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.

Bottom of the Page

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.