guessing game widget right on your homescreen.

Language Pal is just one of many widgets you can pick from. There are more traditional widgets like calendars, clocks, and battery percentages. You can care for the cute pixel animals as part of a Tamagotchi-like virtual pet game.

Home+ 6.2 Adds A Battery Smart Section And Widget, by John Voorhees, MacStories

With version 6.2 of Home+, Hochgatterer has added a new section to the app that reports the remaining charge for any battery-operated HomeKit accessories, such as window and door sensors. The new section, which color codes its battery icons according to the remaining charge, is accompanied by a new set of small, medium, and large-sized widgets that can be customized to show all of your battery-operated devices or a subset picked by you.

Mophie Debuts New Snap+ Juice Pack Mini MagSafe Power Bank With Built-in Stand, by Rikka Altland, 9to5Toys

Where things start getting interesting with the snap+ juice pack is with the built-in stand. The add-on ensures that the power bank can prop up your handset while it charges, and even pairs that with a USB-C port on the side so you can refuel the internal battery at the same time; which, speaking of, you’ll be able to use that USB-C port to charge another gadget with 12W, while it can accept 20W inputs for refueling the power bank.


Apple & Skydance Animation Part Ways With Latter Taking ‘Spellbound;’ Companies Remain Robust Partners In Live Action Film, TV, by Mike Fleming Jr, Deadline

While it will continue to have a deal with Skydance Media for tent pole live action film and TV fare, Apple is parting ways with Skydance Animation, the company run by former Pixar chief John Lassiter. Their multi-year deal has come to a conclusion, and Apple is making other kinds of films, notably this weekend’s opener Killers of the Flower Moon, which opens globally Friday.

Apple Fires Multiple App Store Employees After Probe Reveals Business Misconduct And Sexual Assault Allegation, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

According to a new report from The Information, Apple recently fired several members of its App Store team in China over “business misconduct.” Through a year-long internal investigation, Apple reportedly uncovered a variety of misdoings, including improper contact with mobile game developers, sexual assault, and more.

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In the year twenty-twenty-three, why do so many apps still give me dialog boxes with "Yes", "No", "Cancel" option? I don't have much time left to read your dialog box.

And can you tell I am using a Windows machine at work?


Thanks for reading.

The Sliding-Design Edition Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Apple Announces New Apple Pencil With Magnetic Storage And USB-C Port, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

This pencil is clearly designed for use with the tenth-generation iPad: while it attaches magnetically to the long edge of the iPad for storage, it still charges via a physical port. Unlike the old Lightning model, which had a removable (and easily lost) cap hiding its charging and pairing connector, the new Apple Pencil features an innovative sliding design that reveals a USB-C port into which you can plug a cable (which, naturally, is not included). Its design is otherwise very similar to the second-generation Pencil.

Apple Pencil Joins The iPad Confusion Zone, by Wes Davis, The Verge

A third, cheaper Apple Pencil now sits in Apple’s lineup of styluses, giving iPad owners more choice than ever. And yet, that choice is fraught with compromises and caveats. There’s still not one Apple Pencil to rule them all, and that’s a problem for shoppers.

The Price Of Apple’s Old-products Strategy, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Still, it’s hard not to look at the shenanigans in the iPad product line over the last few years and not get the sense that things are kind of a mess. This new Pencil should’ve shipped last year with the 10th-generation iPad. The new iPad has features that higher-end models don’t. There’s insufficient differentiation between the iPad Air and the iPad Pro.


Is Apple’s Translate App Still Getting Lost In Translation?, by Niléane, MacStories

The Conversation tab is unique in its well-thought-out design. Manually selecting the grammatical gender for gendered words sets it apart from a simple translation app you may use during your vacation abroad, perhaps transforming it into a daily work tool. But, like many of Apple’s built-in apps and services that are well integrated into iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, Translate truly shines when you realize that you’ve actually been using it this whole time without noticing.

Ecobee Smart Doorbell Camera Review: Even Better With The Thermostat, by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, The Verge

This morning, my doorbell rang, and I answered it from my thermostat. An image of the FedEx driver appeared on the four-inch touchscreen, and I tapped the microphone icon and told him I’d be right there. Yeah, it was really cool.

Adonit Note+ 2 Review, by Tilly Lawton, Pocket Tactics

A solid stylus that offers a range of desirable features including pressure sensitivity, natural tilt support, palm rejection, and programmable shortcuts, the Adonit Note+ 2 is a sleek piece of kit with a solid battery, suitable for both casual use and digital art. While its supported apps are limited and there are some kinks with connectivity, it’s a strong and affordable competitor for the Apple Pencil.

Twelve South Debuts New TimePorter Apple Watch Band Wall-mounted Organizer, by Rikka Altland, 9to5Toys

The white build can hold six bands at a time, with a clever design that makes one-handed retrieval possible. Multiple units can be together to form a larger display for anyone with a more impressive Apple Watch band collection.


Apple Vision Pro Developer Labs Expand To New York City And Sydney, by Apple

We’re thrilled with the excitement and enthusiasm from developers around the world at the Apple Vision Pro labs, and we’re pleased to announce new labs in New York City and Sydney.


Apple Announces Updated iPad 10 With eSIM Support In China, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

China Unicom is currently the only supported eSIM carrier for the iPad in mainland China, according to a new Apple support document. eSIM support in mainland China requires a 10th-generation iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular) with model number A3162. All other iPad and iPhone models do not have eSIM support in mainland China.

Apple Investigating Display Flickering Issue Affecting Apple Watch Series 9 And Ultra 2, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple is investigating an issue where the display brightness briefly flickers or "pulses" on some Apple Watch models when Always On mode is enabled, according to an internal service memo shared with Apple Authorized Service Providers today.

Apple’s Latest iOS Update Could Have A Big Impact On Podcast Downloads, by Amrita Khalid, The Verge

So, why does anyone care about what is functionally a storage issue? The problem is that these instances could have been distorting download numbers.

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Today is a work-from-home day, and it rained all day, and the temperature is cooling (for a place at the equator), and I am enjoying myself.

Tomorrow is a work-at-office day, and I am already dreading the commute.


Thanks for reading.

The Game-With-Sonoma Edition Tuesday, October 17, 2023

How macOS Sonoma's Game Mode Drops Everything But Frames, by Brady Snyder, XDA Developers

Game Mode is enabled on macOS Sonoma by default, and for good reason. Unless you have specific processes running in the background while you game, there's no reason to disable Game Mode. As these synthetic tests show, Game Mode isn't just a marketing ploy by Apple to get you playing games on the best Macs out there. The feature actually does make a difference, and it's worth using anytime you game with macOS Sonoma.

What Does Game Mode Do?, by Howard Oakley, The Eclectic Light Company

This article starts to explain a bit more about Game Mode and what it really does, a topic that seems to have drawn a bit of blank elsewhere.


Shopify, Apple Roll Out iOS 17 Object Capture For AR Shopping, by Demond Cureton, XR Today

In September, Shopify, one of the world’s largest eCommerce platforms, unveiled its latest integration—Apple’s iOS 17 Object Capture—for creating augmented reality (AR) 3D digital assets on-the-fly. Using an iPhone Pro with a LiDAR scanner, online stores can now have access to a completely free, cutting-edge platform to upload items directly from the physical to the virtual.

Zoom One Review, by Daniel Brame & Neil McAllister, PC Magazine

Zoom One's impressive transformation from a simple video conferencing app to a full communication hub makes it a robust, business-friendly collaboration tool.

How Beeper Is Trying To Make Sense Of All Your Messaging Apps, by David Pierce, The Verge

Beeper is, in some ways, trying to bring back the good ol’ days of messaging apps. Fifteen years ago, there were lots of competing platforms — MSN, Yahoo, AIM, and others — but you could use an app like Pidgin or Jabber to bring them all together. The systems weren’t completely interoperable the way email is, but it didn’t really matter; you could just talk to your friends without worrying about what platform they used.


Apple Boss Tim Cook Makes Surprise China Visit, by Chris Vallance, BBC

Though in an upbeat mood as he met gamers in the city of Chengdu, the company faces flagging iPhone demand in the country, analysts suggest.

It is his second trip to China this year - in March he said Apple had a "symbiotic" relationship with China, a key manufacturing base.

But the firm's operations in the country have been complicated by Covid and US-China tensions.

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Yesterday, my iPhone rebooted itself, right before my very eyes.

What happened was this: I was at work, and it was getting noisy. So, I took out my AirPods, put them on, and was waiting for the connected-tone before I start playing music. I was waiting and waiting and waiting, and nothing happened. I pressed on the AirPods, hoping it will start playing music, and nothing happened.

So I glanced down at my iPhone, and saw the big Apple logo.

(Things seem to be working fine after the reboot was done.)

This has probably nothing to do with the bug where iPhones are mysteriously shutting down in the middle of the night.


Thanks for reading.

The Wirelessly-Turned-On Edition Monday, October 16, 2023

Apple Renews Top Ranks With Wave Of Executive Promotions, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple typically promotes corporate employees in early October ahead of its fall vesting period (when staff are able to cash in the restricted stock units that make up a sizeable chunk of their compensation). So it’s not unusual to have personnel changes at this time of year, but there were more people elevated to the VP level than you normally see.


Apple is planning a new system for its retail stores that will update the software on iPhones prior to sale. The company has developed a proprietary pad-like device that the store can place boxes of iPhones on top of. That system can then wirelessly turn on the iPhone, update its software and then power it back down — all without the phone’s packaging ever being opened. The company aims to begin rolling this out to its stores before the end of the year.

Apple's New Screen-distance Feature Taught Me I Was Holding My iPhone Wrong, by Kylie Kirschner, Insider

I feel like I've become more conscious about holding my phone at arm's length. The screen-distance notifications — or just the nagging feeling I get now when I catch myself getting sucked into my device too closely — have also just made me more aware of my own habits and screen use.


I Tried Apple's In-car Spatial Audio To Find Out If It's Worth The Hype, by Adam Turner, Drive

Spatial Audio in a Mercedes-Benz sounds absolutely stunning, adding a depth to music so it feels more like you're in the studio with the musicians, rather than listening to a recording. The improvement is subtle but clear if you know what to listen for.

It will certainly get audiophiles drooling, but realistically you need an ear for quality to appreciate the improvement of Spatial Audio. Especially considering that the car's Burmester 3D surround system already sounds fantastic even when playing standard music.


Which Streaming Service Will Get ‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,’ Apple, Disney, Netflix, Or Amazon?, by Michael Grothaus, Fast Company

No deal between Swift and any streaming platform has been announced yet, but there are four likely candidates: Netflix, Disney, Apple, and Amazon. Here’s how each scenario could play out, given that Swift has a history with all four.

Goldman Sachs Wants Out Of Consumer Lending. Employees Say It Can’t Happen Fast Enough., by AnnaMaria Andriotis, Wall Street Journal

Inside the bank, partners complain that the consumer-lending business has been more trouble than it was worth. and they blame Solomon for Goldman's expansion in the space. The unit that includes credit cards and GreenSky has lost billions of dollars. Regulators are circling the card business. Many top executives in the consumer-lending businesses have left or moved to other units.

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Oh, gosh. Imagine that. Apple can wirelessly update an iPhone's operating system while it is still in its packaging, sitting on a shelf somewhere in a store or in a warehouse.

What's next?

How about after a customer purchase an iPhone, Apple can start to wirelessly do data migration via iCloud while the new iPhone is still sitting in the warehouse? Syncing the remaining data when the phone is turned on by the customer should be way faster than what it is doing now.

The future!


Thanks for reading.

The You-and-Your-Surrounding Edition Sunday, October 15, 2023

Stay Calm. Stay Focused. Stay Energised. The App That Tickles Your Brain., by Richard Sibley, TechRadar

Endel takes inputs from you and your surroundings, adapts the music or soundscape, and personalizes it. It can take the time of day and the amount of light to adapt to your circadian rhythm. It reacts to the weather. It can change the pace of the music to your heart rate by comparing your actual heartbeat to your resting heartbeat, using health data from your smartwatch or health device. It can adapt the intensity of the music based on the number of steps you are taking a minute.

The Internet Once Belonged To Freaks And Geeks, In The Best Way Possible. What Happened?, by Patrick Marlborough, Slate

The great irony in all this, of course, is: What is the value of the internet when all the fringe-dwellers have been pushed off it? What’s the forest without Bigfoot, anyway, when those tearing it down can’t see it for the trees?

Teaching Apple Cyberdog 1.0 New Tricks (Featuring OpenDoc), by Cameron Kaiser, Old Vintage Computing Research

At its core, Cyberdog was really just an overgrown demonstration of OpenDoc. We're going to necessarily explore OpenDoc's underpinnings in this article, but OpenDoc's basic idea grew from what was initially just a standardized compound document format to defining an entire object-oriented approach, where reusable viewer and editor components could be pulled as instances into such a document and maintain their own views and state. The document, not the app you were running, thus determined its own functionality. Under John Sculley this concept became "Project Amber" in 1993 as a stepping stone to fully realizing Apple's flavour of Taligent, the bundle of next-generation technologies to run on top of their intended successor to System 7, Pink. Eventually Taligent was to use it as its primary compound document format.

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I have one podcast playlist that I have created just for listening in the middle of the night, when I wake up and cannot get back to sleep, and just to occupy my brain enough to not to be thinking of new ways to get myself worried, but not to so occupied that my brain figured that it is now interested in hearing what the two guys in the podcast have to say to each other.

The delicate balance has been broken this past week, and I now shortlisting new podcasts.


Thanks for reading.

The Folder-Full-of-Files Edition Saturday, October 14, 2023

The Cult Of Obsidian: Why People Are Obsessed With The Note-taking App, by Jared Newman, Fast Company

Obsidian’s grassroots success is all the more remarkable given that the app isn’t especially inviting to nontechnical users. While apps like Notion put all your notes in the cloud so you can instantly access them from anywhere, Obsidian gives users a folder full of files and puts them in charge of managing it. Using Obsidian also requires some familiarity with Markdown—a text-editing language with its own unique syntax—and leans on third-party plug-ins for features that are table stakes in other note-taking tools.

But that nerdiness is also part of its allure: Once Obsidian endears itself, it’s hard to imagine using much else.


New Apple Maps Experience Comes To Denmark And Greece, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

The new Apple Maps experience – which include more detail, better navigation, and Look Around – has today launched in two new countries, Denmark and Greece. This brings the total number of countries covered to 35.

Your Old Phone Is Safe For Longer Than You Think, by Shira Ovide, Washington Post

In general, it is quite safe to keep using your phone as long as it’s receiving regular software security updates from the manufacturer.

For example, Apple is still updating the security of software for iPhones that are up to eight years old.


Mirage At Apple Park, by Arun Venkatesan

This summer, Mirage, an art installation occupying the olive grove north of the visitor center, was unveiled. I decided to visit as a midday break. From the visitor center, the piece appears as a curved wall made of tinted glass. As we approach closer, it becomes clear that the wall is actually four hundred glass cylinders sprouting from the ground with no visible support structure.

The History Of Cover Flow, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

Over the last decade or so, Apple has been hard at work in simplifying the user interfaces that power its myriad platforms. I’ve welcomed most of that work, but it’s hard to deny that we’ve all lost some things along the way.

Today, we look at a UI element that started life in iTunes, but spread to the iPod, iPhone and Mac over time: Cover Flow.

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Cover Flow never did click for me, either. I've grew up with cassettes and CDs, and never really appreciated album art. That may be my bias.


Thanks for reading.

The Software-Fails Edition Friday, October 13, 2023

Cloudy With A Chance Of Insanity: Unsticking iCloud Drive, by Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS

While I had suffered from iCloud Drive synchronization problems in the past, I’d never had such a sustained and resistant issue as over the last five months. That’s right—five months. Worst of all? The problem is now solved, but I don’t know what caused it nor how to avoid it in the future. Apple’s engineering elves fixed it without sending information back through the super senior Apple technical support person I dealt with across many emails, calls, and hours of troubleshooting.


Experiences like mine and Dan’s may be rare, but they exemplify what happens when Apple’s “it just works” approach to software fails, leaving users with no ready path forward. I hope this detailed accounting will help others who encounter similar problems.

iPhone Recommendations For Senior Citizens, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

It’s important to note that older users may require more accommodation than younger users. They usually know what they want, but they’re more likely to have physical limitations (like low vision or arthritis in the hands), their level of technical experience can vary more widely, and they need good reasons to learn new things. What works for one person may be inappropriate for another. If you’re helping someone pick out or set up an iPhone, listen carefully to what they say they want and combine that with what you know about their strengths and weaknesses.


Apple AirTags Stalking Led To Ruin And Murders, Lawsuit Says, by Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica

This month, more than three dozen victims allegedly terrorized by stalkers using Apple AirTags have joined a class-action lawsuit filed in a California court last December against Apple. They alleged in an amended complaint that, partly due to Apple's negligence, AirTags have become "one of the most dangerous and frightening technologies employed by stalkers" because they can be easily, cheaply, and covertly used to determine "real-time location information to track victims."


Victims suing alleged that Apple knew that AirTags could be used by stalkers but advertised them as "stalker-proof" anyway. Then, when its "stalker-proof" protections were "exposed as totally inadequate," Apple had to scramble for the past two and a half years to "address its failures in protecting people from unwanted, dangerous tracking," their complaint said.

Caltech Ends High-stakes US Patent Fight With Apple And Broadcom, by Blake Brittain, Reuters

Caltech said in the Wednesday filing that it would dismiss the billion-dollar case with prejudice, which means that it cannot be refiled.

Both sides told the court in August that they had reached a “potential settlement” without disclosing additional details. Representatives for Caltech, Apple and Broadcom did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

Flappy Dird: Flappy Bird Implemented In MacOS Finder, by

I like putting games in weird places [...]

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When I purchased my current iPhone mini 12, back in the day, my iCloud stopped working after I've migrated all my apps over. Apple Support on the phone was professional, but I don't recall they've ever told me what went wrong, even after the matter was fixed.

I always assumed one of the apps were syncing too much data that it crashed the server.


Thanks for reading.

The Circadian-Clock Edition Thursday, October 12, 2023

Your Apple Watch Tracks Your Time In Daylight. Here’s Why., by Teddy Amenabar, Washington Post

Stepping outside in the morning, within the first few hours after waking up, is the most important signal you can send to your body’s circadian clock, said Samer Hattar, chief and senior investigator for the section on light and circadian rhythms at the National Institute of Mental Health.

“That’s the time when the light is going to have the biggest impact,” he said. “Your system is going to be more entrained and more aligned to the solar day.”

Apple Finally Made The Perfect Watch Face, by Jason Cross, Macworld

On a screen that small, with an interaction window measured in single-digit seconds, I just don’t want to engage my brain in the way necessary to decode a slew of small data points, glyphs, and graphics. I’ll take out my phone for that.

And that’s where the Snoopy watch face comes in. It injects the watch face with personality, but more importantly, it uses that personality to provide contextual clues that go right to the emotional center of my brain, without charts or graphs. This is what I want out of my Apple Watch! I want to smile every time I raise my wrist, but I also want to intuitively know–without reading data–something useful based on my own personal situation. Oh, it’s hot out! It’s getting late! It’s raining out! It’s dinner time!

Photographer Reuben Wu Shows The Power Of The iPhone 15 Pro Max With Stunning Photos In The Desert, by Jessica Stewart, My Modern Met

Thanks to the device's small size, Wu was able to explore areas that would have otherwise been impossible. The results are intimate images taken in the Utah desert that bring Wu into the environment in a manner that's usually not possible.

“The best part of the experience was how physically nimble I was able to be on location with the iPhone in my shirt pocket. This, combined with a lightweight tripod and small lumber pack, enabled me to move through extremely narrow and flooded slot canyons to reach my intended locations and capture images that I’d be proud of regardless of camera type.”

iOS 17 And macOS Sonoma Automatically Generate Apple ID Passkeys, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Now that iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma are available, you can forgo entering your password on and domains thanks to newly added passkey support. 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.


Some iPhone Models Mysteriously Shutting Off At Night, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

You can tell if your ‌iPhone‌ turned off at night by opening up the Settings app, navigating to Battery, and checking the charging status over the past 24 hours. If there's a gap, the ‌iPhone‌ was turned off for a period of time.

Apple Shares 1.5-Hour 'Study With Me' Guided Session, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Hosted by Storm Reid, Euphoria actress and University of Southern California student, the video uses the Pomodoro technique for three 25-minute study sessions with three five minute breaks.

Mophie Magnetic Vent Mount Review: Keep Your iPhone Safe And Sturdy While Driving, by Peter Müller, Macworld

Unlike many other mounts that attach to a car’s air vents, Mophie’s device can be easily removed and attached from the vent.


The Google Trial Shows That Apple’s Search Deal Is The Most Important Contract In Tech, by David Pierce, The Verge

US v. Google isn’t directly about Apple’s history or future with search. But it has revealed a fascinating alternate universe in the tech industry. Search, as Nadella put it in his testimony, is “the organizing layer of the web.” Today, that layer looks like Google. But it seems plausible that if Google and Apple didn’t have a mutually beneficial, fabulously lucrative search deal, the search market — by far the largest business in tech — might look very different. If Apple had invested in Siri or bought Bing, if DuckDuckGo was a more formidable competitor, if the hundreds of billions of search-ad dollars were spread around Silicon Valley rather than concentrated in Google’s coffers, we might use the internet in entirely different ways.

Australia Unveils Draft Law To Regulate Digital Payment Providers, by Renju Jose, Reuters

The proposed rules would enable the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to monitor digital wallet payments in the same way as credit card networks and other transactions. It would also give powers to the treasurer to order regulators to check if any payment platforms pose risks to the country.

The Cheap Streaming Era Is Over. Here's Why Your Bills Are Going Up, by Wendy Lee, Thomas Suh Lauder, Los Angeles Times

While tech giants like Apple and Amazon make the bulk of their revenue through products and services outside of entertainment, companies such as Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. Discovery are struggling with the transition to online streaming from traditional businesses, like linear pay television.

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I sure hope the iPhone-shutting-down-in-the-middle-of-the-night bug doesn't affect me. More precisely, I hope I can still continue to be woken up by the morning alarm, and not be late for work.

(If I am going away on a trip, and I need the alarm to wake me up at 3.30am in the morning so that I can catch my morning flight, I will be extra super-stressed right about now.)


Thanks for reading.

The Off-Body Edition Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Understanding iPhone 12 And SAR Testing In France, by Apple

iPhone has sensors that can detect when it is sitting on a static surface, like a table, as opposed to being held in the hand or placed in a pocket. This off-body detection mechanism, which has been used in all iPhones for over a decade, allows the device to increase transmit power slightly in off-body scenarios to optimize performance.

The specific test protocol used by ANFR requires that devices meet the on-body SAR limits, even when the device is tested off-body on a static surface. This decision is not consistent with international standards, which allow for independent testing of power control mechanisms that may not be activated during standard SAR tests.

Apple Store Online Coming To Chile, Wallpaper, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple is launching its online store in the country next week, and there’s an official custom wallpaper to celebrate.

When Will Apple Open Its First African Retail Store?, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

Will Apple go to Africa? Of course. It is already there.


Apple Wallet App Integrates Balances And Transaction History For Discover US Credit Cards, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

In the UK, the Wallet app supports the Connected Cards feature with many different banks. This is enabled through a UK standardized Open Banking API.

No such API exists in the US, so Apple has partnered specifically with Discover to enable this feature for Discover US credit cards. The company did not comment on whether other US banks will add support in the future.

Apple Releases Firmware Update For AirPods Pro 2 With Bug Fixes, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple’s release notes for this update are unexciting: “Bug fixes and other improvements.” The update comes after AirPods Pro 2 added a host of new features alongside iOS 17 last month, including Adaptive Audio, Conversation Awareness, and Personalized Volume. Today’s update likely focuses on fine-tuning those features and any associated bugs.

Bartender 5 Is The Essential Menu Bar Upgrade For macOS Sonoma, by Niléane, MacStories

Perhaps the fanciest new feature in Bartender 5 is the ability to entirely customize the way your menu bar looks. Bartender 5 now lets you change the color of the menu bar, add a border or drop shadow, or even change the way it fills the top part of your screen. It’s easy to customize on the fly, too: the style panel is accessible with just a right-click on the menu bar.


Triggers are a smart and powerful Bartender feature that allows you to only show a menu bar icon when specific conditions are met. Even better: it is now possible to use AppleScript to tell Bartender 5 which conditions need to be met to display a menu bar icon.


Apple Is Destroying The Mac By Trying To Make It Safer, by Jason Snell, Macworld

The bottom line is this: Apple’s admirable security regime on macOS has been implemented without enough care for the user experience, especially during upgrade or migration processes where new permissions need to be granted. It’s a usability disaster.

But as the iPhone has taught us, the experience of getting new software or migrating to a new device can be made a lot better–but only if Apple is willing to make an effort.

There’s No Mac Version Of Counter-Strike 2 Because There Are No Mac Players, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

But despite a handful of high-profile ports like No Man’s Sky or Resident Evil Village, Mac gaming is still stuck in the loop that it has always been stuck in: There aren’t a lot of high-profile games, so there aren’t many gamers who choose macOS, so there isn’t a lot of interest in developing high-profile games.

Streaming Giants Spotify And Apple Music Under Fire For Hosting Child's Transphobic Track, by Christopher Wiggins, The Advocate

Both platforms have yet to respond to inquiries from The Advocate regarding the availability of these songs, which starkly contrasts with both companies’ stated policies against hate speech.

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Dear Microsoft: please copy macOS' desktop widget for your next release of Windows. I'm finding I am enjoying them, and am wishing to get them for my work machine too.


Thanks for reading.

The Both-Signals Edition Tuesday, October 10, 2023

iOS 17’s Check In Feature Provides Peace Of Mind And Could Even Save Lives, by Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS

The best analogy to describe Check In is a security guard making their rounds in a building with a specialized alarm system. At specific time intervals, the guard must insert a key in a particular alarm box along their route—these days, that may be an RFID card tap or similar mechanism. [...] If the guard fails to hit that point in their rounds, an alarm goes off, the police are called, or other consequences ensue. It’s hard to identify when something doesn’t happen in our day-to-day life—what I like to call negative knowledge. We are used to alerts, alarms, phone calls, texts, and knocks on the door to tell us something has occurred, or positive knowledge. When something fails to happen, we often don’t know about it until it’s too late. Check In builds on a mix of both positive and negative signals.


I Love Music And This App Makes My Experience Complete, by Rowan Davies, TechRadar

It’s essentially a digital diary that keeps all of my recently-listened-to music in one place, allowing me to share my music opinions with star ratings. Whatever I listen to on streaming, be it a new artist or an album recommended by a friend, I enter it into Musicboard and it logs the date, star rating, and optional written review. Very simple.

However, music journaling is only on the surface of what Musicboard has to offer. Since joining the app my exposure to artists and genres has grown exponentially, and I’d argue that its database and search engine makes it better for music discovery than those of streaming services. If you struggle to search for new genres, one of my top ways of finding new music is through list making.

Use The Earbuds App To Share Songs Between Spotify And Apple Music, by Stephen Johnson, Lifehacker

Have you ever wanted to share a song or a playlist with a friend or a group online, only to find that they subscribe to Apple Music and you subscribe to Spotify? Earbuds, an iPhone and Android app, breaks down those walls so music nerds can share whatever they’d like.

Outsidify Uses Your Phone To Turn The Outside World Into An Effects Processor: "The World Is Your Resonator", by Matt Mullen, MusicRadar

Outsidify uses your phone's speaker and microphone to create feedback loops and capture resonances from the world around you. You can create feedback using the sounds in your environment or load audio clips into Outsidify to be played through the onboard sample player.


watchOS 10 Is Great – But It’s Ruined The Apple Watch Fitness App, by Alex Blake, iMore

There’s not one major change I can point to and say “this is what broke the Fitness app.” Instead, it’s more like a death by a thousand cuts, with lots of small tweaks that add up to a much less pleasant experience.

Woman Reveals Frightening Reason You Should Never Use Your Full Name For Your iPhone AirDrop — ‘This Could Save Your Freakin’ Life', by Nia Tipton, Your Tango

Kelly explained that if you own an iPhone, your first and last name could show up for any stranger who uses the AirDrop feature, which allows you to send photos and videos to other Apple product users.

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If you are in Singapore, do try the carrot cake. It's one of my favorite local food.

(Spoilers: There's no carrot in this carrot cake, and this is also no cake.)


Thanks for reading.

The Interactive-Bits Edition Monday, October 9, 2023

Apple Is Trying To Make Your Devices Less Distracting, by Daniel Howley, Yahoo

Small, interactive bits of apps that live on your iPhone’s home and lock screen, Apple Watch, and now Mac, widgets, Federighi explains, put the control over of devices back into users’ hands.

“Notifications, of course, can pull you out of the moment and take away, in some ways, your agency, because now it's happening to you,” Federighi told Yahoo Finance. “Not when you want to know the information, but when someone wants to push it on you. And so we saw a way to correct that.”

Why The iPhone 15 Overheating Saga Will Only Help Apple Sell More iPhones, by David Price, Macworld

Sure, there was a degree of self-protection in the public statements, including an atomic smackdown on one pundit claiming the phones would need to be slowed down in order to fix the problem. But on the whole, this was a case study of the way we want companies to handle situations like this. And there’s nothing hotter than that.

Apple’s Challenge For The Next Vision Pro: Making It Easier To Wear, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Work on the next Vision Pro remains early, but the company is hoping to make the device lighter and at least slightly smaller. It currently weighs about a pound, and testing has shown that it can feel too heavy for some users — even in short stretches. Apple is considering addressing this on the first model with an over-the-head strap, but making the hardware lighter is a better long-term solution.


A year ago, Apple all but stopped formal work on standalone AR glasses because the technology was too elusive. It was a particular setback for Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, who saw AR spectacles as a key objective.


iPhone 15 Uses New Qualcomm Modem For Upgraded 5G Performance, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In general, the iPhone 15’s X70 modem should also lower power consumption, improve 5G carrier aggregation, and improve performance when your iPhone is far away from a cell tower.

Honda And Acura Bring Smart Garage Door Features To CarPlay, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Honda and Acura are expanding their focus on CarPlay by bringing support for smart garage door openers to their respective CarPlay apps.


The Bots Have Come For Podcasts, by Max Tani, Semafor

The prize in the new game of manipulating podcast data is reaching the top of Apple’s podcast charts, which receive free promotion to iPhone users. Paying to boost a show to stay on the charts for a few weeks or a month could increase awareness or help a show maintain relevance even without new episodes.

Fake It ’Til You Fake It, by Nick Heer, Pixel Envy

The questions that are being asked of the Pixel 8’s image manipulation capabilities are good and necessary because there are real ethical implications. But I think they need to be more fully contextualized. There is a long trail of exactly the same concerns and, to avoid repeating ourselves yet again, we should be asking these questions with that history in mind. This era feels different. I think we should be asking more precisely why that is.

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I am a tad disappointed to hear that Apple has stopped work on AR glasses -- if this rumor from Mark Gurman is true. Given that Google did sell its AR glasses just a few years ago, I am surprised to hear that Apple deemed the technologies to be immature for an actual product. High bars from Apple, indeed.


Thanks for reading.

The Digital-Overlay Edition Sunday, October 8, 2023

Radiant Photo Mobile Gives You A Powerful Editor In Your Pocket, by Mel Martin, FStoppers

The app stands out from mass of mobile photo editors, not just in its ability to transform photos but also in its user-friendly approach.

The 15 Best Hidden Spotify Tricks To Celebrate The Music App's 15th Birthday, by Mark Wilson, TechRadar

Spotify has been introducing new features at a rate of knots lately – most notably a free audiobooks perk for Premium subscribers – so it can easy to miss the handy tools buried in its increasingly bloated app.

An App Shows How Ancient Greek Sites Looked Thousands Of Years Ago. It's A Glimpse Of Future Tech, by Derek Gatopoulos and Theodora Tongas, AP

Visitors can now pinch and zoom their way around the ancient Greek site, with a digital overlay showing how it once looked. That includes a collection of marble sculptures removed from the Parthenon more than 200 years ago that are now on display at the British Museum in London. Greece has demanded they be returned.

For now, an app supported by Greece’s Culture Ministry allows visitors to point their phones at the Parthenon temple, and the sculptures housed in London appear back on the monument as archaeologists believe they looked 2,500 years ago.


How Chinese Keyboard Apps Could Potentially Put The Online Security Of Hundreds Of Millions In China At Risk, by Zeyi Yang, South China Morning Post

A smart, localised keyboard app can save a lot of time and frustration by predicting the characters and words a user wants to type. Today, more than 800 million Chinese people use third-party keyboard apps on their PCs, laptops and mobile phones.

But a recent report by the Citizen Lab, a University of Toronto-affiliated research group focused on tech­nology and security, revealed that Sogou, one of the most popular Chinese keyboard apps, had a massive security loophole.

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Launching screensavers as well as getting back to work from a running screensaver on the new macOS are painfully slow on my Intel-based Mac mini.

Looks like I need to start saving for a new Mac mini. I wonder how long a duration I have.


Thanks for reading.

The Accounting-Strategy Edition Saturday, October 7, 2023

How Apple Made Its First 'Carbon Neutral' Product, by Catherine Clifford, CNBC

In order to call its watches "carbon neutral" without being able to eliminate all of the emissions associated with making the watches, Apple bought carbon credits to compensate for the remaining 8.1 kg of emissions, or about 22% of the total footprint of making a watch.


Barbara Haya, director of the Berkeley Carbon Trading Project at the Goldman School of Public Policy at University of California at Berkeley, said Apple deserves to be celebrated for the significant emissions reductions it achieved in changing its operations, but Haya also said she wishes Apple had avoided the term "carbon neutral" in its communications about its work.

She argues consumers would be better served by Apple publicly bragging about its 78% emissions reductions instead of trying to tell consumers that their product is actually "carbon neutral." Even if the carbon credits Apple buys are of the highest quality, carbon credits are, by their very nature, an accounting strategy. There are 22% of emissions that Apple could not abate, and Haya commends Apple on that transparency.


Apple Shares 'Shot On iPhone 15 Pro' Ad Featuring Olivia Rodrigo, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple today shared a new "Shot on iPhone 15 Pro" ad starring singer Olivia Rodrigo on its YouTube channel in Canada. The video provides a brief behind-the-scenes look at a music video that Rodrigo and her team shot entirely on the iPhone 15 Pro.

Mophie's New 15W 3-in-1 MagSafe Charger Stands Out With Telescoping Design, by Rikka Altland, 9to5Toys

The refreshed 3-in-1 design takes a far more vertical approach with a telescoping mount that that can extend out of the base.


Cork Girls Win Global Technovation Competition For Their Wellness App, by Vish Gain, Silicon Republic

So how does a team of young 14-year-olds who have never coded before end up creating an award-winning app built using an iPad? The answer lies in a little bit of help from mentors and, of course, the internet.


Apple’s Stealth Power Is Changing How You Buy Books, Too, by Shira Ovide, Washington Post

Spotify says that it’s trying to give you a new alternative to Audible — but that some of its audiobook features and marketing are quashed by Apple’s restrictions.

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And now, my semi-regular reminder that the store over at Apple Books here is only 'selling' public domain titles.


Thanks for reading.

The Something-More-Useful Edition Friday, October 6, 2023

Review: iPhone 15 Pro & Pro Max, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Let’s get this out of the way first: If you’re one of those people who could always remember which position of the ring/silent switch meant silent and which meant ring and could feel that in your pocket, this is a regression. You will now have to pull out your phone to look at the status or use the Action Button as a ring/silent button and feel for the proper haptic to indicate the status. I understand why that would stink.

As for literally everyone else—the people who couldn’t remember which position meant which, the people (I’m one) who always left their phone in silent mode, and the monsters who never silenced their phones… that switch was a waste of space. And now the Action Button lets us choose to use that space for something more useful.


Mimestream Is A Great, Reliable Gmail App For The Mac, by Matt Birchler, The Sweet Setup

The best part of Mimestream for me is its pure speed. No email app I’ve ever used has received new emails quicker, synced so quickly, or just let me move around the app nearly as fast as Mimestream. Seriously, it never feels like the app is even breaking a sweat, and like most good productivity software, it keeps up with me no matter how fast I’m working.

Three Ways To Use BetterTouchTool To Enhance Window Management With A Trackpad, by Niléane, MacStories

I mainly use a Magic Trackpad at my desk. It’s a great way to navigate a Mac: smooth scrolling, great haptic feedback, and gestures for multitasking with Mission Control. However, Apple has not gone far enough to make the trackpad as useful and easy to use as it could be when it comes to managing windows. So, to fix three tiny window management annoyances, I use BetterTouchTool.

Thoughts Debuts An App Designed To Inspire You, Not Distract You, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Instead of scrolling mindlessly through a social feed of updates, a new app called Thoughts offers a way to scroll through and collect inspirational content. Created by indie developer Henri Bredt, Thoughts is described as a “focused inspiration manager” that’s designed to help you remember things that inspired you, whether that’s hand-picked quotes, famous sayings from great thinkers, or even your own ideas you want to recall.


Apple Launches SF Symbols 5 With 700+ New Icons For Developers To Use In Apps, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Some of the new symbols in the update include game controller buttons, weather conditions, additional currencies, and automotive indicators.


S.Korea Considers $50.5 Mln Fine Against Google, Apple Over App Market Practices, by Joyce Lee, Reuters

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said in a statement that the two tech giants forced app developers into specific payment methods and caused unfair delay in app review.

The KCC is notifying the companies for corrective action, and will deliberate on the fines, the statement said.

French App Developers Abandon US Apple Antitrust Lawsuit, by Mike Scarcella, Reuters

Apple's attorneys argued that the plaintiffs cannot bring U.S. antitrust claims over "transactions between French developers and foreign consumers, made on foreign App Store storefronts, in foreign currency, and through a foreign (non-party) Apple entity."

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I've started using the battery widget on my macOS desktop, so now I can constantly see the battery level of my keyboard and mouse. Hopefully, I will never be surprised and have to stop work and start charging stuff.

Of course, now that I am staring at this widget whenever I am at my Mac, I have to ask: why limit the number of devices to just four? Everyone into the Apple ecosystem, I am sure, has more than four devices that need charging regularly.


Thanks for reading.

The Biggest-Upgrades Edition Thursday, October 5, 2023

iPhone 15 Pro Max Camera Review: Depth And Reach, by Sebastiaan de With, Lux

For the everyday user, iPhone 15 and 15 Pro offer one of the biggest camera upgrades in the history of the iPhone. Tech people tend to miss this because a new iPhone is about all the details that tie hardware and software improvements together. Most iPhone users took 12 megapixel photos, had a small-ish zoom range, and switch to a separate mode for portrait Photos. With iPhone 15 Pro Max's default 24 megapixel resolution, added 'lenses' under the main camera lens, automatic depth capture for portraits, and that 5× lens, this release is massive for casual photographers.

Was The iPhone Actually Better Off With Lightning?, by Dan Moren, Macworld

The USB-C cable situation is…a little more complex. [...]

The long and short of it is that you can’t necessarily guarantee that the cable you buy will do exactly what you want it to do when you connect it to your iPhone–you have to make sure to read the fine print, and even then, as with so many tech accessories bought online, there’s a good chance that it’s been misrepresented. Which can lead to some unexpected problems along the way.

Bitten By The Black Box Of iCloud, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

The thing is, like a lot of Apple tech, it’s a black box. Data goes in, data goes out. What happens in the middle…well, shrug. You just put your faith in the fact that what’s working will keep working.

But as anybody who’s ever tried to troubleshoot iCloud problems can tell you, when it goes wrong, trying to fix it is an exercise in frustration—as I learned recently, in a particularly spectacular fashion.


iOS 17.0.3 Addresses iPhone 15 Overheating Issue And Security Vulnerabilities, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

iOS 17.0.3 and its companion iPadOS 17.0.3 also fix a pair of security vulnerabilities, one of which has been exploited in the wild.

Apple TV Plus Will Stream Free Charlie Brown Classics For The Holidays Again, by Wes Davis, The Verge

Apple nabbed exclusive rights to stream the Peanuts holiday specials on Apple TV Plus back in 2020, and has made a habit of making the stream freely available to non-subscribers for short periods around Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas ever since. The company announced yesterday that it’s doing it again this year, along with subscriber only originals like The Velveteen Rabbit, Frog and Toad, and a new Shape Island special.

Replace The Mini Music Player That Apple Took Away, by Rob Griffiths, The Robservatory

If you miss iTunes' old mini player window and like retro UI, get Mario's replacement—it's perfect in every way.


Houston Educators Nurture The Next Generation Of Hispanic Leaders With Apple, by Apple

TechConnect was created in 2016 by Houston City Council Member Karla Cisneros to introduce advanced technology skills like coding to kids that wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity. In 2022, it became one of the hundreds of programs supported by Apple’s Community Education Initiative (CEI), which was designed to bring coding, creativity, and career opportunities to learners of all ages, and to communities that are traditionally underrepresented in technology.

Since its inception in 2019, CEI has reached tens of hundreds of students in 99 countries and regions, and in all 50 United States, through its collaboration with more than 150 educational partners. Apple provides hardware, financial support, scholarships, educator resources, and access to Apple experts who work side by side with organizations to enhance learning experiences through technology.

Apple Considered Buying Microsoft’s Bing To Battle Google, by Dva Dou, Washington Post

Unsealed testimony reveals that Apple considered mounting a challenge against Google in search by acquiring Microsoft’s search engine Bing, in a rare glimpse of the behind-the-scenes maneuvering in an industry dominated by Google.

A Washington, D.C. court unsealed the testimony of an Apple senior vice president, John Giannandrea, on Wednesday after public criticism that too much of a landmark antitrust trial against Google was taking place behind closed doors. Apple lawyers had argued against the necessity of Giannandrea taking the stand, and had pushed for much of the details about Apple’s business with Google to be sealed on grounds of trade secrets.

An Orange County Entrepreneur's $60-million Legal Battle To Stop Apple From Steamrolling Startups, by Brian Merchant, Los Angeles Times

Kiani and the Apple executives had long, involved, and, what felt to him, productive meetings. It even seemed that Apple was interested in acquiring Masimo. “They asked us, ‘Where do we see the market going?,’ ‘How does the tech work?,’ to share with them the regulatory pathways. All the leadership was there, saying, ‘whatever you need, we’re going to work this out.’”

Now, 10 years later, Kiani is locked in an acrimonious legal battle with the world’s biggest tech company, alleging Apple infringed on his patents and stole trade secrets. If Kiani wins, it could stop Apple Watches, which are manufactured in China, from being imported into the U.S.

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I was reminded today that Apple Music now do corss-fades on my iPhone. I've just turned on this option, and haven't really yet listened to any music yet.

The follow-up question: how much of a crime is it to turn on cross-fade when listening to a classical music playlist?


Thanks for reading.

The Supply-Chain-Emissions Edition Wednesday, October 4, 2023

New Report Casts Doubt On Apple’s First “Carbon Neutral” Products, by Justine Calma, The Verge

Apple has backtracked when it comes to transparency about its supply chain emissions, the new report says. That makes it difficult to see how Apple is able to market its products as carbon neutral, meaning the company didn’t produce more carbon dioxide emissions than it could capture or offset while making the device.

“We believe there is a need for full disclosure and explanation of how Apple achieves carbon neutrality of its products, given the increase in carbon emissions from some of its suppliers,” the report says. The report was published by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), a nonprofit environmental research organization based in Beijing that was founded by former investigative journalist Ma Jun.

Spotify Gave Subscribers Music And Podcasts. Next: Audiobooks., by Tripp Mickle, New York Times

On Tuesday, Spotify said that it would begin offering 15 hours of audiobooks each month as part of its streaming service for premium subscribers in Britain and Australia. This winter, it will expand the offering to subscribers in the United States.

Spotify’s expansion into books has the potential to shake up the retail landscape for audiobooks, a fast-growing segment of publishing that has long been dominated by the Amazon-owned audio retailer Audible.

New Macs Coming Soon?

Mac Trade-In Changes May Indicate New Model To Launch This Month, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Details pertaining to imminent changes to Mac trade-ins provided to MacRumors by a verified source suggest that Apple will likely begin accepting new models for trade-in this month. Similar changes in June coincided with WWDC, when Apple began accepting trade-ins of the Mac Studio, 13-inch M2 MacBook Air, and 13-inch ‌M2‌ MacBook Pro for credit towards new Apple product purchases. Apple simultaneously launched the 15-inch ‌MacBook Air‌, second-generation ‌Mac Studio‌, and Apple silicon Mac Pro.

Did Apple Just Leak The Dynamic Island For The Mac?, by Michael Simon, Macworld

We don’t know yet if we’re getting the new Macs this month, but if they do arrive, there may be a surprise that’s bigger than the M3 chip. According to a new icon spotted in the latest iPadOS 17.1 beta, the Mac might be getting the Dynamic Island in place of its notch.


Want To Fight Climate Change And Food Waste? One App Can Do Both, by Caleigh Wells, KPBS

More than a third of food grown in the U.S. goes uneaten, and that percentage has increased in the past five years. Much of that food ends up in landfills, where it decomposes, creating a potent gas that contributes to global warming.

A company based in Denmark has spent the past eight years working to bring that percentage down by helping restaurants sell food cheaply.

Delete Your Digital History From Dozens Of Companies With This App, by Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post

Permission Slip acts behind the scenes as a legally “authorized agent” — kind of like your own privacy butler. You tell the app your name, email address(es) and phone number, and it does most of the work, sending emails and filling out paperwork on your behalf after it has verified your information. Even if your state isn’t one of the ones with a privacy law, most national companies respect these sorts of data privacy requests from all Americans.

TV Remote: Control Your TV From Your Lock Screen, Home Screen, And Live Activities, by John Voorhees, MacStories

TV Remote is an iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch app for controlling your TV. It doesn’t work with every TV out there, but it works with a lot, including smart TVs from makers like LG, Samsung, Sony, Roku, and TCL.


The Gorgeous Gadgets Of Automatoys, by Apple

Automatoys is a single-touch puzzler in which players roll their marble from point A to point B by navigating a maze of ramps, elevators, catapults, switches, and more. True to its roots, the game is incredibly tactile; every switch and button feels lifelike, and players even insert a virtual coin to launch each level. And it unfolds to a relaxing and jazzy lo-fi soundtrack. “My brief to the sound designer was, ‘Please make this game less annoying,’” Glynn laughs.

“Small But Mighty”: How Plex Serves Its Global Community, by Apple

The team behind Plex has a brilliant strategy for dealing with bugs and addressing potential issues: Find them first.

“We’ve got a pretty good process in place,” says Steve Barnegren, Plex senior software engineer on Apple platforms, “and when that’s the case, things don’t go wrong.”


Shift Happens Is A Beautifully Designed History Of How Keyboards Got This Way, by Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica

It's the 150th anniversary of the QWERTY keyboard, and Marcin Wichary has put together the kind of history and celebration this totemic object deserves. Shift Happens is a two-volume, 1,200-plus-page work with more than 1,300 photos, researched over seven years and cast lovingly into type and photo spreads that befit the subject.

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Bugs encountered today:

1) The wallpaper on my iPhone home screen disappeared, and it is now a black void. (The wallpaper on the lock screen was not affected.)

2) The iPad wallpaper on the home screen was stuck on landscape mode even whereas all the icons and the dock were in portrait mode.

3) Just turning on my iPad paused the podcast that I was playing on my iPhone via AirPods.

Yeah, these are not critical bugs. I can live with them… Okay, maybe not that last one.


Thanks for reading.

The Harnessing-Other-Platforms Edition Tuesday, October 3, 2023

tvOS 17: The MacStories Review, by Sigmund Judge, MacStories

However, what started as a surprise with the announcement of FaceTime and Continuity Camera has since morphed into palpable belief in a brighter future for Apple TV and tvOS. Yes, Apple TV will continue to be a great destination for entertainment, but this year’s tvOS release offers a first glimpse of the platform harnessing the company’s other OSes and services too.

iOS 17.1 Finally Lets You Pick The Album To Use For The Photo Shuffle Lock Screen, by Benjamin Mayo , 9to5Mac

As of iOS 17.1, there’s a new option when you create a Photo Shuffle lock screen: the ability to choose a specific album. This gives you the control to choose what images you want to see on your lock screen, by curating a specific album or simply using the Favorites album.

Original Apple Watch Is Now Obsolete, Including $17,000 Gold Model, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

All first-generation Apple Watch models released in 2015 were added to Apple's obsolete products list on September 30, according to an internal memo obtained by MacRumors. As a result, these outdated "Series 0" watches are no longer eligible for repairs or other service at Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Provider locations.


Satya Nadella Tells A Court That Bing Is Worse Than Google — And Apple Could Fix It, by David Pierce, The Verge

The power of defaults is one of the central questions of the entire US v. Google case and will continue to come up. [...] Nadella is in the rare position to have seen both sides — what it’s like to be the default and what it’s like to contend when you’re not — and argued resolutely that defaults are the only thing that truly matters. Google, on the other hand, says that building the best product is the only thing that truly matters and that Bing has never come close to doing that. Which side of that debate Judge Mehta agrees with may be the story of this entire trial.

Apple Enforces New Check On Apps In China As Beijing Tightens Oversight, by Josh Ye, Reuters

Apple has started requiring new apps to show proof of a Chinese government licence before their release on its China App Store, joining local rivals years that had adopted the policy years earlier to meet tightening state regulations.


The decision by Apple comes after China further tightened its oversight over mobile apps in August by releasing a new rule requiring all app stores and app developers to submit an "app filing" containing business details with the regulators.

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I assume Apple is working on getting lock screen widgets on next year's macOS, right? And these lock screen widgets can live on the lock screen as well as on the menu bar, right?

Seems obvious to me.


Thanks for reading.

The Resist-the-Urge Edition Monday, October 2, 2023

The People Going 'Monk Mode' To Limit Social Media Use, by Anne Cassidy, BBC

With the proliferation of social media platforms and devices vying for our attention, a growing number of people are looking for ways to help them resist the urge to continually check notifications and scroll through social media feeds.

This has seen a surge in popularity this year of an approach to productivity called "monk mode". This involves dedicating yourself to a single task with no tech or other distractions.

Apple Has What It Needs To Launch Its Own Google Replacement, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

John Giannandrea, a former Google executive who now oversees machine learning and AI at Apple, has a giant search team under him. Over the past few years, his group developed a next-generation search engine for Apple’s apps codenamed “Pegasus.” That technology, which more accurately surfaces results, is already available in some Apple apps, but will soon be coming to more, including the App Store itself.


To be clear, the technology at the heart of Spotlight and app searches is limited compared with what Google can do. But it does provide the underpinnings if Apple ever wanted to release a full search engine.


Microsoft Lists Is Now Available For Everyone On iOS, Android, And The Web, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Microsoft Lists allows you to create, manage, and share lists across devices, complete with ready-made templates for tasks like expense tracking, recipe making, gift ideas, and much more. You can easily share lists with colleagues, friends, and family so multiple people can contribute to a list.


Your Project Management Software Can't Save You, by Matt Alston, Wired

A huge part of your job today may be simply resolving and reconfiguring the natural entropy in your office, but poorly communicated deadlines will remain so whether they’re written on an index card, sent in an email, or appended to a “task” in Asana. If you put something on a digital kanban board without enough information, it is no more useful than it was before you created the task. Workforce software is offloading the job of managing projects to countless mini-projects, each only as useful as the skill and utility of the individual user. And we can’t expect each user to be both a maker and a self-manager, especially with the imperfect tools on the market. When we line up the Trellos, Asanas, Wrikes, Airtables, and endless clones of the same inherent project-management misses, their differences matter less than their end results—to paraphrase Anna Karenina’s line about families, each project-management app promises the same happiness, but each creates unhappy users in its own way.

The Story Of One iPhone Factory Powering Apple’s Pivot To India, by Billy Perrigo, Time

Set back from a dusty highway in South India, three newly completed factory buildings rise up behind a black spiked iron fence. In their shadow, several yellow construction vehicles sit beside mounds of upturned soil and the skeleton of a half-built warehouse. On a May afternoon this year, a group of women in blue and pink uniforms hurried from one building to another over the din of traffic and construction.

This factory complex in Sriperumbudur, an industrial town in Tamil Nadu state, is one of Apple’s most important iPhone assembly hubs outside of China. It is operated by Foxconn, a Taiwan-based electronics manufacturing company. Three times per day, the gates to this factory open to swallow buses ferrying thousands of workers—around three-quarters of them women. These workers spend eight hours per day, six days per week, on a humming assembly line, soldering components, turning screws, or operating machinery. The factory is one of the biggest iPhone plants in India, with some 17,000 employees who churn out 6 million iPhones every year. And it’s fast expanding.

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If Apple is close to launching a new general-purpose search engine that will challenge Google, I doubt the Cupertino company can keep that a secret. If Apple has even an ounce of ambition in creating this product, we will probably know the existence by now.

Hey, if Apple can't even keep the secret car project a secret, I doubt it can keep a search engine -- with all its spiders all over the webs -- under wraps.

(Unless -- let me wear my conspiracy hat -- it's all hidden behind iCloud's Private Relay?)


Thanks for reading.

The Showing-Off-Creations Edition Sunday, October 1, 2023

Tim Cook Interview: Apple Boss Reveals His ‘Aha Moment’, by David Phelan, independent

Among the app developers showing off their creations at Apple’s Battersea Power Station headquarters is Joseph Mambwe, whose fitness app Gym Streak aims to manage your workout for you. Mambwe says that, at the app’s core is a demonstration that “resilience is a superpower that is available to everyone, along with persistence and the will to keep going.” The app uses augmented reality (AR) to create videos where the animated figure demonstrating the exercises appears to be working out in your living room.

Also in attendance is Andy Weekes, the creator of Night Sky, which also uses AR to make stars, planets and even the International Space Station appear onscreen as you point your iPhone at the place they are in the sky. It can send reminders and messages so you can share what you see – and even what you can’t – with friends and family.

So Apple Released Some New Phones…

Apple Says A Software Update Is On The Way To Fix iPhone 15 Overheating Problems, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple also says that it’s identified a bug in iOS 17 that makes the overheating problem worse for iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro users. This problem will be “addressed in a software update,” the company says.

Furthermore, Apple tells 9to5Mac that recent updates to certain third-party apps are causing them to overload the system. The company says it’s working directly with those developers to fix the issues. According to Apple, some of the apps overloading the iPhone CPU and causing devices to overheat are Asphalt 9, Instagram, and Uber. Instagram issued a fix for the problem on September 27, Apple says.

When It Comes To The iPhone, Simple Is As Simple Does, by Jason Snell, Macworld

One of the biggest imprints Steve Jobs and Jony Ive left on Apple’s design process is a certain kind of product idealism. At its best, Apple is striving to take ridiculously complex products, fusions of cutting-edge computer hardware design and eye-wateringly enormous software code bases, and make them simple.

It’s a philosophy that has led Apple to build wildly successful products that its customers love. And there’s one new iPhone 15 feature that perfectly illustrates why Apple’s idealism can take it to very interesting places.

The iPhone 15 Pro Case Market Is A Minefield Right Now, by Dan Seifert, The Verge

The root of the problem is that the typical third-party case maker doesn’t actually know what the new iPhone will look like (or even be called) until it’s announced onstage during Apple’s event. In order to catch the lucrative wave of customers who buy the new phones on release day and want a case, the case maker has to rely on rumors and reporting to determine the dimensions and features of the new phone and then manufacture its cases before the iPhone is even announced. Most years, when Apple makes minor changes to the iPhone’s dimensions, that works out in their favor. But when a big hardware change comes along, it makes things much more difficult to predict.

'Resident Evil' On iOS Has The Potential To Drastically Change How We Game, by Willa Rowe, Inverse

In the age of the Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch, gaming on the go is more popular than ever. But the one thing these modern handhelds lack is true appeal to the masses, it isn’t fun to lug around a Steam Deck on the subway to play 45 minutes of Elden Ring. The Switch may be one of the bestselling consoles of all time, but it still isn’t as ubiquitous as having an iPhone in your pocket.

And while gaming on a smartphone can let you run your dailies in Honkai: Star Rail, many people are likely sticking to Candy Crush. But after spending 30 minutes with Resident Evil Village on an iPad Pro, Apple’s ambitious vision for gaming on the go has the potential to finally bridge the gap between hardcore and mobile gaming.


Photo Scout App Will Tell You The Perfect Time For A Photo, by Lisa Marie Segarra, PetaPixel

A new app by Cascable aims to remove the furious weather app checking before snapping the perfect shot. Called Photo Scout, it will instead notify users when the conditions are just right.

Have Fun On Your iPhone, iPad, And Mac Home Screen With Classic Widget Games, by Brent Dirks, AppAdvice

Instead of simply viewing information from an app, you can interact with the widget so you can, for example, turn off a smart light, without needing to open up the app. A number of great apps are already taking advantage of the functionality.

But you can even use interactive widgets to have fun. Cromulent Labs, the developer behind the popular Launcher app, has just released a suite of six Classic Widget Games.


What’s A Subscriber? The Writers Deal Makes That Question Even More Important, by Alex Weprin, Hollywood Reporter

With the WGA agreement seeing bonuses kick in at that 20 percent threshold, the bundles lead to conflicting incentives: A platform like Amazon or Apple may benefit from a higher number, which makes hitting the bonus threshold tougher. The guild benefits from a lower number, making it easier for its members to get their streaming success bonuses.


Is everyone who subscribes to Apple One an Apple TV+ subscriber? Or should they only count those that have actually used the service? Or that actively use the service?

‘Tech Platforms Haven’t Been Designed To Think About Death’: Meet The Expert On What Happens Online When We Die, by Zoë Corbyn, The Guardian

"Not many people think about their digital legacy, but our digital belongings are accumulating. There are both pragmatic and sentimental reasons why your loved ones, after your death, might care about them. And preservation matters for historical, collective memory too. The problem is, there is no clear mechanism for passing digital belongings from one generation to the next. Our digital possessions are getting lost in the ether – not only because our loved ones might not even be aware of what accounts we have, but because tech platforms haven’t been designed to anticipate or think about death."

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Well, nice to find you here too.


So, in the last two months, quite a bit of things in my personal life has changed. I know the changes are coming, but all the emotions nevertheless still overwhelmed my little brain. Wherefore, I took a break from life.

Now, I am feeling more happy and less ad. More proud and less anxious. And I am putting back a lot of the stuff I've deleted from my life previously. Well, some RSS and podcast subscriptions will stay unsubscribed, some songs remained removed from my playlists, and I stopped caring about my Pedometer++'s streak. Maybe someday they'll return. Or, well, never is also an option.

Updating this little website has always been a constant part of my life, and I find comfort in that. But, just like previously, occasionally I will still take breaks. So, don't be alarmed; I'm probably still alive. :-)


Thanks for reading.