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.