Archive for November 2023

The Solely-on-the-Cloud Edition Thursday, November 30, 2023

Apple Unveils App Store Award Winners, The Best Apps And Games Of 2023, by Apple

“It’s inspiring to see the ways developers continue to build incredible apps and games that are redefining the world around us,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “This year’s winners represent the limitless potential of developers to bring their visions to life, creating apps and games with remarkable ingenuity, exceptional quality, and purpose-driven missions.”

This year’s winners showcase the scope of creativity, technical innovation, and design possible across the App Store and Apple’s ecosystem.

In A Sign Of The Times, Podcast App Castro May Be Dying, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Castro owner Tiny and the Castro team aren’t addressing Mamoria’s comments or responding to my emails. When I asked around, a couple of knowledgeable people told me that they’d heard Castro had been put on life support a few months ago and was unlikely to get any technical attention going forward. I can’t independently verify those secondhand comments, but they don’t contradict Mamoria’s statement.

A Reminder That Trusting Everything To Cloud Storage Can Screw You Over, by Jake Peterson, LifeHacker

On one hand, that's a good thing: If something happens to your phone, tablet, or laptop, that doesn't mean you lose all your messages, photos, and documents—assuming all that info is properly backed up to the cloud. When you get your device fixed or replaced, you can sign back into your account and pull all that data down from the cloud without losing anything in the transition. In fact, I suspect that our collective data has never been more secured than it is today, thanks to the abundance and simplicity of cloud storage.

However, that's not to say that our backup situation is perfect—far from it. Relying solely on the cloud for data storage can have disastrous consequences.


This App Is For Kids, But Calms My Adult Anxiety. It's On Apple's 2023 'Best Apps' List, Too., by Kimberly Gedeon, Mashable

If you have anxiety, you know more than anyone that it makes you your own worst enemy. The irrational sense of dread and doom can be unbearable as you battle incessant restlessness, stress, and worry.

However, while playing "Pok Pok," an Apple App Store gem that Apple itself named one of the best of 2023, all of that disappeared — just for a minute or two — while interacting with its wide variety of multi-sensory stimulation games.

Solve Puzzles And Make Tiny Towns With This Simple, Quiet iPad App, by Becca Caddy, iMore

Although the goal is to create a bustling town, everything about this app feels deliberate and considered, from the super minimal design stripped of clutter to the ambient sounds and relaxing music that both do a great job at getting you into a flow state.

Update Chrome On Mac, As Security Flaw Is Being Actively Exploited, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

If you use Chrome on Mac, it’s strongly recommended to update it immediately, as a security flaw discovered by Google is being actively exploited by attackers. It could potentially allow personal data to be extracted from your Mac (the same issue also affects Chrome on Windows and Linux).


BBC BASIC Remains A Remarkable Learning Tool, And Now It’s Available Everywhere, by Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica

BBC Basic did a lot of things, and often quite well. During the early 1980s, it extended the BASIC languages with easier loop structures, like IF/THEN/ELSE, and ran faster than Microsoft's version. It taught an entire generation of Brits how to code, both in BASIC and, through an inline interpreter, assembly language. And it's still around to teach newcomers and anybody else—except it's now on far, far more platforms than a mail-order computer from the telly.


WSJ Says The Goldman-Apple Deal Is Dead. Apple Says Not Yet., by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The statement could be interpreted in multiple ways. In one reading, Apple is saying the deal is still on and nothing has changed until Apple announces it has. In another reading, Apple wants to simply sow doubt around any negotiations it may have underway in order to not cause its existing customers to worry that their Apple MasterCards will suddenly turn into Amex’s, for example.

How Apple’s App Tracking Policy Curbs Financial Fraud, by Shankar Parameshwaran, Knowledge at Wharton

The authors focused on Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy, which by default opts out users on Apple’s iOS platform from sharing their data. They found that a 10% increase in the number of iOS users in a given zip code results in a 3.21% drop in financial fraud complaints from that location. The study also found that “the effects are concentrated in complaints related to lax data security and privacy.”

The drop in financial fraud complaints could grow tenfold if tight privacy laws are universally applied. “If the whole population of [cell phone] users on both the iOS and Android platforms were subject to a policy like the ATT, then the number of financial fraud complaints should drop to 32%, assuming the effect scales up linearly,” Tang said.

These ex-Apple Employees Are Bringing AI To The Desktop, by Alex Heath, The Verge

An example he gives: “Sometimes you’ve got a browser window open with a schedule on it, and you just want to say, ‘add this to my calendar,’ and somehow, there’s no way to do that… We think that language models and AI give us the ingredients to make a new kind of software that can unlock this fundamental power of computing and make everyday people able to use computers to actually solve their problems.”

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A podcast client shouldn't need to have a server component. If the developer decided to stop developing, the client app on my iPhone should be able to continue to work as a podcast client... at least until a new operating system updates rendered the app incompatible.

But, that's not the case for so many podcast apps out there. Including the one I am using currently.


Thanks for reading.

The Behest-of-Apple Edition Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Inside Robert De Niro’s Gotham Awards Speech Debacle, by Brent Lang, Matt Donnelly, Variety

The “Killers of the Flower Moon” actor was gearing up to slam Donald Trump at Monday’s Gotham Awards, but when he took the stage he discovered that the speech he planned to give had been altered at the behest of Apple, the film’s producer. The company was responding to feedback from the filmmaking team that wanted the actor’s remarks to be centered on the movie, according to a source.


A source close to the film denied that there was any censorship involved and said that the incident was a miscommunication. There had been multiple versions of De Niro’s speech and there was a desire to focus solely on the moviemakers and their artistry, according to the source. Apple and the filmmakers were unaware that De Niro hadn’t signed off on the final draft, the insider added.

It's Almost End of the Year

Apple Books Launches New 'Year In Review' Feature, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple today announced that its Books app now offers a "Year in Review" recap in select countries, including the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, France, and Germany. [...]

Year in Review allows Apple Books users to view personalized highlights about the books and audiobooks they read in 2023, including their total time spent reading, the longest book or audiobook they read, their most-read author and genre, their highest-rated book, and more. The recap can easily be shared with others.

Apple Music Reveals The Most-streamed Songs Of The Year And More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Continuing with the “year-in-review” trend of the day, Apple Music has shared an in-depth look at the top songs of the year. This comes after Taylor Swift was crowned Apple Music’s Artist of the Year earlier this month.

Apple Music Replay 2023 Experience Now Live, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Apple today rolled out the Apple Music Replay experience for 2023, allowing subscribers to see their top artists, songs, albums, genres, playlists, and stations of the year.

Apple Announces Top Podcasts Of 2023 Alongside New Apple Books Year In Review Feature, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

After recently naming Taylor Swift artist of the year for being the “most-streamed female artist in Apple Music history,” it’s time to check in with Apple Books and Podcasts.


How To Use Obsidian For Writing And Productivity, by Justin Pot, Wired

My favorite thing about Obsidian, though, is the extensive plugin ecosystem. There are over a thousand Obsidian plugins, and I depend on several of them. There's Kanban, which allows you to create a board of cards you can move between tiles. There's Extract URL, which can grab all text from any website and turn it into a note. I could list plugins for a long time. But the point is that you can customize Obsidian to work basically any way you want it to. I've done this to create a perfect setup for my workflow—one that allows me to do my planning and my actual writing in the same application.

Mimestream 1.2, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Mimestream has released version 1.2 of its Gmail-specific email app, adding support for inline text predictions when composing messages in macOS 14 Sonoma.

Play 2.0 Adds YouTube Channel Support, Folders, And A New Premium Subscription, by John Voorhees, MacStories

With version 2.0, Marcos has transformed Play from a utility where I save links for later to how I find videos and watch them in the first place. The big difference is that Play now allows users to manage YouTube channels inside the app.

Google Drive Users Say Google Lost Their Files; Google Is Investigating, by Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica

Did Google Drive lose some people's data? That's the question swirling around the Internet right now as Google announces it's investigating "sync issues" for Google Drive for desktop. [...]

Google has a post up on the Google Drive help forums more or less acknowledging the issue.


Apple Offers Exit Ramp To Goldman For Troubled Card Accord, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The iPhone maker, which offers a credit card and savings account with Goldman, recently sent a term sheet to the financial giant that would be a first step toward severing the contract, according to a person familiar with the matter. The process could still take multiple years, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The partnership had been slated to last at least another five years.


The iPhone maker remains committed to its Apple Card credit card and savings account and doesn’t plan to discontinue the products — whether or not Goldman is involved — the person familiar with the situation said. Apple hasn’t gotten to the point of talking to firms that could replace Goldman, according to the person.

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Whether Apple intentionally or accidentally altered the text of Robert De Niro's speech, it is entirely a stupid error by the new Hollywood-wannabe company that is trying to attract talent. An own goal, as they say on the soccer field.

If this is intentional, the damage to Apple now is actually, it seems, larger than if Apple has let De Niro speaks his mind. If this is accidental, the lack of attention to details, and the lack of follow-up, reflects badly on Apple.


Thanks for reading.

The Consent-Required Edition Tuesday, November 28, 2023

No, You Don’t Need To Turn Off Apple’s NameDrop Feature In iOS 17, by Reece Rogers, Wired

Even though NameDrop is auto-enabled when you update to iOS 17, it’s crucial to note that consent is required throughout the process. Some random person on the street can’t just bump into you for a few seconds, and then walk away with your phone number.

NameDrop Is Safe. The Fearmongering About It Is Not., by Shira Ovide, Washington Post

The truth: NameDrop is quite safe. The warnings about this technology are wildly exaggerated.

Chester Wisniewski, a digital security specialist at Sophos, called the warnings about NameDrop “hysteria” and “nonsense.”

So you shouldn't worry about NameDrop. But you should worry that police and news organizations are failing you by sounding false alarms about technology.


Why The Looming Final Cut Pro 10.7 Update Will Make Many Users Happy, But May Disappoint Some, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

Final Cut Pro 10.7 is shaping up to be a solid update and includes long-awaited features like automatic timeline scrolling. Having the ability to tap into multiple media engines on export is also a noteworthy enhancement, as is the ability to create instantly expandable and collapsible connected storylines.

Yet, there are still quite a few glaring omissions that Final Cut Pro users have been pining for, and those thinking we might get them with this update may come away a bit disappointed. For example, text-based editing, a feature on competing NLEs from Blackmagic Design and Adobe, would allow users to edit their footage based solely on rearranging speech-to-text dialogue. This, along with integrated audio transcription, seems like an obvious feature given the power of the Neural Engine in Apple’s M-series chips.

Agenda 18.3, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Momenta has issued version 18.3 of Agenda, adding support for grouping notes in projects and overviews by their Done status.


Inside Foxconn’s Struggle To Make iPhones In India, by Viola Zhou and Nilesh Christopher, Rest of World

In late August, Rest of World visited Sunguvarchatram, where Foxconn and other Apple suppliers were working at full throttle ahead of the iPhone 15 launch. We spoke with more than two dozen assembly line workers, technicians, engineers, and managers, all of whom requested anonymity or pseudonyms to avoid being identified by their employers.

They detailed the successes, struggles, and cultural clashes that, over the past year or so, have played out on one of the world’s most consequential factory floors. In China, Foxconn demands long days, high targets, and minimal delays and mistakes — all of which proved difficult, if not impossible, to replicate in India.

Is It Time To Concede Apple Was Right To Eliminate The Headphone Jack?, by Wally Nowinski, PerfectRec

Today, it is increasingly difficult to find phones in the North American market that still have a headphone jack. It’s of course possible this is a massive market failure, but we suspect the revealed preference of consumers is that Apple was right. Most people don’t care about having a physical headphone jack or would happily trade it for a few more minutes of battery.

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I sure hope software developers are not paying attention from what's happening with streaming television, and start adding new subscription tiers that comes with ads and jacking up prices of existing non-advertisement tiers.


Thanks for reading.

The Paired-Details Edition Monday, November 27, 2023

How A $49 Apple Gadget Is Helping Drug Traffickers, by Chris Vedelago, Sydney Morning Herald

Two sources in federal and state law enforcement have told this masthead that AirTags, as well as other cheap commercially available GPS systems, have become standard tools for criminal syndicates to discover whether cocaine and methamphetamine shipments have been compromised in anti-drug operations.


“Every AirTag has a unique serial number, and paired AirTags are associated with an Apple ID. Apple can provide the paired account details in response to a subpoena or valid request from law enforcement,” Apple’s 2022 statement said.

How Your Child’s Online Mistake Can Ruin Your Digital Life, by Kashmir Hill, New York Times

Apple has resisted pressure to scan the iCloud for exploitative material. A spokesman pointed to a letter that the company sent to an advocacy group this year, expressing concern about the “security and privacy of our users” and reports “that innocent parties have been swept into dystopian dragnets.”


“We do not want our platforms to be used to endanger or exploit children, and there’s a widespread demand that internet platforms take the firmest action to detect and prevent CSAM,” [Google] said in a statement, using a widely used acronym for child sexual abuse material. “In this case, we understand that the violative content was not uploaded maliciously.” The company had no response for how to escalate a denial of an appeal beyond emailing a Times reporter.

It's Time To Log Off, by Thor Benson, Wired

People are ingesting too much negative news, and it’s not only affecting them personally but impacting society at large. People can handle some bad news, but what if it’s a lot of bad news? And what if a lot of people are doing this while trying to function in the world together?

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These past few years, I have been consciously reducing the amount of news-scrolling that I can do daily. I've quit Twitter before quitting Twitter was popular. And I've trimmed my RSS feeds to make sure that on most days, I can finish reading my news feed during my commute.

The days when I can't finish my news feed before I reach office (or my home computer during work-from-home days) are usually when Apple has keynotes.


Thanks for reading.

The Ignore-Browser-Updates Edition Sunday, November 26, 2023

Atomic Stealer Malware Strikes macOS Via Fake Browser Updates, by Bill Toulas, bleepingComputer

Malwarebyte's examination of the payload's strings reveals a series of commands for extracting sensitive data like passwords and targeting document files, images, crypto wallet files, and keys.


Therefore, if you see any prompts to download browser updates on websites, they should be ignored.

5 iPad Pro Apps Perfectly Tailored For The Apple Pencil, by Rafael Motamayor, SlashGear

If you're on the fence about buying an Apple Pencil or want to take full advantage of the pencil and iPad Pro you already own, check out these five apps.

‘Zoom Fatigue’ May Take Toll On The Brain And The Heart, Researchers Say, by Erin Blakemore, Washington Post

There were “notable” differences between the in-person and online groups, the researchers write. Video participants’ fatigue mounted over the course of the session, and their brain states showed they were struggling to pay attention. The groups’ moods varied, too, with in-person participants reporting they felt livelier, happier and more active, and online participants saying they felt tired, drowsy and “fed up.”

Overall, the researchers write, the study offers evidence of the physical toll of videoconferencing and suggests that it “should be considered as a complement to face-to-face interaction, but not as a substitute.”

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The problem with an inbox-zero strategy, for me, is that I almost always missed an inbox or two. (No, I'm not the first person in the world to notice this, of course.)


Thanks for reading.

The Conditional-Empathy Edition Saturday, November 25, 2023

Deconstructing Apple’s Weirdly Empathetic “Fuzzy Feelings”, by Andy Ihnatko, Six Colors

Empathy is hands-down our most significant and important function. God or whatever put us here to practice empathy, and also because He or whatever couldn’t figure out how to make a huge awesome island made out of fun colorful plastic show up in the middle of the ocean all on its own.

So when the lady in the “Fuzzy Feelings” video exercises her empathy only conditionally, after she comes to pity her boss (itself a form of dehumanization), it comes across as… well, not wrong, but definitely odd.

The Apple Watch's Double Tap Feature Is Both Fun And Useful, by Kaitlyn Cimino, Android Authority

My favorite use is snoozing multiple alarms without removing my other hand (or head) from beneath the pillow. It’s not a foolproof system, but laziness rarely ever pays.

Apple’s Hiring Bias Case Reveals Big Tech Foreign Worker Dilemma, by Andrew Kreighbaum, Bloomberg Law

Large employers that may be meeting the letter of the law when it comes to DOL regulations can still find themselves in the crosshairs of Justice Department enforcement actions for recruitment failures when they try to secure lawful permanent residency for foreign workers. The cases underlines not only the need for updating rules for current hiring practices but also for federal agencies to get on the same page with their approach to oversight, attorneys say.

“Employers who wish to sponsor skilled, and badly needed, foreign workers for permanent residency are caught between the conflicting requirements of two federal agencies,” said Cyrus Mehta, managing partner at Cyrus D. Mehta & Partners, PLLC.

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Here where I live, similar to almost every other country outside of the United States, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving. We seldom eat turkeys, and we don't have American football on television.

Even so, when I visited the local mall earlier today, I see crowds and crowds of people. And I see signs advertising Black Friday sales everywhere.

Oh, and it's Saturday.


Thanks for reading.

The Creativity-and-Imagination Edition Friday, November 24, 2023

This App Wants Reading To Be A Social Experience — For The Best Reasons, by Meera Navlakha, Mashable

The idea of "shared reading" sits at the crux of Fable, Warrior explains to Mashable. She cites the work of professor and literary scholar Josie Billington, who pioneered the concept of shared and social reading as an antidote to declining mental health. Warrior says reading for just 30 minutes a day can improve mental wellness — and "sharing that with others can foster a sense of community and belonging."

"I started Fable so that all of us can fill the micro-moments in our hectic lives with stories. Our mission is to deliver the world’s best social experience with exceptional stories, in service of mental wellness," she says, adding that she has always felt reading has been "powerful tool" for creativity, wellbeing, and growth. "I grew up in a small town in India, and books were a fuel for my creativity and imagination. The magic of words moves me."

Proton Drive Brings Encrypted Cloud Storage To Mac, by Arol Wright, How-to Geek

Pretty much everything you could do on the web version, you can currently do it on the new macOS app, but perhaps the main reason why you might want to use a desktop client over the web version is support for synchronization. You can synchronize your files and folders with Proton Drive and ensure that they're all safe and encrypted. You also get a bunch of other features, such as end-to-end encryption for all your files (ensuring that not even Proton itself can access your files at any given moment) and a version history.

Going Cashless Is A Bad Idea, But It’s Not A Conspiracy, by Brett Scott, Aeon

Physical cash is issued by governments (via central banks), whereas the units in your bank account are basically ‘digital casino chips’ issued by the likes of Barclays, HSBC and Santander. ‘Cashless society’ is a privatisation, in which power over payments is transferred to the banking sector. Every tap of a contactless card or Apple Pay triggers banks into moving these digital casino chips around for you. It gives them enormous power, revenue and data. They can share that data with governments but, more often than not, they’re using it for their own purposes (such as passing it through AI models to decide whether you get access to things or not).

By rejecting the story that cashless society is driven primarily from the bottom up, I sometimes get accused of being a conspiracy theorist. It’s not hard to imagine the outlines of a ‘conspiracy’ when you look at who benefits most from payments privatisation. Not only are Visa, Mastercard and the banking sector big beneficiaries, the fixation on digitisation also extends the power of Amazon and other corporate behemoths that are moving beyond the internet into the physical world via smart devices and automated stores that plug into digital finance systems. It’s a small jump to imagine how governments can piggyback on this digital enclosure to spy on us, or manipulate us.

This Retro Computers Trivia Book Is So Strange, I Just Had To Meet The Author, by Ian Dean, Creative Bloq

20 GOTO 10 is a book written by a geek for geeks, and how numbers anchor and reveal the secrets of computing's past. It's also a game, a fun and engaging play on the rules of roleplay.

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I wonder if Jedi need to charge their lightsabers every night.


Thanks for reading.

The Deep-and-Sophisticated Edition Thursday, November 23, 2023

Procreate Dreams First Impressions, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The app tackles animation in much the same way Procreate reimagined drawing and painting on an iPad. The tools at your fingertips are deep and sophisticated but get out of the way of your creation. At times, the discoverability of features suffers a little as a result, but after spending some time tapping UI elements, long-pressing to reveal context menus, and experimenting with multi-finger gestures, Dreams reveals itself, rewarding the curious who take the time to learn what it can do.


10 Apps That Make Traveling Solo Easier—and Fun, by Courtenay Rudzinski, Wired

I was driving alone through Montana, 1,900 miles from home on a two-lane road in the sticks, when my phone lost its signal. I was near my Airbnb cabin but may as well have been in Oz, with no idea what road to look for or where my next turn was. Did I mention it was getting dark?

Photomator Update Lets Users Edit And Share HDR Photos, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

The new version of the app adds full HDR support so users can edit and share images in high dynamic range. It also has a new option for converting regular images into HDR.


Apple Explores iPhone 'Privacy Screens', Macs With Adjustable Viewing Angles, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple did not provide any specific details about any next steps it might take to increase security, but there are indications that Apple may be seeking a hardware solution to scupper the scourge of so-called "shoulder surfers."

Current displays on Apple devices provide a 170-degree field of view, making it easier for others to glance at your ‌iPhone‌, iPad, or Mac screen. To counter this, two new patents by Apple propose innovative solutions to restrict screen visibility to just the user.

Apple Denied Unionized Workers Better Benefits, NLRB Claims, by Emma Roth, The Verge

In the complaint, the NLRB alleges Apple didn’t extend enhanced benefits to Towson workers with the goal of “discouraging” other employees from unionizing. Some of those new benefits include new healthcare options, a free Coursera subscription, and prepaid tuition at some colleges.

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Thank you for visiting and reading. I appreciate you.

The New-Lights Edition Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Apple Puts A Spin On A Classic Tale In New Holiday Ad, by Samantha Nelson, Adweek

It’s a classic festive story: Rather than hating his boss, A Christmas Carol’s Bob Cratchit pities his lonely and miserable employer Ebenezer Scrooge and hopes that he’ll find joy in the holiday season.

Apple’s annual holiday film, Fuzzy Feelings, channels the same sentiment, following a woman who comes to see her grumpy boss in a new light.

Lucia Aniello, who has won multiple Emmy Awards for her work on TV series Hacks, directed the nearly four-minute spot from longtime Apple agency TBWA\Media Arts Lab alongside stop-motion animator and director Anna Mantzaris.

Quiche Browser Is A Beautiful And Modular Web Browser For iOS, by Niléane, MacStories

Quiche Browser is a beautiful browser developed by Greg de J that focuses on UI modularity and small quality-of-life enhancements. The app has surprised me with its great design, and one unexpected use case.

Apple's Objective-C 'Appears To Be Reaching Its End Of Life' - Or So Says JetBrains Survey, by Tim Anderson, DevClass

JetBrains has released its annual State of Developer Ecosystem report, including the claim that Apple’s Objective-C language “appears to be reaching its end of life,” with just 2 percent of developers using it and none planning to adopt it.

Apple CEO Succession Plans 'Very Detailed', Says Tim Cook, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Tim Cook has revealed that Apple has "very detailed" succession plans in place for when the time comes to replace him as chief executive of the company, but he also said he has no intention of going anywhere just yet.

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I am aware this latest holiday ad from Apple ended on a somewhat positive note, but I feel the negativity of the first two-thirds of the advertisment simply overwhelmed to the point of no return.

Or maybe it is just that I wasn't in such a good mood these few days?


Thanks for reading.

The Last-One Edition Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Popular Navigation App For Trucks And Caravans Adds CarPlay Support, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The app offers navigation specially tailored to the specifications of large vehicles like trucks, RVs, campers, and more.

This iPhone App Is The Most Soothing Game I've Ever Played, by Becca Caddy, iMore

I can't tell whether it's the lack of pressure and competition or the gorgeous colors that have made this my go-to game for destressing, the one iPhone app I reach for when I'm feeling overwhelmed on public transport.

National Instruments To Apple Mac: Buh-Bye, by Steven Leibson, Electronic Engineering Journal

National Instruments (NI) recently released a new version of its LabView test automation programming environment for the latest Apple Macintosh computers based on the Arm-based Apple M1 CPU/GPU SoC. At the same time, NI let its customers know that this release would be the last one for Apple Macintosh computers, sending a shock through some portion of the company’s customer base.


System 7 Mac Emulator Lets You Play With A 1991 Mac On The Web, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Developer Leonardo Russo created the web-based System 7.0.1 emulator, based on the Mini vMac open-source emulator.

Venmo, Cash App Users Sue Apple Over Peer-to-peer Payment Fees, by Mike Scarcella, Reuters

The plaintiffs in the new lawsuit alleged Apple, Venmo and Cash App "have repeatedly raised prices for transactions and services with no competitive check."

They argued that a peer-to-peer app based on "decentralized" crypto technology "would allow iPhone users to send payments to each other without any intermediary at all."

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I have fond memories of System 7. If I remember correctly, I first started using Mac seriously (for work) on System 7.5, porting stuff over from Windows and DOS (!). And the one thing that I remember most was how the programming APIs on the Mac was so much better, so much more powerful, so much more sensible, than whatever there was over on the PC side.

Okay, maybe it wasn't entirely fair. I am comparing QuickTime on the Mac with Video for Windows on… well… Windows, and Video for Windows was one of the worst thing to come out from Microsoft during that time. Also, DOS has nothing.

This was also the time when I read Inside Macintosh cover to cover. I think I should read Swift and SwiftUI cover to cover, someday, just for fun.


Thanks for reading.

The Sunday-Surprise Edition Monday, November 20, 2023

How Apple Put Snoopy Into Its New Watch Faces, by David Phelan, Independent

“Ultimately, we chose to keep the watch animations as close as possible to the original Schulz drawings. Charles Schulz had a very specific and rare pin nib that he used. It was a nib that you had to dip in the ink bottle each time to fill it with ink and it meant he could create a varied line from thin to thick.


There’s more detail yet. Look closely and you’ll see the backgrounds are made up of dots – just the way it used to look in newsprint. Monday to Saturday has a half-tone dot background, but then bursts into colour for Sundays, again, just like it appeared in newspapers. This is called the Sunday Surprise.

Apple’s In-House Technologies Team Still Has Plenty Of Work To Do, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Known as one of the few remaining “old school” engineering leaders at Apple, Srouji runs a tight ship. And his group has certainly been able to accomplish tough tasks, including building custom technologies that replaced computer processors, phone chips and wireless components from big-name suppliers.

Despite it all, though, many of the team’s goals haven’t been reached yet. That includes moving away from Qualcomm Inc.’s modem component in the iPhone, revamping Apple’s approach to displays and ushering in additional wireless chips.

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I wish Apple is more ambitious with the lock screen on iPhone (and iPad). Currently, it only allows me to choose from a pre-defined set of limited lock screens. There are no APIs to allow third-party apps to show their lock screens. For example, how about a new daily photo for my lock screen provided by Unsplash? Or perhaps a news photo of the day by Reuters?

Well, maybe Apple programmers are busy these few years, sprucing not only the iPhone's lock screen, but also iPad's different lock screen, and macOS' desktop widgets.

Maybe the upcoming WWDC we will something wonderful for the lock screen again?

Or, at least, get Snoopy and Woodstock to also make a home on my iPhone?


Thanks for reading.

The Battle-Escalation Edition Sunday, November 19, 2023

Why Apple Is Working Hard To Break Into Its Own iPhones, by Andrew Griffin, Independent

Apple says that work is succeeding, believing it is years ahead of its hackers and proud of the fact that it has held off attacks without forcing its users to work harder to secure their devices or compromising on features. But recent years have also seen it locked in an escalating battle: Lockdown Mode might have been a breakthrough of which it is proud, but it was only needed because of an unfortunate campaign to break into people’s phones. Ivan Krstić, Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture, says that is partly just a consequence of the increasing proliferation of technology.


“We do not see ourselves as set against governments,” says Krstić. “That is not what any of this work is about. But we do see ourselves as having a duty to defend our users from threats, whether common or in some cases, truly grave.

Apple’s Tim Cook Tells Dua Lipa ‘We Can’ Guarantee Children Aren’t Mining iPhone 15’s Cobalt, by Stephanie Kaloi, The Wrap

“This is a big idea of not having to mine anything, is to use all recycled material, and today we’re using 100% recycled cobalt in the watch and 100% recycled gold, tin, tungsten, and other rare-earth materials in the watch. So we’re really, we’re really proud of this.

“But for those products that we still do mine, for some of our other products, we have an intense level of tracing in our supply chain all the way back to the mine and the smelter to make sure that the labor used is not child labor.

“I think we do a really good job of that,” he concluded.

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An iPhone that allows sideloading, with employers and governments and police knowing that my iPhone allows sideloading of whatever apps they deem necessary, is not the iPhone that I know and loved anymore.

I may still enjoy the new iPhone, but, make no mistake, it is not the same iPhone anymore.

And you call this giving me more choices?


Thanks for reading.

The Better-Standards Edition Saturday, November 18, 2023

Apple's RCS Announcement Date Wasn't Coincidence, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

By deciding to support RCS, Apple has effectively bought an insurance policy. Even if iMessage is found to be big enough to be covered by the messaging interoperability requirement, it can now turn round and say “We’re doing just that – through RCS.”

Why Apple Finally Decided To Adopt RCS On iPhone, by Will Sattelberg, Android Police

I've long said it would either take carrier requirements or governmental intervention for Apple to adopt RCS, and we all knew the US wasn't going to be the government to force the company's hand. Much like the iPhone's switch to USB-C this year, this week's announcement comes courtesy of some real pressure, not from its peers, not from its users, but from regulation pushing for better standards across the board. Google can't really take credit for this — nor is it really trying to — but it gets to celebrate nonetheless.

Apple Files Legal Challenge To EU's Digital Markets Act, by Martin Coulter, Reuters

Apple has filed a legal case contesting decisions taken by the European Commission under its recently-introduced Digital Markets Act, according to a post shared by the Court of Justice of the European Union on X.

The tough new legislation targets 22 "gatekeeper" services, run by six tech companies - Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet's Google, Amazon, Meta and ByteDance's TikTok.

Universe of Programming

Why Does Apple TV+ Have So Many Of The Best Streaming Shows You've Never Heard Of?, by Eric Deggans, NPR

But there is a universe of programming behind those big-ticket shows that rarely gets the same amount of pop culture traction, likely because many people don't hear enough about them. And even as some critics grouse about Apple TV+ raising its subscription fees by $3 per month – arguing they don't offer enough classic shows as "library content" to justify the price hike – I think there are lots of original series packed in their lineup that many viewers haven't yet considered.

So, at the risk of looking like a shill for Apple, here's a quick look at why I've come to appreciate a streaming service which will spend millions to put something like Monarch: Legacy of Monsters on the small screen.

Apple’s ‘Napoleon’ Sets Thanksgiving Global Box Office Battle Plan Via Sony With $46M WW Start – Preview, by Anthony D'Alessandro, Nancy Tartaglione, Deadline

Getting a leg-up here on our Thanksgiving stretch preview, Apple Studios production of Ridley Scott’s Napoleon will invade the global box office via Sony this Wednesday, in what’s shaping up to be a $46M WW global start.

Split up for the Wednesday-Sunday stretch, that’s $22M 5-day domestic, and $24M overseas.

Ted Lasso Returns?! Season 4 Renewal Of Hit Apple TV Show Leaked By Character 'Nate', Played By Actor Nick Mohammed, by Jacob Schneider, Goal

Actor Nick Mohammed, who plays 'Nate' on Apple TV's Ted Lasso, leaked a potential return to the show with a fourth season on social media platform X.


Hue Secure Contact Sensor Now Compatible With HomeKit, by Fabian,

This opens up completely new possibilities for the smart home. After all, the “open” and “closed” status can now also be used to create automations in HomeKit and thus control other HomeKit devices that are not connected to the Philips Hue Bridge.

Rooms, An Interactive 3D Space Designer And 'Cozy Game,' Arrives On The App Store, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Cozy game, interior decorating app, learn-to-code primer or something in between, the interactive, 3D spaces builder known as Rooms has made its way to the App Store.

Enjoy Tons Of Legos Without The Clutter In Bricktales, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

Lego Bricktales is a fun way to play with these bricks wherever you go. The game challenges players to build their way through puzzles in a variety of colorful environments.


The Secret Environmental Cost Hiding Inside Your Smart Home Device, by Yessenia Funes, The Verge

Climate change is already exacerbating heatwaves. Last summer was the hottest on record. To make matters worse, the climate crisis has increased the scarcity of water, which some data centers need to stay cool. In order to keep a bad situation from getting worse, scientists have been urging world leaders to stop using fossil fuels. Some advocates, on the other hand, have demanded Congress take action on the energy burdens the AI sector presents.

These concerns link two of society’s most seemingly apocalyptic scenarios: world-dominating AI and world-ending climate change. Are smarter (and more energy-intensive) smart homes really worth the trouble?

Apple Music Has Been Penalizing Streaming Fraud Since 2022, by Elias Leight, Billboard

While Spotify is planning to start penalizing labels and distributors for egregious instances of streaming fraud, Apple Music quietly rolled out its own strengthened fraud protections — including hitting repeat offenders with “financial adjustments” — more than a year ago, according to an email obtained by Billboard that the platform sent to music industry partners in March. Apple Music’s internal metrics indicate that the policy has already led to a 30% drop in streaming manipulation.

Apple To Pause Advertising On X After Musk Backs Antisemitic Post, by Ina Fried, Axios

The move follows Musk's endorsement of antisemitic conspiracy theories as well as Apple ads reportedly being placed alongside far-right content. Apple has been a major advertiser on the social media site and its pause follows a similar move by IBM.

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On my weekend hobby project, I'm still stuck on syncing. And my SwiftUI code doesn't update itself after syncing.

Still learning…


Thanks for reading.

The iMessage-Style-Features Edition Friday, November 17, 2023

Apple Announces That RCS Support Is Coming To iPhone Next Year, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In a surprising move, Apple has announced today that it will adopt the RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging standard. The feature will launch via a software update “later next year” and bring a wide range of iMessage-style features to messaging between iPhone and Android users.


Apple also reiterates that iMessage is far more secure and privacy-friendly than RCS. iMessage is end-to-end encrypted, and Apple just took that up a notch with Advanced Data Protection for Messages in iCloud. Meanwhile, Apple says that RCS does not currently support encryption that is as strong as iMessage.

What Color Bubbles Will RCS Messages Be? Apple Confirms The Answer, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has confirmed to me that blue bubbles will still be used to represent iMessages, while green bubbles will represent RCS messages. The company uses blue bubbles to denote what it believes is the best and most secure way for iPhone users to communicate, which is iMessage.

Apple Announces Intention To Support RCS Messages ‘Next Year’, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

It’s a disgrace, in my opinion, that E2EE wasn’t a foundational part of the RCS spec from the start, but if Apple is going to support RCS, they should support RCS by-the-spec, not Google’s proprietary version.

Goodbye, Postage-stamp-sized Videos With My Family, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

I expect there will be things to complain about and bugs to fix when RCS rolls out next year, but I'm happy that we can move past the "should Apple add RCS" conversation and actually start using it relatively soon. My guess is no iPhone user's life will get worse, many will get better, and we'll quickly forget there was ever an enthusiastic debate over this in the first place.


Apple Shares Deadlines For Ordering Holiday Gifts, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Apple appears to have ample stock of all of its main products as we head into the holiday season, with Apple currently saying that most products can be ordered up until December 21 while still receiving delivery in time for Christmas.

How I Use My Apple Watch And iPhone To Manage My Diabetes, by Christine Romero-Chan, Digital Trends

I’m far from being a perfect example of excellent diabetes control — it’s hard without proper discipline. But I have found my iPhone and Apple Watch, along with other wearables like Oura Ring, to be valuable additions to aid me in my diabetes management journey.

The Best Note-taking Apps For Collecting Your Thoughts And Data, by Barbara Krasnoff, The Verge

If you want to get really basic, you can use a spreadsheet or create a simple set of word-processing documents. Otherwise, you can try what is somewhat inaccurately described as a note-taking app. These apps, at their simplest, store your notes and other thoughts and, at their more complex, are capable of manipulating any and all content you want to drop into them.


The Hidden Secrets Of The Fn Key, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Even if you’ve used the Mac for decades, I suspect you have never fully understood the Fn key. Not helping is the fact that Apple sometimes calls it the Function key, but all Mac keyboards already have 12 or more numbered F-for-Function keys! The Fn key first appeared in 1998 in the PowerBook G3 Series (Wallstreet) and has become a fixture in the lower-left corner of laptop keyboards ever since. The Fn key migrated to standalone keyboards only in 2007 with the release of the Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, where it occupies a spot between the Delete key and the Home key. On Apple’s compact desktop keyboards, it reverts to the lower-left corner.

TIME100 Climate 2023: Lisa P. Jackson, by Time

Businesses can lead climate progress by cutting greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain—as much and as fast as we can. We’re approaching our Apple 2030 goal to make every product carbon neutral by reducing emissions from their three biggest sources: electricity, materials, and transportation. Any company can follow that simple blueprint. To address remaining emissions, businesses can drive investment in communities on the front lines of the climate crisis through nature-based carbon removal. I visited a project in Kenya this year that has created women-led grass seed banks, and trained hundreds of local Maasai community members in updated rangeland management techniques to get more value out of the land. Business investment in carbon removal helps make this possible.

Using Your iPhone To Start Your Car Is About To Get A Lot Easier, by Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge

Digital keys could become more popular and more ubiquitous after automakers and the consumer tech industry came together to announce the formation of a new working group to develop industrywide standards for ultra wideband (UWB) connectivity.

Apple’s Effort To Replace Qualcomm Chip In iPhone Falls Further Behind, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

After already delaying a plan to have an in-house chip ready by next year, Apple is now likely to miss a goal to ship the component by the spring of 2025, according to people familiar with the situation. That would postpone the release until at least the end of 2025 or early 2026 — the final year of Apple’s recently extended contract with Qualcomm.

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Is RCS how Apple going to allow interoperability with other messaging systems? If it's good enough for Android, it's good enough for the EU?


Thanks for reading.

The Larger-Display Edition Thursday, November 16, 2023

Apple Music Classical Is Now Available On The iPad, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple Music Classical, included as part of a standard Apple Music subscription, launched as an iPhone only app in the spring … but is now available on the iPad too.

The v1.1 update rolling out now in the App Store adds a brand new design optimized for the larger iPad display, with a navigation sidebar and now playing media controls toolbar.

Apple Now Offering New Accessories From Mophie, Scosche, Hue And More, by Juli Clober, MacRumors

Apple today updated its online store to add a range of new accessories from companies that include Mophie, Scosche, Philips Hue, Yale, and others. Some of the accessories are limited to online purchases, while others are available in Apple retail locations worldwide.


Amazon Releases New Kindle App For The Mac, by Michael Kozlowski, Good E-Reader

Amazon has just released a new Kindle reading app for the Mac and has renamed the old version Kindle Classic. The new app has a modern design that is similar to the Kindle app for iOS. You get new features such as infinity scroll, reading ruler, additional fonts, full screen view, new themes, page-turn animations, X-Ray and a ton of new changes.

Aqara’s New Camera Is One Of The Cheapest HomeKit Cameras You Can Buy, by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, The Verge

It has impressive specs for its price point: 2K video, a wide-angle lens, a 360-degree pan and tilt view, local storage, and on-device processing of smart alerts.

The camera also continues Aqara’s commitment to Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video (HKSV), making it one of the cheapest options to work with Apple’s end-to-end encrypted video storage service.

Mophie's Popular 15W MagSafe 3-in-1 Travel Charger Updated With Apple Watch Fast Charging, by Rikka Altland, 9to5Toys

The 3-in-1 travel charger is one of the company’s most popular MagSafe offerings, and now on top of the 15W tech inside, it’s getting updated with Apple Watch fast charging and a more sustainable design.

I’m Addicted To This Super Simple Word Game App On My iPhone And iPad, by Becca Caddy, iMore

It's one of those word puzzles that seems tricky to get the hang of at first, but give it a few days and you'll be storming through them quickly – but if you're anything like me, you'll still feel challenged. And if you get through the daily puzzles, there are collections of puzzle books to try that feature past puzzles and new, similar challenges.

Windows Is Now An App For iPhones, iPads, Macs, And PCs, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Microsoft has created a Windows App for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, Windows, and web browsers. The app essentially takes the previous Windows 365 app and turns it into a central hub for streaming a copy of Windows from a remote PC, Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365, Microsoft Dev Box, and Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Services.

Amazon Shutters The ComiXology App; What Now For Digital Comic Readers?, by Graeme McMillan, Popverse

In a move that many have been waiting for, Amazon has announced that it will shutter the standalone ComiXology app in just three weeks, folding all ComiXology purchases into Kindle from December 4 onwards.

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It sure will be interesting, at least to me, to find out what took Apple so long to get Apple Music Classical app onto the iPad. It sure isn't great advertisement for Apple's cross-platform development tools.


Thanks for reading.

The Excellence-and-Inventiveness Edition Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Meet The 2023 App Store Award Finalists, by Apple

For over a decade, the App Store’s Editorial team has celebrated the very best apps and games of the year through the App Store Awards, spotlighting a range of developers from the individual app creator to large teams that span the globe. App Store Editors are recognizing App Store Award finalists — nearly 40 app and game developers across 10 different categories — for their excellence, inventiveness, and technical achievement in apps and games. The selected apps and games have helped users flex their creativity, challenge themselves, and have fun with family and friends. App Store Award winners will be selected from this year’s outstanding group of finalists and will be announced in the coming weeks.

“We are excited about the achievements of these App Store Award finalists who are helping users around the world to explore their interests in drawing, design, video editing, education, music, time management, working out, hiking, playing games, and so much more,” said Phil Schiller, Apple Fellow. “These finalists are all incredibly talented and have put enormous effort into creating these great apps and games. We are inspired by their accomplishments and look forward to announcing the winners of the App Store Awards later this month.”

Is This How Apple Will Support App Sideloading In Europe?, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

Currently in developer beta, Apple says its Managed App Distribution system is being built to let enterprise, educational, and other institutional customers distribute apps to employees or students. The idea is that the organization can create its own app to act as a storefront and use the system to distribute apps to verified customers. A business might provide approved/registered employees with business-related apps via its own managed app distribution store, for example.

There are various code strings to support the system, including ones to fetch and display apps, organize app collections, and error messages in the case of a distribution error.

End Of An Era: The Last Remaining macOS Install CDs Are Officially Extinct, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

Hey kids, come have a seat around my rocking chair, and let this old timer tell you of a time of yore, a time when that high-speed internet connection you always use for the Ticky Tockys and whatnot didn’t exist. Back then, when we had to do something like install Mac OS, we used a thingamajig called an optical disc, which had the software on it.


iPhone 14 Users Get Free Emergency SOS Via Satellite For An Extra Year, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple today announced that its Emergency SOS via satellite service is being extended for an additional free year for existing iPhone 14 users. Apple originally gave new ‌iPhone 14‌ owners two free years after device activation, which would have expired in November 2024.

Apple Releases New Firmware For USB-C Apple Pencil, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

There is no word on what features, fixes, or updates might be included in the updated firmware, and Apple does not provide release notes for ‌Apple Pencil‌ software releases.

What I Learnt From Using The BetterMe Fitness App That Strengthens Your Brain And Body, by Maisie Peppitt, Hello

If you value exercise that fits in with your work-from-home routine and busy schedule whilst supporting your mental and physical health, then I’d advocate trying it. Whether you’re looking to reach a goal weight, or just change up your daily exercise, BetterMe can help you to do it.


Telegram Demos visionOS App, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Telegram founder Pavel Durov today showed off a brief glimpse at Telegram's upcoming visionOS app, which is one of the first third-party ‌visionOS‌ app concepts that we've seen so far.

Apple Halts Shake-to-Open-Ad Feature, Multiple Apps Affected, by PanDaily

Since November, Apple has notified several leading apps in China to remove the gyroscope permission, effectively banning “Shake to Open” ads. According to reports, the apps that received the notice include but are not limited to short video apps, emails, social media apps, and more.

Apple And Google On Hook For Foreign App Tax In Japan Code Proposal, by Ko Fujioka, Nikkei Asia

Japan will make app store operators like Apple and Google responsible for paying consumption taxes on content sold by foreign developers, to more effectively recover levies collected by small companies with no physical presence in Japan.

The change, which was detailed in a Finance Ministry report released Tuesday, aims to create a more level playing field for Japan-based content creators that can more easily be taxed directly.

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Looks like Apple, in 2023, still don't have a good business plan for satellite SOS, and is now pushing the problem to Apple in 2024?


Thanks for reading.

The Vocalization-Translation Edition Tuesday, November 14, 2023

My Cat Talks To Me, by Elle Hunt, Slate

Like most pet owners, I’ve always wondered about Vlada’s doubtless rich inner life, and whether she’s actually as scornful of me as her behavior often suggests. So when a friend and fellow cat owner told me about MeowTalk, an app that records your cat’s vocalizations and (after a 30-second video) “translates” them into English, I didn’t delay in giving it a try.


Apple Launches Tap To Pay On iPhone In France, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple has announced Tap to Pay on iPhone in France, allowing independent sellers, small merchants, and large retailers in the country to use ‌iPhones‌ as a payment terminal.

How The Gentler Streak App Changed My Life, by Cam Bunton, Pocket-lint

Gentler Streak's approach is far more sustainable and the funny part is I'm not really doing workouts or exercises that are any different to before. I'm still running, I'm actually doing a Couch to 5K plan again to build my cardio fitness and doing kettlebells just like I have been for years. The only difference this time is that I'm following my gentle path to progress instead of religiously following a preset schedule.

Retrobatch 2.0, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The upgraded app adds several new nodes, including a Super Resolution node that uses machine learning to scale an image up to 4x, a Photos Export node that can download from iCloud as well as export unmodified originals from Photos, a Get Selected Finder Images node (not available in App Store version), and a GPS node.


The Right-to-repair Movement Is Just Getting Started, by Maddie Stone, The Verge

The stark contrast between what Apple now professes to believe — that repairing devices is good for consumers’ pocketbooks and the planet — and its decision to discourage unsanctioned fixes by pairing specific parts to specific devices, highlights a sobering reality right-to-repair activists are now confronting: despite a recent string of hard-won victories, the fight for affordable, accessible, and universal access to repair is far from over. Following years of pressure from consumers, shareholders, activists, and regulators, tech companies are finally cracking open the door to repair. But unless these corporations are forced to do more, our devices will continue to die early deaths because they are difficult to disassemble, the manufacturer stops offering software support, or the only way to make them work again is to purchase pricey replacement parts from the original device maker.

Apple Health Studies Share New Analysis Ahead Of World Diabetes Day, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The updates explain how continuous glucose monitors “can empower people with diabetes to gain insight into how different foods, activities, and life stressors affect glucose.” When this data is supplemented with data from Apple Watch about activity, steps, sleep, and menstrual cycles, it provides an even bigger “treasure-trove of information.”

Apple Gets 36% Of Google Revenue In Search Deal, Expert Says, by Leah Nylen, Bloomberg

Google pays Apple Inc. 36% of the revenue it earns from search advertising made through the Safari browser, the main economics expert for the Alphabet Inc. unit said Monday.

Kevin Murphy, a University of Chicago professor, disclosed the number during his testimony in Google’s defense at the Justice Department’s antitrust trial in Washington.

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My iPhone contains so many secrets -- from banking apps to photos to messages -- that I do want to know where I can go for repairs if I don't want my secrets to leak during the repair or even after the repair.

Yes, I get that there may be others who don't have much secrets on their phones, and their objective may well be to find the cheapest good-enough repair shop.

That's fine. But I do want to be able to easily tell which is which.


Thanks for reading.

The Predatory-Business Edition Monday, November 13, 2023

Addicted To Losing: How Casino-like Apps Have Drained People Of Millions, by Cyrus Farivar, NBC News

Jackpot Magic is an app made by Big Fish Games of Seattle, one of the leaders in an industry of "free-to-play" social games into which some people have plowed thousands of dollars. Big Fish Games also operates a similar app, Big Fish Casino. Both are labeled as video games, which allows the company and others like it to skirt the tightly regulated U.S. gambling market.

But unlike the gambling market, apps like Jackpot Magic and Big Fish Casino are under little oversight to determine whether they are fair or whether their business practices are predatory.

Your Phone Is The Key To Your Digital Life. Make Sure You Know What To Do If You Lose It., by Sara Morrison, Vox

Our phones have become our main — in some cases, only — gateway to so many things. If you lock yourself out of your house, you can call a locksmith to get back in, even if it’s the middle of the night on a holiday. But if you lose your phone, you may lose your keys to a whole lot more, and it may take a while, if ever, to get that access back.


Our phones have become our main — in some cases, only — gateway to so many things. If you lock yourself out of your house, you can call a locksmith to get back in, even if it’s the middle of the night on a holiday. But if you lose your phone, you may lose your keys to a whole lot more, and it may take a while, if ever, to get that access back.

I Just Tried Apple News Plus For The First Time In 4 Years — Here’s What I Learned, by Philip Michaels, Tom's Guide

I like the additions to content Apple has made to its News Plus service over the years, and the ability to share your subscription with up to five family members is a nice way to extract some value out of that $12.99 monthly fee. But ultimately, the look of the app on the iPhone is just too cluttered for my tastes and the discovery process too scattershot for me to feel like I'm getting my money's worth.

I Wanted A No-nonsense Approach To Wellness, And This Simple App Is Perfect, by Lauren Scott, TechRadar

I like to think I’m pretty good when it comes to exercise and eating a balanced diet, but in reality, I’m often frazzled, high on coffee and snacks, and poor on relaxation – not to mention time. Feel Better, by (blogger-turned-businesswoman) Deliciously Ella is designed to provide a solution to all of that with sustainable tools for healthy living.

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(Checking on all the latest reports from all the rumormongers…)

Still no iPhone mini in the works, eh?


Thanks for reading.

The What-Is-That Edition Sunday, November 12, 2023

7 Best Ways To Use Your iPhone's Awesome Visual Look Up Feature, by Peter Wolinski, Tom's Guide

Essentially, if you're looking at something and thinking "what is that?", Visual Look Up is there to tell you.

However, this feature doesn't just use its subject detection to search for things online. Once Visual Look Up has detected a subject, it'll even allow you to lift that subject out of an image and use it in other applications.

I Figured Out How To Protect My iPhone Without An Ugly Case, by Andy Boxall, Digital Trends

I’m talking about the humble phone pouch. The ones I remembered were as simple as “cases” get, as they were mostly made of fabric or leather, and while you could find them sized for a particular type of phone, there were plenty of universal ones around too. When the iPhone 3G was out, there were very few case options available, so getting one that you really liked was a bit of a challenge. I also had the same problem that exists today, in that they all add bulk and ruin the lines of the phone.

You Paid $1,000 For An iPhone, But Apple Still Controls It, by Tripp Mickle, Ella Koeze and Brian X. Chen, New York Times

Apple and other companies have defended the practice by saying it protects customers’ safety and the company’s brand. Shoddy parts, like a faulty face scanner, could compromise the phone’s security, and if an independent shop messes up a repair, the customer often blames Apple instead of the shop, the company has said. The practice also allows Apple to create a record of parts in the device, which can be helpful to buyers of secondhand phones.

But the increase of pairing parts with software has animated a movement that wants to make repairs cheaper and easier. Proponents, which include iFixit, say it would be better for the environment and customers’ wallets to extend the life of devices. They have urged lawmakers to simplify repairs, asking: “Who owns the device after it’s been purchased? The customer or the manufacturer?”

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I think Apple finally have gotten widgets right in the latest version of macOS. I rather enjoy having them around on my desktop, where I can either see them constantly on my 'big' screen, or when I press Cmd-F3 on my 'little' screen. It also helps that widgets are nice looking and useful.

Do we think Apple can also do widgets on the HomePod? First, imagine the Las Vegas Sphere…


Thanks for reading.

The Life-Like-Depth Edition Saturday, November 11, 2023

Vision Pro, Spatial Video, And Panoramic Photos, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

If you own an iPhone 15 Pro, there’s no good reason not to start capturing spatial videos this year — like, say, this holiday season — to record any sort of moments that feel like something you might want to experience as “memories” with a Vision headset in the future, even if you don’t plan to buy the first-generation Vision Pro next year.


Nothing you’ve ever viewed on a screen, however, can prepare you for the experience of watching these spatial videos, especially the ones you will have shot yourself, of your own family and friends. They truly are more like memories than videos. The spatial videos I experienced yesterday that were shot by Apple looked better — framed by professional photographers, and featuring professional actors. But the ones I shot myself were more compelling, and took my breath away.

I Tried The iPhone 15 Pro's New Spatial Video Feature, And It Will Be The Vision Pro's Killer App, by Lance Ulanoff, TechRadar

During the shoot, I did my best to put one piece of sushi the chef held up to me in the foreground, and in the final result, I got exactly the effect I was hoping for. The depth is interesting, and not overbearing or jarring. Instead, the scene looks exactly as I remember it, complete with that lifelike depth. That’s not possible with traditional videography.

All The App Stores

Apple To File Challenge Over Digital Markets Act In EU Court - Bloomberg News, by Chandni Shah and Yuvraj Malik, Reuters

Apple is set to challenge the European Union's decision to put all of the App Store into the bloc's new digital antitrust list, Bloomberg News reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The iPhone maker's appeal is still in draft form and could change before the Nov. 16 deadline to file challenges at the EU's General Court, according to the report.

iOS 17.2 Hints At Sideloading Apps From Outside The App Store, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

iOS 17.2 has a new public framework called “Managed App Distribution.” While our first thought was that this API would be related to MDM solutions for installing enterprise apps (which is already possible on iOS), it seems that Apple has been working on something more significant than that.


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.

United Airlines’ Customer Chief On ‘Day Of Travel’ Power Of The Airline App, by Graham Dunn, FlightGlobal

While United Airlines' customers are able to engage across a range of platforms and timeframes, for the carrier's chief customer officer Linda Jojo many of the advances with airline apps centre around their ability to support ‘day of travel’ functionality.

This Photo Editing App With Manual Controls Is A Joy To Use, by Becca Caddy, iMore

Developed by Ben McCarthy, Obscura 4 brings you a whole host of real-time camera tools and photo editing tools, but it's the design of the app that I enjoy the most. Sort of like using a manual camera, there's an old-school mode dial that allows you to change the intensity of different effects in real-time, whereas in rival apps you'd find simple sliders.

Sony Creators' App Review, by Hillary Grigonis, The Phoblographer

The Sony Creators’ App allows for wireless transfers and remote controls, yes, but also a handful of new features, including cloud back-ups, bulk transfers, and even shooting those remote selfies with eye detection.

'Finity' Is My Favorite Apple Arcade Game (But I Also Hate It), by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

As fun as Finity can be, it can be even more infuriating…in a good way…kind of.


The New Apple Watch Double Tap Gesture Is Useful, Sometimes, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

When your hands are wet, pressing a button on the capacitive touch screen is nigh-impossible. Double Tap circumvents that limitation. [...] I’m not saying Double Tap is the primary preferred input method of the watch, perhaps it’s not even a daily thing for me, but it is a convenience that I take advantage of, a few times a week. That’s nice.

The iPhone Selfie Camera Has Gotten Too Good, by Caroline Mimbs Nyce, The Atlantic

The iPhone selfie camera is now so good that it is perhaps too good. On social media, people slather themselves in beauty filters; remote workers go through entire Zoom meetings forgetting that their and others’ skin might be blurred and brightened by the software. You can upload your face to a generative-AI tool and, in seconds, get a dozen glossy professional headshots of yourself, wearing clothes you don’t even own. The new Apple camera, by contrast, offers a cold dose of reality: You have blackheads! And acne! And frown lines!

Apple Privately Asked Amazon To Block Rival Ads. Insider Found Evidence Of This Special Treatment, While Others Suffer From 'Junk Ads', by Eugene Kim, Insider

In an email to Insider, Apple acknowledged that a 2018 agreement with Amazon prevents other brands from buying ads on the e-commerce site for a few specific Apple-related brand queries. The company added that third-party brands are still able to buy ads on Amazon for generic keywords containing an Apple name. Marketplace Pulse's Kaziukenas said that means brands can buy ads on general terms, like an "iPhone 15 pro case," but not for specific queries like "iPhone" on Amazon's marketplace.

Apple's goal was to create the best possible customer experience, and other companies are free to do the same, Apple's representative added.

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I know I am living at the equator, but it's November already, and it is supposed to be the rain season, and not the hot-as-heck season that I am sweating through today.


Thanks for reading.

The Creativity-and-Collaboration Edition Friday, November 10, 2023

JigSpace Is In The Driver’s Seat, by Apple

The F1 car is just one component of JigSpace’s grand plans for visionOS. The company is leaning on the new platform to create avenues of creativity and collaboration never before possible.

PTC Is Uniting The Makers, by Apple

Prideaux-Ghee says Apple Vision Pro offers PTC an opportunity to bring together components of the engineering and manufacturing process like never before. “Our customers either make stuff, or they make the machines that help somebody else make stuff,” says Prideaux-Ghee. And that stuff can be anything from chairs to boats to spaceships. “I can almost guarantee that the chair you’re sitting on is made by one of our customers,” he says.

Coming Soon

The iPhone 15 Pro Is Getting Spatial Video Capture In iOS 17.2, by Umar Shakir, The Verge

Apple is rolling out its latest beta version of iOS 17, and it includes the ability to record spatial videos on the iPhone 15 Pro for viewing in the upcoming Vision Pro mixed reality headset. Those who have access to and install iOS 17.2 beta 2 on their devices can start filming videos with a 3D effect using the iPhone 15 Pro’s top two cameras when held sideways.

iOS 17.2 Expands 'Sensitive Content Warning' For Detecting Unwanted Nudes, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

First, Sensitive Content Warnings are now applied to stickers in the Messages app. This aligns with iOS 17.2, allowing you to react to messages using any sticker or emoji. With this change, iOS 17.2 can detect stickers that might contain nudity and blur them before you see them.

Also in iOS 17.2, Sensitive Content Warnings now work for Contact Posters in the Contacts app. Contact Posters were introduced in iOS 17 to let users customize how they appear when they call or message someone.

Apple and Governments

Apple And Irish Government Suffer Major Setback In €13bn EU Tax Case, by Joe Brennan, Irish Times

A key adviser to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has recommended that the EU’s highest court set aside a 2020 ruling by a lower court that the commission had failed to prove that the tax was owed at all.


“It seems that this case is going to rumble on for a few years more. It is quite possible that whichever side loses the second hearing at the general court will appeal the case back to the ECJ, so it could be several years before we have a final decision,” aid Peter Vale, a tax partner at Grant Thornton Ireland.

Apple Agrees To $25 Million Settlement With US Over Hiring Of Immigrants, by Daniel Wiessner, Reuters

The Justice Department in a statement said Apple did not recruit U.S. citizens or permanent residents for jobs that were eligible for a federal program allowing employers to sponsor immigrant workers for green cards, in violation of a federal law that bars discrimination based on citizenship.


So, Apple Fitness+ Is Seriously The Best, Cheapest Workout Programme I've Ever Tried, by Taylor Andrews, Cosmopolitan

The app features really fun fitness classes—and makes my life so much easier. All I have to do is pick the class and wait for the instructor to tell me exactly what to do and how much to do it. And I don't know about ya'll, but that's exactly what I need out of a workout.

I've been using Fitness+ for the past two-ish weeks because #workperks, and I just have to say, it's totally legit. I seriously can't get enough of it. Allow me to explain why it's literally the best.

Apple Rolling Out New Firmware Update For AirPods Pro 2, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple doesn’t generally give us very detailed release notes for AirPods updates. Today’s update likely focuses on bug fixes and other improvements.

Apple Increases Trade-In Values For Select iPads And Apple Watches, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple increased trade-in values for the iPad Pro, iPad Air, entry-level iPad, Apple Watch Ultra, and Apple Watch Series 7, which could incentivize customers to upgrade these devices heading into the holiday shopping season.

Apple's Home Key To Form Basis Of A New Smart Lock Standard, Aliro, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

What Aliro will do is bring the same benefits to smart locks as Matter brings to other devices. With both tech companies and lock makers signed up, it should mean that we can use our Apple devices to open almost any smart lock with nothing more than a tap.

We Tried The Most Popular Travel Itinerary Apps, And Here Is Our Favorite, by Shelly Abramovich, Explore

In our quest to find the best travel companion, we dove into the digital sea of travel tools. Drumroll, please, for TripIt, TripCase, Pebblar, and Wanderlog. We tested these four apps for their flashy features, real-world practicality, user-friendliness, overall design, and value. From itinerary creation to real-time updates, we explored the capabilities of these apps to determine which tool can transform chaotic planning into a streamlined experience. Note that these apps are not for booking, reviews, or travel content — you've got Expedia, Tripadvisor, and the rest for that. In this article, we are focusing solely on travel organizational tools.


The “Sweet, Creative” World Of Kimono Cats, by Apple

Games simply don’t get much cuter than Kimono Cats, a casual cartoon adventure about two cats on a date (awww) that creator Greg Johnson made as a present for his wife. “I wanted to make a game she and I could play together,” says the Maui-based indie developer, “and I wanted it to be sweet, creative, and romantic.”

Kimono Cats is all three, and it’s also spectacularly easy to play and navigate. This Apple Design Award finalist for Interaction in games is set in a Japanese festival full of charming mini-games — darts, fishing, and the like — that are designed for maximum simplicity and casual fun.

Apple Music Adds New Real-time Listening Analytics For Artists, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple Music for Artists has been overhauled with a new “Listening Now” feature that offers real-time data for listening analytics. The feature rolled out today via Apple Music for Artists on iPhone and the service’s website.


How Arm Is Gaining Chip Dominance With Its Architecture In Apple, Nvidia, AMD, Amazon, Qualcomm And More, by Katie Tarasov, CNBC

"Nobody really believed, until Apple went all in and basically cut ties with x86 instruction sets and said, 'We are going to bet the future of the Mac on Arm.' And that was a huge inflection for the company. It was a change of the guard. And this isn't to say that Intel's future is in big trouble, but it certainly started to raise some question marks as to, well, if Apple can do it, can others?" Newman said.

Optus Went Down And The Smart Lights Came On. And Then Marayke Was Stranded In Bed, by Tory Shepherd, The Guardian

Marayke Jonkers first realised something was wrong when all her bedroom lights turned on early in the morning. All the devices in the Paralympian’s home are smart – they need the internet to work. When the internet went down, the lights went on and she couldn’t turn them off.

Wednesday’s Optus outage left her trapped in bed, unable to contact a support worker, with no access to food or water, and no idea what was going on. Jonkers – a paratriathlete, a Paralympic swimmer and the co-vice-president of People with Disability Australia (PWDA) – couldn’t get support until Thursday morning.

Bottom of the Page

Will Apple ever dig out those PowerPC vs Pentium ads, dust them up a little, change PowerPC to Apple Silicon, and run them again?

Now that Apple (argumentatively) is on top, will it ever put out any of those comparative advertisements like "PowerPC vs Pentium", or "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC"?


Thanks for reading.

The Who-They-Are Edition Thursday, November 9, 2023

Upcoming Contact Key Verification Feature Promises Secure Identity Verification For iMessage, by Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS

The feature is called Contact Key Verification, and its name does just what it says: it lets you add a manual verification step in an iMessage conversation to confirm that the other person is who their device says they are. (SMS conversations lack any reliable method for verification—sorry, green-bubble friends.) Instead of relying on Apple to verify the other person’s identity using information stored securely on Apple’s servers, you and the other party read a short verification code to each other, either in person or on a phone call. Once you’ve validated the conversation, your devices maintain a chain of trust in which neither you nor the other person has given any private encryption information to each other or Apple. If anything changes in the encryption keys each of you verified, the Messages app will notice and provide an alert or warning.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Permissions Requests, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

What’s happening here is that Migration Assistant has migrated all my apps, and has automatically launched any of them that are listed in Login Items or are set to automatically launch in the background. They all launch, all at once, and every single one of them then prompts me for permission to do all the things they already had permission to do on my previous Mac.

Apple Says It 'Expects To Make' App Store Policy Changes Due To EU DMA, by Manish Singh, Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch

The iPhone-maker has updated the language pertaining to its risk factors in the fiscal year 2023 Form 10-K filing, with the revised text presenting a shift from the company’s previous position, indicating a more definitive stance on potential modifications to the App Store policies.

Apple said that future changes could also affect how the company charges developers for access to its platforms; how it manages distribution of apps outside of the App Store; and “how, and to what extent, it allows developers to communicate with consumers inside the App Store regarding alternative purchasing mechanisms.”


The iMac Has Become A Computer In Search Of A Purpose, by Dan Seifert, The Verge

The iMac started its life as a simple computer to help get people on the internet. Twenty-five years later, it’s back to its roots more than ever. But I just don’t know that a simple all-in-one desktop computer is something most people want or need at this point.

WhatsApp Now Lets Users Hide Their Location During Calls, by Sergiu Gatlan, BleepingComputer

As the company's engineering team explained today, the users' location is hidden from other call participants by switching from the standard peer-to-peer direct connection between callers using the company's servers to obfuscate IP address metadata that could contain information on the users' internet service provider or broad geographical location.

However, while the calls are proxied through WhatsApp's servers to make it harder to infer location information, it says that it cannot listen in as all calls are end-to-end encrypted. The company says in a separate support document that group calls are always relayed through its servers by default.

ChronoSync 11 And ChronoAgent 11, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Econ Technologies has dialed its ChronoSync and ChronoAgent synchronization and backup tools up to (version) 11, bringing full compatibility with macOS 14 Sonoma, improved management of cloud-stored files, and more.

Adonit Note+ 2 Review: An iPad Stylus That’s A Stroke Of Excellence, by Rael Hornby, Laptop Magazine

A stylish, simple, svelte, and surprisingly-priced stylus that gives the Apple Pencil a run for its money. Interchangeable tips, broad device compatibility, and an impressive feature set make this pointer an easy recommendation for aspiring iPad artists.


Apple To Launch Next Swift Student Challenge In February 2024, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today announced that it plans to hold its next Swift Student Challenge in February 2024, marking the first time the company has provided advanced notice to give students time to prepare. The Swift Student Challenge tasks students with creating an innovative coding project using the Swift Playgrounds app.


Apple Is Not Passing On Costs Of Climate Goals To Consumers, Exec Says, by Jeffrey Dastin and Kenneth Li and Ross Kerber, Reuters

Apple, with a roughly $2.8 trillion market capitalization, which makes it the world's most valuable publicly traded company, wants to show a way forward that can apply to other businesses, Jackson said. Apple CEO Tim Cook has set the tone, according to Jackson.

"I want to do it in a way that other businesses can say this isn't because they’re Apple," said Jackson, referring to Cook's direction. "It's because they understand how to make clean energy and (recyclable) materials work in the manufacturing chains and drive emissions down."

Apple Wants A Bigger Slice Of The $183 Billion Gaming Market, by Daniel Howley, Yahoo Finance

Sure, Apple has touted its Mac gaming credentials in the past, but it’s always been more of an aside, an ancillary feature rather than its raison d'etre. And yes, Microsoft’s Windows still dominates the computer gaming market. But Apple, it seems, is making a concerted effort to push into the space, even dedicating a portion of its latest live product unveiling to highlight the Macs’ gaming chops.


But Apple has an uphill battle ahead if it expects to steal a chunk of the computer gaming market from Microsoft. And that includes convincing both gamers and developers that it’s fully dedicated to becoming a major player in the space.

Taylor Swift Is Apple Music’s 2023 Artist Of The Year, by Paul Grein, Billboard

It’s hardly a surprise, but it’s still a significant achievement: Taylor Swift is Apple Music’s Artist of the Year for 2023. She’s the No. 1 most-streamed female artist in Apple Music history and is also the female artist with the most songs to reach Apple Music’s Global Daily Top 100.

“I am so honored to be Apple Music’s Artist of the Year,” Swift said in a statement. “Thank you to every single one of you for making this year the most incredible, joyful, celebratory year ever. From streaming the music nonstop to screaming it together in real life at the shows, dancing chaotically in movie theaters, none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you so much.”

Gimlet On The Rocks, by Piers Gelly, n+1

It’s a very American story, which is to say that you can tell it two different ways at once: as one man’s visionary quest to turn a bright idea into, at the New York Times’s estimate, a personal payout of over $20 million dollars; or as a case study in the infinite fungibility of capital, which creates and dissolves podcasts along with literary careers according to its inexorable logic, and the stubborn fact of labor, of the human bodies and heads, which also have ears, that generate the surplus keeping the sluices flowing. The last word belongs to the Parcast and Gimlet unions, who issued a joint statement on June 5, the day of Spotify’s 200-person layoff.

“Gimlet was a pioneer in the podcast industry,” the statement reads, having produced many shows that “turned people into podcast listeners.” Indeed, “Spotify acquired Gimlet because it saw something special in the studio. But instead of building on that legacy, the company undermined it, and four years later Gimlet is no more.”

Bottom of the Page

There are too many people measuring success using quantity rather than quality.

And that's all I have to say. Not that there is much quality in that one sentence either.



Thanks for reading.

The Filmmaking-Legitimacy Edition Wednesday, November 8, 2023

What Does And Doesn’t Matter About Apple Shooting Their October Event On iPhone 15 Pro Max, by Stu Maschwitz, Prolost

It may be hard to imagine that a slightly different bit of signal processing when recording a video file from a tiny sensor can make the difference between consumer birthday-cam and professional viability, bit that is exactly the power of log. Apple Log has catapulted the iPhone into filmmaking legitimacy.


Should you look at the giant lights in Apple’s video and feel dejected that your own productions will never afford this level of illumination? I say no, because a) you’re probably not lighting up the whole side of an architectural marvel, and b) you’re probably not designing your production around one of the world’s highest-paid CEOs.

What To Do If Your New M3 Mac Shows Up With An Old, Non-updatable macOS Version, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

In time, Apple will incorporate the files needed to support the new Macs into the main version of macOS so that it will once again support all available Macs. This usually happens in the next major point release, like 14.2 or 14.3. But in the short term, this creates a situation where the current macOS Sonoma installer that you would grab through the App Store or Software Update on an existing Mac can't be installed on a newly released Mac.


If you have one of the affected Macs and Software Update isn’t offering you the macOS 14.1 update, a MacRumors forum user has posted a direct link to the file on Apple’s software update servers. Downloading and running it will put a Sonoma installer in your Applications folder, at which point you should be able to run that app to install the update manually.

Use ‘Find My’ Phone Apps. But Don’t Trust Them., by Shira Ovide, Washington Post

The bottom line: You shouldn’t entirely trust location identifying technology.

There’s a contradiction in our faith in technology: We know that technology makes mistakes, but we can also be overconfident that it gives the right answer.

Bug Fixes and Improvements

Apple Releases iOS 17.1.1 For iPhone With Fixes For Snow Glitch And Wireless Charging , by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The software update includes fixes for wireless charging and the Weather lock screen widget.

Apple Releases WatchOS 10.1.1 With Fix For Apple Watch Battery Drain Bug, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Today's update addresses an issue that is causing some Apple Watch models to drain battery more quickly than expected.

Apple Updates HomePod With Fix For Siri, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

All HomePod hardware can update to version 17.1.1 to resolve an issue with failed Siri requests.

Apple Releases New Firmware For Beats Fit Pro And Powerbeats Pro, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple does not provide details on what's included in firmware updates for the Beats Fit Pro and ‌Powerbeats Pro‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the firmware offers.

All The Memories

Apple Has A Memory Problem And We're All Paying For It, by Jason Cross, Macworld

Is it a problem to sell a Mac with 8GB in 2023-2024? No. Is it a problem to sell a MacBook Pro for $1,600 with only 8GB of RAM? Oh god, yes. If 8GB will be a bottleneck for many today, imagine the performance of that non-upgradeable laptop in a few years’ time.

8GB RAM On M3 MacBook Pro 'Analogous To 16GB' On PCs, Claims Apple, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

"Comparing our memory to other system's memory actually isn't equivalent, because of the fact that we have such an efficient use of memory, and we use memory compression, and we have a unified memory architecture."

"Actually, 8GB on an M3 MacBook Pro is probably analogous to 16GB on other systems. We just happen to be able to use it much more efficiently."


New iMac Supports High-Impedance Headphones, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The built-in 3.5mm headphone jack on the left side of the new iMac features impedance detection and adaptive voltage output, and the computer now has a built-in digital-to-analog converter with support for sample rates of up to 96 kHz, allowing for users to listen to high-fidelity, full-resolution audio with supported headphones.

Instapaper Updated To Include New Features: Note Search And Article Notes, by Sovan Mandal, Good E-Reader

Instapaper announced the launch of a new integrated Note Search feature that will let you dive into the depths of your highlights and notes easily.

These Motion Sensors Finally Made My Home Feel ‘Smart’, by Simon Hill, Wired

If you’re ready to wade into smart home automation, I can heartily recommend the Eve Motion Sensor, provided you have a Thread Border Router and compatible devices. It’s versatile and easy to set up, but more importantly, it works reliably to trigger automations instantly every time.


Apple Invites Developers To Labs, Workshops And Vision Pro Sessions Held In November, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today informed developers about a number of new developer activities that are taking place in November, including App Store activities, additional Vision Pro labs, technology consultations, and more.


Google And Prominent Telecom Groups Call On Brussels To Act Over Apple’s iMessage, by Javier Espinoza, Financial Times

In a letter sent to the commission and seen by the Financial Times, the signatories, which include a Google senior vice-president and the chief executives of Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Orange, claimed Apple’s service meets the qualitative thresholds of the act. It therefore should be captured by the rules to “benefit European consumers and businesses”, they wrote.


However, as part of the EU probe, the iPhone maker has argued that iMessage should not be captured by the new rules because users do not pay directly for its use and its devices can be used without the messaging app, according to documents released by the commission.

US Consumer Watchdog Proposes Rules For Big Tech Payments, Digital Wallets, by Douglas Gillison and Hannah Lang, Reuters

The top U.S. consumer financial watchdog on Tuesday proposed to regulate tech giants' digital payments and smartphone wallet services, saying they rival traditional payment methods in scale and scope but lack consumer safeguards.


If finalized, the proposal would cover about 17 companies that together send more than 13 billion payments annually, according to a CFPB official. The agency declined to name the other platforms that would be covered beyond GooglePay, ApplePay, PayPal and CashApp.

Why It Is Time For A Single QR Code For All The Payments In The World, by Andy Mukherjee, Bloomberg

The reason why Singapore is still determined to fine-tune QR code-based payment is not its meager 3% share in digital-wallet transactions, but its 72% compounded annual growth over the past five years. This rapid expansion is being driven by tiny enterprises that began to go digital during the pandemic. Considering that 19% of the city’s of point-of-sale transactions last year were in cash, the government’s Hawkers Go Digital program still has a long way to go. Enabling food carts and street vendors to get the maximum possible share of tourist dollars (or yen, or yuan, or rupees) ought to be a worthy goal for greater financial inclusion in any economy, developed or developing.

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I just realized in my entire working life, I've never written programming code to sync data between devices. Between clients and server, yes, but not between multiple devices.

Maybe that's why I am rather stuck in my hobby project.

Maybe I really should read some codes over at Github or something.


Thanks for reading.

The Fastest-Computer Edition Tuesday, November 7, 2023

M3 MacBook Pro Review: Peak Performance, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

The biggest performance boosts of the M3 generation come on the M3 Max, and during my time with the 16-inch M3 Max MacBook Pro, I was frequently reminded that it was the fastest computer I’d ever used. Returning to my M1 Max Mac Studio, I started a CPU-intensive podcast transcription task and wondered why it was taking so long. I had already gotten used to the speed of the M3 Max for intense tasks like that.

You’ll pay for the privilege, sure. But while the M3 and M3 Pro offer nice improvements to performance, the M3 Max goes all-out. If power and portability matter to you, it’s time to upgrade.

Review: Apple’s 16-inch M3 Max MacBook Pro Crams Ultra-level Speed Into A Laptop, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

All Apple Silicon Macs have been some kind of an upgrade compared to the Intel models they've replaced, but the M3 generation will be perfectly poised to catch a lot of people who own those last two or three Intel Mac generations, ones made between 2018 and 2020. For them, it will be an immense upgrade—everything that was good about the M1 and M2 releases, but with a bit of extra speed and a handful of minor hardware refinements.

Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023) Review: Entry-level Enigma, by Victoria Song, The Verge

If you want a bigger screen, the [15-inch] Air is the way to go. For most people, the Air is more than powerful enough for their workload. But if you want something a bit more versatile that can handle the odd power-intensive task — or just really really hate dongles — the Pro is the safer bet. You might as well get that extra 10 percent performance the M3 affords, at least until Apple updates the Air to the same chip. So long as you’re also getting 16GB of RAM.


M3 iMac Review: Keep Playing The Hits, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Four and half years later, I continue to believe that Apple sees the iMac as more of a supporting player that needs to justify its existence by doing certain tasks better than an iPad, iPhone, or MacBook. Its biggest asset is its screen: A 24-inch screen will let you be productive in ways that smaller screens simply can’t. For many tasks—whether you’re editing photos or video or just watching a movie—bigger screens are just better.

By redesigning the iMac to have bright colors and making it thinner and lighter, Apple has repositioned the iMac as more fun, more mobile, and more likely to find itself a home. The days of the iMac being the default Mac for most users are long over, but today’s iMac does need to be flexible enough to slide into a kitchen (but not on the island!) or onto a makeshift workspace in the corner of a bedroom.

Apple Has No Plans To Make A 27-inch iMac With Apple Silicon, by Dan Seifert, The Verge

Apple PR representative Starlayne Meza confirmed the company’s plans to The Verge. The company encourages those who have been holding out hope for a larger iMac to consider the Studio Display and Mac Studio or Mac mini, which pair a 27-inch 5K screen with a separate computer, compared to the all-in-one design of the iMac.

The Great iMac Realignment, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

For years, the iMac became more and more professional in its power, design and very nature. At the end of the Intel era, the computer could be ordered in such a wide range of specs that basically anyone shopping for an iMac could easily have their needs met, from the most basic of home users to folks pushing the bounds of what their computers could do.

That’s just not true anymore, and while it stings, I think the iMac is pretty squarely back in the consumer column … at least for the foreseeable future. Some of the more pedantic folks in the Apple community have read Apple’s statement as ruling out a 27-inch iMac but not a larger machine. After all, a huge iMac has been rumored for some time. Apple is fine going back on its word when it suits it or its products, but my gut says we aren’t going to see a larger iMac.


Logic Pro For Mac And iPad Updated With New Features, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple today updated its professional music creation app Logic Pro for the Mac and iPad with new features and enhancements, including support for Split View and Stage Manager on the iPad. The updates are available now on the App Store.

Final Cut Pro Gaining New Features On Mac And iPad Later This Month, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Final Cut Pro on the Mac will be updated with organizational refinements like automatic timeline scrolling. Users will be able to keep their clips in view during playback, with the view able to be adjusted using keyboard shortcuts or the Zoom option.


On the ‌iPad‌, the updated version of Final Cut Pro will include voiceover capabilities that will let creators record narration and audio directly into the timeline with the ‌iPad‌. In pro camera mode, stabilization will now improve shaky footage for smoother video, and there are new options for combining connected clips.

How The Apple TV 4K Quickly Became My Favorite Streaming Device, by Simon Hill, Wired

This unobtrusive black box, with its reassuringly solid aluminum remote, is elegant, slick, and packed with delightful features that genuinely add value.

Lightroom Classic 13, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The update introduces the Lens Blur feature to blur the background or foreground of an image using Adobe Sensei AI.

Moment Pro Camera For iPhone Gets Apple Log, ProRes Codec Support, And More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Moment is out a notable update for its Pro Camera app for iPhone today. The release debuts a new video engine, improved color space control, support for Apple’s Log recording, ProRes codecs, lower latency, and more.

WhatsApp's New Mac App Is Now Available In The App Store, by Stan Schroeder, Mashable

Now, the new WhatsApp for Mac has finally been launched on the App Store as well. According to WhatsApp, the new app is available "globally."

The 7 Best Note-Taking Apps For Students, by Joe Brown, MakeUseOf

Whether you’re a visual learner or prefer typing notes, these apps all have a unique way of taking notes.


Apple Faces Some 'Scary' Truths As It Heads Into The Holiday Shopping Season, by David Price, Macworld

Everything, of course, is relative. Other companies would kill for Apple’s “disappointing” revenue numbers, and there was some good news in the latest report: the Services division is thriving, which augurs well for life after the iPhone. What’s more, a lot of the company’s developmental malaise can be traced to the resources being funneled into Vision Pro, which should bring fireworks of sorts–albeit in very small numbers at first–when it lands next year. Apple is not doomed. But it would do well to remember that customer loyalty cannot be taken for granted. And that the horse looked irreplaceable until someone invented the car.

Bottom of the Page

Is the iMac a one-size-fits-all device?

I agree that if you still want an iMac Pro, you are better served with a Mac mini paired with the Studio Display.

But, perhaps there is room for a smaller iMac?

Every time I see some store uses the iMac as a POS machine, I always felt that the machine is too big. Also, kitchen islands.

(Or is Apple planning a bigger iPad?)


Thanks for reading.

The Need-a-Nudge Edition Monday, November 6, 2023

Unexpected Ways An Apple Watch Can Help Manage ADHD, by Lynnae Willliams, Slash Gear

While it probably wasn't designed with ADHDers in mind, this technological accessory has useful features that can help you manage your ADHD effectively. Whether you need a nudge to get you to study for that big test or some music to help quiet your mind, this mini-computer strapped to your wrist can often help.

I Fixed My Back Pain With An Annoying Pop-up App, by Jon Martindale, Digital Trends

Once installed, you calibrate it using your webcam so it can detect good posture, and then poor posture poses (You can input as many of those as you like). When running, it’ll detect whenever you’re slouching or committing one of your custom posture sins and remind you to change that by popping up in the corner.

The ‘This Is Fine’ Meme Is Now A Delightfully Chaotic Game, by Natalie Fear, Creative Bloq

A game developer has recently launched a new playable mobile app inspired by the "This is fine" dog meme – you know, the little yellow guy who grins nonchalantly as his house is engulfed in flames? Well, now he's fighting the fire with a humble cup of coffee and the same goofy grin in this charming arcade-style game.


Vision Pro Is Unlikely To Be The Growth Engine Apple Needs Right Now, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple could ultimately change its sales approach for the headset. But it’s a complex product, with different headband sizes and — for people who wear glasses — prescription lens attachments. Customers also may require more coaxing. Wearing a watch isn’t a foreign concept for most consumers, but paying $3,500 for a mixed-reality headset certainly is.

So that’s the conundrum for Apple. The Vision Pro isn’t going to be an easy product to sell. And if Apple wants to turn it into its next growth engine, it will need to sell a lot of them. Based on the company’s own remarks, that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon.

Bottom of the Page

I've had the day off from work, and I've pampered myself.

Firstly, I ate an expensive hamburger at Shake Shack.

Next, I bought an expensive speaker from Apple.

So, now, I understand a little what's all the fuss about that hamburger place, and I will start to understand the frustration some people felt about the HomePod ecosystem.

It was a good day.


Thanks for reading.

The Officially-Holiday Edition Sunday, November 5, 2023

Apple's Extended Holiday Return Policy Is Now In Effect, by Stephanie Barnes, Engadget

Apple's extended return policy has kicked in, which means the holiday season is officially upon us. Apple typically offers a standard 14-day return window. But under the newly revised policy, products purchased between November 3, 2023 and December 25, 2023, will be returnable until January 8, 2024.

Apple 'Find My' Network Can Be Abused To Steal Keylogged Passwords, by Bill Toulas, BleepingComputer

They integrated a keylogger with an ESP32 Bluetooth transmitter into a USB keyboard to show that it's possible to relay passwords and other sensitive data typed on the keyboard through the Find My network via Bluetooth.

Bluetooth transmission is far stealthier than WLAN keyloggers or Raspberry Pi devices that can be easily noticed in well-guarded environments, and the Find My platform can covertly leverage omnipresent Apple devices for the relay.

Apple Music Isn't The Best Streaming Music Service — It's Just The Least Annoying, by Will Sattelberg, Android Police

Put simply, Apple Music isn't the be-all and end-all of music apps. It's just the one that manages to get out of my way.

watchOS Update Coming Soon With Fix For Apple Watch Battery Drain, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple is preparing a fix for an issue causing some Apple Watches to experience excessive battery drain after being updated to watchOS 10.1, the company said today in an internal memo shared with Apple Authorized Service Providers.

'A Very Big Moment': Nerves Felt In Government Ahead Of Apple Tax Case Decision Next Week, by Christina Finn, The Journal

So what would happen if Ireland loses the case and the final decision is that we can take the €13 billion?

If that were to happen, there is a belief within government that the first thing that would happen is that other countries would then come out and say they deserve a share of the tax revenue, claiming it is tax that they were deprived of due to the special deal with Ireland.

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I wish I can divide up the Apple Music's Discovery Station (and other Apple-generated playlists and radio stations) by genres. Because sometimes I feel like classical music, sometimes I don't.


Thanks for reading.

The Subtleties-of-Water Edition Saturday, November 4, 2023

A Standard To Aspire To, by Michael Darius, Skeuomorphic Design

"Anatomy of a Water Drop" wasn't initially created with software design in mind; it was an artistic exploration of the subtleties of water—its form, light interaction, and fluid dynamics. Yet, its meticulous attention to detail made it a perfect study for anyone looking to understand how to render realistic water-like elements digitally. The work dissected the complexities of how light interacts with water, how droplets form, and how they move. These insights became invaluable for designers and developers aiming to improve upon or innovate the Aqua elements in Mac OS X.

D.C. Unveils Its Newest Solution To Car Theft: Apple AirTags, by Colleen Grablick, DCist

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a new program Wednesday that will provide free tracking tags for residents in certain neighborhoods to put on their cars, making them easier to locate if they get stolen.

The tracking tags — which are literally Apple AirTags — will be distributed to residents living in neighborhoods with high numbers of vehicle theft.

Linux Developers Stumble On macOS Bug That Makes MacBooks ‘Unbootable’, by Michael Simon, Macworld

It apparently has to do with the way macOS Ventura and Sonoma handle refresh rates. As the Asahi team explains, “if the display (on the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro) is configured to a refresh rate other than ProMotion, that system will no longer be able to boot into older macOS.”


China iPhone Sales Strong, Apple Tells Investors As Huawei Threat Looms, by Yuvraj Malik and Stephen Nellis, Reuters

"In mainland China, we set a quarterly record for the September quarter for iPhone," Chief Executive Tim Cook told Reuters in an interview. "We had four out of the top five best-selling smartphones in urban China."

Apple appeared to have gained market share in China in the July-September period, even if the overall smartphone market may have contracted, he said on a conference call with analysts.

Apple Taps Zach Kahn To Lead PR For Vision Pro’s Apps And Content, by Todd Spangler, Variety

Apple has promoted Zach Kahn, who previously managed the tech giant’s podcast and audiobooks PR, to lead public relations for content on Vision Pro, the company’s forthcoming AR/VR headset.


Prior to his new role, he headed public relations for Apple’s podcast business for nearly four years. As of January, he was also managing PR for the company’s books business. Before joining Apple in 2019, Khan was senior manager of podcast marketing at Vox Media, and also worked at companies including Google, Nest and Uber.

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Tried out my old iPod nano this morning, while cleaning my cupboard, and that thing still worked. Well, the wheel is not scrolling smoothing anymore, while the Menu button requires a harder-than-normal press.

Looking at that thing, it is still amazing that I can have all the audiobooks and podcasts and playlists fit on a little tiny thing that can goes into my pocket. What's even more amazing: I used to watch movies on that tiny little screen.

And look at me now, I cannot watch any movies on anything smaller than my iPad anymore.


Thanks for reading.

The Post-Lockdown-Surge Edition Friday, November 3, 2023

Apple Sales Dip Again Despite iPhone Boost, by BBC

Sales of its Mac computers and iPads struggled after a post-lockdown surge in interest.

It marks the fourth quarter in a row where sales have fallen year on year.

Apple Services Revenue Hits $22.3 Billion, A New Record, As Tech Giant Beats Wall Street Expectations On Strong iPhone Sales, by Todd Spangler, Variety

The company’s services revenue came in nearly $1 billion over analyst forecasts of $21.35 billion. The segment includes the App Store, Apple Pay and Apple Card; subscription services such as Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade and iCloud; advertising; and payments from Google for search. In August, Apple boasted that it had topped 1 billion paid subscriptions across all apps and services (including those from third parties).

Last month, Apple TV+ hiked its monthly price to $9.99 — the second increase in a year and double the $4.99-per-month price point it launched with in 2019 — and also raised fees for Apple Arcade, Apple News+ and Apple One bundles.

Apple Holiday Forecast Disappoints On iPad, Wearables Demand; Shares Slip, by Stephen Nellis and Yuvraj Malik, Reuters

Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told analysts on a conference call that sales for the current quarter, which includes the Christmas holidays and when Apple typically has its biggest sales of new iPhone models, will be similar to the previous year. Wall Street had expected a forecast for a rise in sales of 4.97% to $122.98 billion.

On Security

This Tiny Device Is Sending Updated iPhones Into A Never-ending DoS Loop, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

This slim, lightweight device has been available since 2020, but in recent months, it has become much more visible. It acts as a Swiss Army knife for all kinds of wireless communications. It can interact with radio signals, including RFID, NFC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or standard radio. People can use it to covertly change the channels of a TV at a bar, clone some hotel key cards, read the RFID chip implanted in pets, open and close some garage doors, and disrupt the normal use of iPhones.


For now, the only way to prevent such an attack on iOS or iPadOS is to turn off Bluetooth in the Settings app.


NASA Launches New App To See The International Space Station, by Derek Wise, 9to5Mac

On Thursday, NASA launched a new app to make it easier than ever to spot the International Space Station in the night sky. NASA has long operated the Spot the Station website, but their new app, available on both iPhone and Android, brings augmented reality features and a handy interface to learn more about the orbiting laboratory.

Audio Hijack Adds Automatic Transcription, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

By taking advantage of OpenAI’s Whisper framework, Audio Hijack can now take any audio it’s recording and generate a text transcript.


How I Read 40 Books And Extinguished The World On Fire, by Emily F. Gorcenski

A few months ago now I did a little search: “wall mounted phone holder.” As I’ve gotten older my sleep schedules have changed. I wake up naturally around 6 AM almost every day. I’d wake up, check my phone, and then lose hours in and endless downward spiral of social media, emails, sports recaps, and more. I started to take inventory of the hours I was losing. It was bad. I was worried I was wasting my life with bullshit I could not control and could do nothing about. I needed a change. I ordered a cheap, stick-on mount and attached it to the hallway wall outside my bedroom. I decided I would self-impose a “no phone in the bedroom” policy.

Apple MixC Wenzhou Opens For Customers This Saturday, November 4, In China, by Apple

Apple today previewed Apple MixC Wenzhou, the company’s first store in this dynamic city and the fourth in China’s Zhejiang province. The new store reflects Apple’s deep commitment to accessible and sustainable design — including universal design elements and plant-based materials — creating an inviting and inclusive space for everyone.

To Avoid Regulation, Apple Said It Had Three Safari Browsers, by Thomas Claburn, The Register

Apple tried to avoid regulation in the European Union by making a surprising claim – that it offers not one but three distinct web browsers, all coincidentally named Safari.


Cupertino also claimed it maintains five app stores and five operating systems, and that these core platform services, apart from iOS, fell below the usage threshold European rules set for regulating large platform services and ensuring competition.

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Nowhere near beleaguered.


Thanks for reading.

The Winning-Catalog Edition Thursday, November 2, 2023

8 New Games And More Than 50 Updates Coming To Apple Arcade This Holiday Season, by Apple

This holiday season, Apple Arcade is building on its award-winning catalog with eight new games for families and friends to enjoy together, including Disney Dreamlight Valley Arcade Edition, Football Manager 2024 Touch, Sonic Dream Team, and Puzzle & Dragons Story, along with more than 50 updates to existing titles on the service.


Apple Partners With Anytime Fitness Gym To Include Fitness+ At No Additional Charge, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

In a first for Apple, the company is partnering with an in-person gym to provide members with access to Apple Fitness+. Starting in December, Anytime Fitness members will gain access to the digital workout service for no additional charge.

Apple Music's Lower-Priced Voice Plan No Longer Available, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The lower-cost Apple Music Voice Plan was discontinued today, with references to the plans removed from Apple's website in all countries where it was available.


Why Mac Vs. PC Is About To Get Fun Again, by Harry McCracken, Fast Company

Your mileage may vary, but it’s been a long time since I last found my laptop to be unacceptably sluggish; more processing power isn’t all that alluring on its own. But I am excited about what AI might do for my computing experiences in the years to come. And if that AI runs right on a Mac or Windows PC—which will be a boon for privacy, real-time performance, and general integration into the apps I use—it will require processors the likes of which we haven’t seen until now.

Mass Lawsuit Against Apple Over iPhone Batteries Can Go Ahead, London Tribunal Rules, by Sam Tobin, Reuters

Apple Inc on Wednesday lost a bid to block a mass London lawsuit worth up to $2 billion which accuses the tech giant of hiding defective batteries in millions of iPhones.


His lawyers argued Apple concealed issues with batteries in certain phone models by "throttling" them with software updates and installed a power management tool which limited performance.

Apple, however, said the lawsuit was "baseless" and strongly denied batteries in iPhones were defective, apart from in a small number of iPhone 6s models for which it offered free battery replacements.

Dutch Regulator Disputes Apple's Commissions In Dating App Case, by Foo Yun Chee and Toby Sterling, Reuters

The Dutch consumer watchdog is challenging the fees that Apple charges dating app providers in the Netherlands as part of its long-running case against the U.S. technology company over the dominance of its app store, according to a filing seen by Reuters.


"Apple ... harms dating app providers by charging them an additional, and inexplicably higher, fee for the same services" it does other types of app makers, it said in the document.

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Mac users can easily spot apps that are lazily ported over from Windows or (in the past) DOS. Can Apple Arcade gamers also spot games that are 'lazily' ported over from the universe of in-app purchases?

(I sure can identify a few. And those are the games that interest me the least.)


Thanks for reading.

The Remain-Within-Ecosystem Edition Wednesday, November 1, 2023

With Its New M3 Chips, Apple Joins The AI Party., by Om Malik

AI algorithms function with extreme parallelism. While adding more compute power (and GPUs) can address this, the real challenge lies in how quickly data can be moved, how promptly and extensively memory can be accessed, and the amount of energy required to operate these algorithms efficiently. Apple’s strategy with its Silicon has been remarkably prescient, taking into account these realities even in their latest GPU updates.

Apple has a substantial opportunity to integrate generative AI into its core platform, mainly because of its chip and hardware-level integration. For example, by actively incorporating open-source generative AI models into their SDK and developer tools, Apple can leverage the evolving nature of the interaction between humans and machines in the digital world. The new M3-based computers thus provide developers with a compelling reason to remain within, or even return to, the Apple ecosystem.

Apple Did The Most Sane Thing Possible With The 13” MacBook Pro And None Of Us Saw It Coming, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

I know there are some people who like the Touch Bar, and I’m sorry for your loss, but the Touch Bar was a remarkable failure for Apple, and the company did basically nothing to make it better over the 7 years it was around.

Lights, iPhones, Action!

Downplaying The Fact That Apple Shot ‘Scary Fast’ With iPhones, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Why be so cynical? What Apple has accomplished here is extraordinary. They shot a 30-minute film using the same phone cameras they sell to hundreds of millions of people around the world, and the footage looked so good that no one could tell it was shot using iPhones until they told us so.

#Shotoniphone And The Constant Need To Be Mad About Something, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

The fact Apple had professionals make this video is not something any reasonable person should call misleading, and I'll eat my hat if there is some large contingent of people out there today who are mad at Apple because they thought they could shoot video that looks as good as Apple's chip lab set in their house. Eat my hat, I say!

But nobody actually thinks this anyway, and it's a random thing to be mad about because we always need to be mad about something. How do I know this? Because Apple posts these #shotoniphone videos all the time and nobody get mad about them being misleading.


Apple Releases New Firmware For AirTags, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

It is not possible to force an AirTag update, as it's something that's done over-the-air through a connected iPhone. To make sure the update happens, you can put your AirTag in range of your ‌‌iPhone‌‌, but you have to wait for the firmware to roll out to your device.


Apple’s Dark Cloud Might Linger, by Dan Gallagher, WSJ

This is the first year since 2015 that Apple shares have lost ground between the company’s key Worldwide Developers Conference in June and its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report that typically takes place in late October.

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The most difficult bugs to solve are bugs that you cannot reproduce. The even more difficult bugs to solve are syncing bugs that you cannot reproduce.

(Yes, I have my computer, my phone, and my tablet all on the same table.)


Thanks for reading.