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.

Bottom of the Page

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.