Archive for February 2024

The A-Little-Farther-Away Edition Thursday, February 29, 2024

What A Bunch Of A-list Celebs Taught Me About How To Use My Phone, by David Pierce, The Verge

Read and watch enough celebrity interviews, and the lesson becomes obvious: that the most powerful and connected device in your life shouldn’t be within arm’s reach at all times. All that does is invite distraction and makes it too easy to disengage from your life every time you get bored or sad or curious even for a second. Anything you can do to move that stuff a little farther away and make it a little harder to get to is a small victory over the always-on allure of your devices.

Apple Investors Reject Call For Report Into Company’s AI Use, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. shareholders rejected a labor-backed request for an artificial intelligence transparency report, which would have delved into whether the company is using the technology ethically.


Apple has been less open than tech peers about its plans for generative AI — the technology behind chatbots like ChatGPT — but it has promised to discuss its plans later this year. That presentation could come as soon as June, when the company holds its annual developers conference.


Twodos Is A Simple To-do App That Doesn't Remind You Of Your Tasks, by Ivan Mehta, TechCrunch

Twodos doesn’t have a lot going on in terms of features, and that is probably an appealing factor for some users. There is only one screen with two parts for tasks: Sooner or Later. You can add tasks, mark them as done using a swipe gesture, and check the archive to clear all tasks. There is an arrow button next to each task to move it to the other folder.

This Mac App Lets You Create Beautiful Photo Books In Minutes, by Becca Caddy, iMore

One of my most recent photo book discoveries is the MILK Books app for the Mac. It allows you to transform your digital photos into physical keepsakes you can cherish or gift to someone else and the process is simple and intuitive but with lots of choice if you want to really customize your book.

This App Intelligently Deletes Duplicate Photos, Tidying Up Storage, by Jeremy Gray, PetaPixel

The update gives the app the power to understand that an image is a duplicate of another even if it exists in a separate location on a storage device and has a different file name.


Apple Is Selling Vision Pro All Wrong, by Jason Snell, Macworld

The top priority is better training for retail employees when it comes to fitting. Getting them to memorize a demo script is great, but the goal should be to have every customer leave the store with confidence that their Vision Pro is going to fit properly. When a customer comes in complaining of fit issues, store employees should be able to diagnose the issues and offer different options to correct the problem.

To Embrace Gaming Apple Needs To Level Up Its Game Porting Toolkit, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

If Apple really wants to jumpstart gaming on the Mac, it should bake the underlying technologies of the game porting toolkit directly into the system. Make installing and running a PC game as easy as if it were a Mac native title.

Why The Death Of Apple Car Could Be A Good Thing For CarPlay, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The lingering question, of course, is how willing automakers are to cede control of the in-car infotainment system to Apple. My belief is that companies are far more likely to work with Apple now that they know Apple isn’t going to become a direct competitor in a few years.

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Apple always does surprise us from time to time, but I can't really see how Apple's upcoming AI stuff can be leaps and bounds better than what the competitors are doing these days.


Thanks for reading.

The Winding-Down Edition Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Apple To Wind Down Electric Car Effort After Decadelong Odyssey, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple made the disclosure internally Tuesday, surprising the nearly 2,000 employees working on the project, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the announcement wasn’t public. The decision was shared by Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch, a vice president in charge of the effort, according to the people.

The two executives told staffers that the project will begin winding down and that many employees on the car team — known as the Special Projects Group, or SPG — will be shifted to the artificial intelligence division under executive John Giannandrea. Those employees will focus on generative AI projects, an increasingly key priority for the company.

The Apple car team also has several hundred hardware engineers and vehicle designers. It’s possible they will be able to apply for jobs on other Apple teams. There will be layoffs, but it’s unclear how many.

Apple's Scrapped Car Project Means AI And Headset Bets Are More Urgent, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The upshot: Apple’s future isn’t going to hinge on selling $100,000 cars with self-driving features. Instead, it will focus on catching up with rivals in the generative AI industry, where chatbots from OpenAI and Google have captured the imagination of consumers and investors. The shift also lets Apple concentrate on turning the Vision Pro headset — still a fledgling product — into a mainstream hit.

Apple Revolutionized The Auto Industry Without Selling A Single Car, by Matteo Wong, The Atlantic

But Apple is so big, and its devices so pervasive, that it didn’t need to sell a single vehicle in order to transform the automobile industry—not through batteries and engines, but through software. The ability to link your smartphone to your car’s touch screen, which Apple pioneered 10 years ago, is now standard. Virtually every leading car company has taken an Apple-inspired approach to technology, to such a degree that “smartphone on wheels” has become an industry cliché. The Apple Car already exists, and you’ve almost certainly ridden in one.

Apple Is Canceling Electric Car Project, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

In hindsight that makes me wonder if Lynch’s mission wasn’t to ship a car, but more to assess what technologies the group had created could be used to create other products.

Apple, Now Carless, Faces Renewed Questions About Growth, by Martin Peers, The Information

So while Cook can be applauded for having the discipline to call off the project, there is a question of why he didn’t make the decision earlier.

Coming Soon

Apple Confirms That iOS 17.4 Lets Video Calling Apps Turn Off Reactions, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple today publicly confirmed that iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4 allow developers of video calling apps to turn off the Reactions feature by default in their apps.

Apple Releases First iOS 17.4 RC, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

iOS 17.4 addresses new regulation in the EU as required by the Digital Markets Act. The primary change is in policy with Apple now forced to allow app markets to compete with the App Store on iPhone. iOS 17.4 delivers the system-level infrastructure to support alternative app stores.


Apple Made A Sports Score App Without The Ads, by Justin Pot, Lifehacker

This application—launched last week in the U.S., U.K., and Canada—shows you the scores from the leagues and teams you've selected...and literally nothing else. There are no news articles, there are no videos, and there aren't even any ads. It's literally just the scores.

Apple Music Debuts Heavy Rotation, A New Daily Made For You Playlist, by John Voorhees, MacStories

What’s a little different about Heavy Rotation compared to the other Made For You Playlists is that it’s updated daily, while the other Made For You playlists get updated weekly.

The Best New iPhone App For 2024 Is An Overnight Success 13 Years In The Making, by Jason Aten, Inc

There's this idea that everything really good just sort of sprung out of a void in the universe overnight. The "overnight success fallacy" is a real thing. For whatever reason, we've become conditioned to believe that success happens instantly. In reality, however, almost nothing that seems like an overnight success really is. Instead, they are almost always the result of dedicated effort over long periods of time.

More importantly, we're conditioned to believe that anything that isn't instantly successful is a failure, and--even worse--if we make something that isn't instantly successful, we are a failure. That's simply not true.

Simple Scan: A Scanning Solution For People Who Don’t Scan Often, by John Voorhees, MacStories

One of my favorite kinds of apps is simple utilities that solve a common problem and are straightforward to use. That’s exactly what Greg Pierce has created with Simple Scan, a scanning app for the iPhone and iPad that simplifies the process of one-off document scans.

Splitscreen Brings A Multi-monitor Setup To Apple's Vision Pro, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Out of the box, Apple’s Vision Pro doubles as a 4K Mac virtual display, allowing you to extend an existing Mac desktop to the device’s spatial computing environment. A new app called Splitscreen takes things a step further, by allowing you to add a second macOS display to your Vision Pro — even if it uses a different Apple ID.

This Mac, iPad And iPhone App Makes Storing And Reading Sheet Music Simple, by Becca Caddy, iMore

Everything about forScore is designed to make storing, categorizing and playing music more intuitive. For example, you can annotate your music, adding metadata to your scores so you can easily search through them later. You can also draw on your music or add text and symbols. When you do that, you can choose to annotate different layers, which can be viewed or hidden instantly.


Apple Met With DOJ Antitrust Chief In Last-Ditch Bid To Avoid Expected Suit, by Leah Nylen, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. representatives met with the Justice Department last week in a final bid to persuade the agency not to file an antitrust suit against the company, according to people familiar with the matter.

This (Very) Simple Trick Completely Changed The Way I Use My Phone, by Hasina Jeelani, Vogue

The first thing I noticed when I turned off my notifications was silence—pure, blessed silence. While a younger me would have shuddered at the prospect, I now have evidence that even the most pressing work queries can—and will—wait until I log in the next morning. And on the weekends, without its constant chiming, I often lose track of my phone for hours, focusing instead on the movie, TV show, or book at hand. It’s a freeing experience, one that I regret not trying earlier.

Tech Has Graduated From The Star Trek Era To The Douglas Adams Age, by Matt Webb, Interconnected

I wish he were here to see it.

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Okay, now will all the car makers embrace CarPlay?


Thanks for reading.

The Novelty-of-Seeing Edition Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Super-Resolution iPhone Panoramas For Vision Pro, by David Smith

Looking at these iPhone panoramas on a Vision Pro is lovely, they have barely enough resolution to give a good sense of being back at the place where the image was captured. However, after the initial WOW! factor has worn off I started to really notice the fuzziness of the presentation. Presenting an image which is around 3900px tall at a conceptual height of about six feet tall just isn’t enough resolution to really feel immersive.

Thankfully because of my aforementioned photo printing experience in addition to having countless standard iOS panoramas, I also have countless super-resolution iPhone panoramas too.

The “Heaviness” Of visionOS, And My Big Fear For The Vision Pro, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

As I sit here about 3 weeks into owning a Vision Pro myself, I am a bit worried that I'm not using this thing at every opportunity I can. Now that the novelty of seeing Things 3 and Safari in 3D space has worn off, I'm not finding the product so fundamentally compelling that I'm making up excuses to use it every moment I can. I think it's an interesting product to own and it might turn into something huge, but I'd be lying if I said I was totally confident in it. As Nilay Patel said in his review, "it’s magic until it’s not."

Savvy Chinese Merchants Offer Apple’s Vision Pro For Rent As Official Release Awaited, by Coco Feng, South China Morning Post

Vision Space, a Beijing-based VR start-up, has several bricks-and-mortar stores that allow customers to try out the device for 98 yuan (US$13.60) an hour. The biggest one, in Hopson One mall in eastern Beijing, has received more than 10,000 customers since February 4, according to company founder and chief executive Song Lei.

Apple In EU

Apple’s Decision To Drop iPhone Web Apps Comes Under Scrutiny In The EU, by Emma Roth, The Verge

Apple could soon face an investigation over its decision to discontinue iPhone web apps in the European Union, according to a report from the Financial Times. The European Commission has reportedly sent Apple and app developers requests for more information to assist in its evaluation.


Netflix No Longer Allowing Existing Customers To Pay For Accounts Through Apple, by David Satin, The Streamable

If you are a Netflix customer who subscribed to the streamer through Apple and have not changed your payment method in many years, keep an eye out. You may soon receive an email from Netflix telling you that your payment method will need to change if you want to remain subscribed to the service.


Inside Apple Arcade: Axed Games, Declining Payouts, Disillusioned Studios – And An Uncertain Future, by Neil Long,

One developer said there was the “the smell of death” around the service – though others suggested there are now whispers of (another) reboot for the service.

Payouts for titles on Apple Arcade have been falling for years, our sources said, and following a shift in strategy very few original games are being greenlit unless they are attached to a big family-friendly IP.

Apple Faces Five Shareholder Proposals, And Doesn't Like Any Of Them, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

But alongside management proposals, shareholders also have the opportunity to put forward proposals of their own.

Apple Sues To Win Trademarks For Augmented-reality Software, by Blake Brittain, Reuters

A USPTO tribunal agreed with ZeroDensity that Apple's marks were descriptive without addressing whether they would confuse consumers. Apple said in Friday's complaint that its phrases were "made-up terms coined by Apple that do not describe the underlying software development tools."

"In contrast, descriptive terms like Raisin Bran or American Airlines straightforwardly describe the goods and services offered under the brand name," Apple said. "As innovative as Apple is, it cannot 'compose' or 'convert' reality."

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The limitation of Apple's innovation: It doesn't compose nor convert reality. The farthest it can do is distort reality.



Thanks for reading.

The Technology-Investigation Edition Monday, February 26, 2024

Apple Ponders Making New Wearables: AI Glasses, AirPods With Cameras, Smart Ring, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

For now, the ring idea is just that — an idea. The company isn’t actively developing such a device, but there are certainly people within the walls of Apple’s campus promoting the concept. The glasses, meanwhile, are in an exploratory phase known as “technology investigation” within Apple’s hardware engineering division. The company also is looking into other ideas, such as equipping AirPods with cameras.


FineWoven Cases Are Junk, Say Majority, As They Share Photos, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

A series of polls on social media sites saw the majority of owners describe them as “junk.”

As A Frequent Flyer, This App Helped Me Document My Travels, by Paul Hatton, TechRadar

The achievements include going to both hemispheres, traveling to five countries by train, visiting all the Nordic countries, and even ticking off all seven continents. I’m yet to complete many of these awards, but just reading through the ones I’ve not yet achieved excites me to visit more places and see different parts of the world.


Apple TV+ Notches 11 SAG Award Nominations -- And Lily Gladstone Wins, by David Snow, Cult of Mac

After the 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards showered Apple TV+ with 11 nominations in January — for Apple Original Film Killers of the Flower Moon and hit TV shows The Morning Show, Lessons in Chemistry and Ted Lasso — the streamer managed to net just one win Saturday in Los Angeles. SAG named Lily Gladstone best actress.

'How Much Do You Love Your Wife?' Asked The Apple Vision Pro Salesman, by Chris Matyszczyk, ZDNet

The salesman laughed, but I had another thought: "Also, we like to cuddle when we watch movies and if we both had these masks on that wouldn't be so easy. We'd bang goggles, right?"

Finally, I'd stumped him. Finally, I realized the future was, as yet, not fully formed. He was, akin to so many Apple salespeople, a very polished performer but this clearly hadn't been covered in his training.

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Apple should definitely create a Wedding ring that can automatically send each other their heartbeats.



Thanks for reading.

The Game-Changer Edition Sunday, February 25, 2024

MLS Season Pass: The World Is Obsessed With Soccer. Can Apple Make Americans Love It Too?, by Jordan Valinsky, CNN

A centerpiece of that plan is “MLS Season Pass,” a sleekly designed streaming package that ditches the fragmentation other sports suffer from and lets fans stream globally every game — without blackouts — in the Apple TV app.


“We’re creating something new,” Sacha Kljestan, a former MLS player and now a broadcast personality, told CNN. “Something from nothing that, I think, 10 years from now, people will look back and this might be a game changer in modern television media.”

Google Says Microsoft Offered To Sell Bing To Apple In 2018, But Search-quality Issues Got In The Way, by Jordan Novet, CNBC

Microsoft offered to sell its Bing search engine to Apple in 2018, Google said in a court filing earlier this month. The document, from Google's antitrust case against the U.S. Justice Department, was unsealed on Friday.


In the filing earlier this month, Google argued that Microsoft pitched Apple in 2009, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2020 about making Bing the default in Apple's Safari web browser, but each time, Apple said no, citing quality issues with Bing.

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I didn't work on my hobby project this weekend. I felt too tired to do anything that requires my brain. Oh well. Maybe next weekend.

(I wonder how many weekends I have left.)


Thanks for reading.

The Bigger-Plans Edition Saturday, February 24, 2024

Simple Complexity: Apple’s Trio Of Sports Apps, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

This is the conundrum of the Apple Sports app: It avoids the complexity of adding a News tab and a TV tab and focuses on scores, which is good. But if you want to start a Live Activity or jump to watch the game, it’s at least one app and several taps away.

I don’t think the app will stay this simple. The name alone—it’s Apple Sports, not Apple Scores—suggests that Cue and his team have bigger plans. I have to imagine that eventually you’ll be able to follow games right in the app, and jump to video sources without needing an intermediary app.

The Fastest Way To Save RSS Articles To A Read-Later App, by John Voorhees, MacStories

RSS has been good to the publishers who embraced it and stuck with it. Now it’s time for developers to help individuals leverage the same power to share their finds with the world in a low-friction, open way.


1Password 8.10.26, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The update now highlights the content from note items or fields beside item titles when searching.

FastMinder Is An Easy-to-use Fasting Tracker With Live Activities, Widgets, More , by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

It offers a clean and easy to use interface for tracking your fasts, while simultaneously offering an impressively-rich suite of features and data points.

Withings Finally Adds Cycle Tracking To Its App Via ScanWatch Light, by Laura Rosenberg, 9to5Mac

Withings is late to the game when it comes to giving users the ability to track their menstrual cycles, but with the release of its ScanWatch Light – a hybrid smartwatch – users can now not only track their cycles with the ScanWatch Light, but also within the Withings app itself.

Looks Like Rain: Visualizing The Weather On A Color-Coded Timeline, by Niléane, MacStories

The layout of the app is clean, the elements are well-spaced, and the color palette has clearly been composed with care. Most importantly, though, I’m absolutely loving its unique approach to visualizing the weather forecast on a color-coded timeline.

Vision Pro App Spotlight: Longplay Adds Immersive Album Listening, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The coolest feature, though, is that Immersive button. Tap it, and you’re surrounded by a 29x10 grid of album covers that wrap around you in a semicircular arrangement. In the center of it all is the playback window for the current album, with controls to change the grid behind the player and more.


AppleCare Support Advisors Testing New ChatGPT-Like Tool 'Ask', by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple recently launched a pilot program that provides select AppleCare support advisors with access to a new tool called "Ask" that can automatically generate responses to technical questions they receive from customers, according to information obtained by MacRumors. Advisors can then relay the info to customers in online chats or on the phone.

Spotify HiFi Is Still MIA After Three Years, And Now So Is My Subscription, by Chris Welch, The Verge

A couple months ago, I got tired of waiting, so I let my longtime Spotify subscription lapse and purchased a year’s worth of Apple Music.

Thanks FedEx, This Is Why We Keep Getting Phished, by Troy Hunt

What makes this situation so ridiculous is that while we're all watching for scammers attempting to imitate legitimate organisations, FedEx is out there imitating scammers! Here we are in the era of burgeoning AI-driven scams that are becoming increasingly hard for humans to identify, and FedEx is like "here, hold my beer" as they one-up the scammers at their own game and do a perfect job of being completely indistinguishable from them.

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I am playing an online game in Apple Arcade, where dice throwing plays a significant role in winning or losing. And I have doubts if the dice thrown by the computer is truly random and fair.

I wonder if this gives Apple's API team any ideas…



Thanks for reading.

The All-Potential Edition Friday, February 23, 2024

Apple’s Vision Pro Is Compelling… In The Future, by Marc Zeedar, TidBITS

Whole articles could be written about many of these aspects, but ultimately, the Vision Pro is all about potential. It’s a unique device with incredible features, but much of that potential won’t be realized for some time, possibly for multiple hardware generations.

Handful Of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack In Front Glass, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled.


Some of the owners affected say they have contacted Apple Support and have been asked to pay the repair costs, since the crack has not officially been identified as a manufacturing defect.

Apple In EU

Apple Says Spotify Wants 'Limitless Access' To App Store Tools Without Paying, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

According to Apple, Spotify wants to rewrite the rules for its own gain. Apple does not believe that Spotify's complaints are about competition or finding a better deal for consumers -- it says Spotify simply wants a better deal and is using the European Commission to try to get it. Spotify wants access to Apple's technology, ‌App Store‌ reach, and to monetize through the ‌App Store‌ without paying anything to Apple.


Photomator 3.3 Adds A Powerful New File Browser To The Photo Editor, by Jeremy Gray, PetaPixel

Photomator 3.3 includes a powerful new file browser built on native macOS functionality, promising a fast and convenient photo browsing and editing experience, no matter where photographers keep their files.

Spark Mail Gets 'My Writing Style' AI Email Assistant, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Spark already had an option for using AI to write emails in different styles like formal, neutral, and friendly, but the updated AI option is designed to write emails in each user's own voice. According to Readdle, it is able to mirror style, tone, and personality traits "to a degree."

CodeWeavers Releases CrossOver 24 Built Atop Wine 9.0, by Michael Larabel,

Among the games CodeWeavers has working with CrossOver 24 on macOS are Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, Anno 1800, Horizon Zero Dawn, Warframe, Planet Zoo, and others.


Tech Job Interviews Are Out Of Control, by Lauren Goode, Wired

Nearly a dozen engineers, hiring managers, and entrepreneurs who spoke with WIRED describe an environment in which technical job applicants are being put through the wringer. Take-home coding tests used to be rare, deployed only if an employer needed to be further convinced. Now interviewees are regularly given projects described as requiring just two to three hours that instead take days of work.

Live-coding exercises are also more intense, industry insiders say. One job seeker described an experience where an engineering manager said during an interview, “OK, we’re going to build a To Do List app right now,” a process that might normally take weeks.

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When I use my Mac, or even my Windows machine at work, my preference has always been one monitor. I find having two (or more!) screens sharing the same desktop to be disorienting for me. And I enjoy keeping the number of windows on this one screen small.

Which is my way of saying -- even though I totally reserve the right to change my mind -- that I probably not enjoy using Apple Vision Pro for work.



Thanks for reading.

The Post-Quantum Edition Thursday, February 22, 2024

iMessage With PQ3: The New State Of The Art In Quantum-secure Messaging At Scale, by Apple

Today we are announcing the most significant cryptographic security upgrade in iMessage history with the introduction of PQ3, a groundbreaking post-quantum cryptographic protocol that advances the state of the art of end-to-end secure messaging. With compromise-resilient encryption and extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks, PQ3 is the first messaging protocol to reach what we call Level 3 security — providing protocol protections that surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps. To our knowledge, PQ3 has the strongest security properties of any at-scale messaging protocol in the world.

Apple Is Already Defending iMessage Against Tomorrow’s Quantum Computing Attacks, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Apple’s security team claims to have achieved a breakthrough “that advances the state of the art of end-to-end messaging.” With the upcoming release of iOS 17.4, iPadOS 17.4, macOS 14.4, and watchOS 10.4, the company is bringing a new cryptographic protocol called PQ3 to iMessage that it purports to offer even more robust encryption and defenses against sophisticated quantum computing attacks.

Such attacks aren’t yet a broad threat today, but Apple is preparing for a future where bad actors try to unwind current encryption standards and iMessage’s security layers with the help of massively powerful computers. Such scenarios could start playing out by the end of the decade, but experts agree that the tech industry need to start defending against them well in advance.

Keeping Secrets In A Quantum World, by Neil Savage, Nature

The world’s digital information relies on encryption to keep it secure. Hard drives containing medical data are encrypted, as are the secrets held by national militaries and intelligence agencies. Online credit-card payments, digital signatures, readings from smart meters, the computers in driverless cars and the chips in passports all depend on algorithms, developed in the 1970s, that turn easy-to-read data into encrypted ciphers accessible only to those with a mathematical ‘key’ to unlock them. Those algorithms, in turn, depend on mathematical functions that are straightforward to use to create keys, but difficult to run in reverse to reveal them: the mathematical equivalent of frying an egg.

If practical quantum computers arrive, however, these hard-to-solve problems will suddenly become child’s play. RSA, an encryption scheme that allows systems to share keys, could take a classical computer most of the lifetime of the Universe to reverse-engineer. A quantum computer, researchers estimate, could do the same job in 8 hours. The Diffie–Hellman key exchange, another widely used cryptographic method, named after its two inventors, could also be easily reversed by a quantum machine. A different type of scheme, the Advanced Encryption Standard, is not considered to be under serious threat by computational advances, but it’s often used in conjunction with the other methods and can’t replace their secret-keeping abilities.

Apple Vision

Crying In Apple Vision Pro Is No Laughing Matter, by Lauren Goode, Wired

I never really expected to cry a hundred different ways, but I’d hoped to feel connected in just as many. This is what mixed-reality headset makers promise, along with the assurance that wearers will be “transported.” Instead, I felt so heavily the weight of aloneness—and the headset—that it distracted from the stories that had been constructed in front of me. I didn’t feel any more connected to the movies than I would on a flatscreen TV. It’s misguided to give credit to a computer for manifesting our emotions, instead of simply providing another gateway to them.

Comfort Isn’t Just A Vision Pro Problem — It’s A Wearable One, by Victoria Song, The Verge

With the Vision Pro, Apple did a reasonably good job of accommodating as many face shapes as it could. But if it truly wants spatial computing to be a thing, it needs to brainstorm ways to make it comfortable enough for the vast majority of people to wear for several hours at a time. Some people are lucky because that’s already their experience. For me, the headset is relatively comfortable. Today, that wasn’t enough. I only made it two-thirds of the way through this article before I had to take it off.

As Close to Realtime As Possible

Apple Sports: A Free iPhone App To Get You The Score, Fast, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

“We said, ‘We’re going to make the best scores app that you could possibly make,'” Cue said.

You can select the teams and leagues that you follow—it’s the same following list you might have already made in the News or TV apps—and the main view of the Apple Sports app can be toggled from My Leagues to My Teams, depending on what scores you want to see. When games are live, they’re updated as close to realtime as possible, right down to the ticking clock. You can also back up to the previous day to see how your team did the night before, or tap Upcoming to see what’s happening later on in the week.

New iPhone App From Apple: Apple Sports, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Apple Sports is indeed incredibly fast to load and update. Nearly instantaneous. You might think, “So what, it’s just loading scores and stats, of course it’s fast”, but the truth is ad tech, combined with poor programming, has made most sports apps slow to load. Most apps, period, really. Just being very fast to load ought not be a hugely differentiating factor in 2024, but it is.

Apple Launches Apple Sports To Track Sports Scores, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

In terms of data, the app has everything I would expect as a basketball fan, including play-by-plays, team stats and full box scores. However, you can only go back in time one day to see data from previous games.

Apple Teases MLS Playoffs Immersive Video For Vision Pro Coming Soon, Shot In 8K 3D, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In a press release today, Apple says that a new film showcasing the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs is coming soon for all Vision Pro users. The film was captured in 8K 3D with a 180-degree field of view with Spatial Audio, according to Apple.

On Privacy and Security

Apple Warns Australian Proposal To Force Tech Companies To Scan Cloud Services Could Lead To Mass Surveillance, by Josh Taylor, The Guardian

Apple has warned an Australian proposal to force tech companies to scan cloud and messaging services for child-abuse material risks “undermining fundamental privacy and security protections” and could lead to mass surveillance with global repercussions.

CSAM Scanning Would Be Abused, Says Apple, In Ironic U-turn, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

We’ve now reached stage three: Apple itself using the argument it initially rejected.


Micro-review Of The Apple Vision Pro Travel Case, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

You can certainly spend less to get something smaller, so it’s hard to recommend this on any dispassionate basis. The quality is there, and far be it from me to suggest there’s no value in paying more for something that looks nice. If you like the look of this, go for it, but definitely go in knowing it’s gonna be a chunky item in your travel bag.

Like A Frame iOS App Offers Customizable Digital Framing Options, by Abby Ferguson, PetaPixel

Matting and framing photos results in a more polished, professional look. That holds true in the digital realm as well, and the Like A Frame app for iOS makes it easy to do just that.


iCloud Does Throttle Data Syncing After All, by Howard Oakley, Eclectic Light Company

Have you ever noticed that sometimes, despite having a good Internet connection, iCloud just won’t synchronise properly, leaving your Mac and devices with different information? Apple has just explained why this can happen even when iCloud is working fine, and your Mac and devices appear well connected to it. This may be the result of iCloud throttling the sync that should be occurring, and there’s little or nothing you can do about it.

In A Reversal, Apple Is Now Demanding 30% Of The Donations To Meditation App Insight Timer's Teachers, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Apple appeared to have blessed this use case, as the tech giant went on to approve 47 more updates to Insight Timer’s app over the course of a 12-month period. When a question arose, Insight Timer explained that these were donations — it doesn’t take a cut of that revenue — and Apple would approve the app.

Late last year, those approvals stopped. An app reviewer told Insight Timer that these donations were no longer considered monetary gifts — they were now “digital content.” That meant they were also now subject to Apple’s commissions. This decision doesn’t hurt Insight Timer’s bottom line, as the app’s main business is subscriptions. Instead, it hurts the community of teachers who generate additional funds via users’ donations. Now, with Apple demanding 30% of that revenue, the teachers are getting a 30% pay cut overnight, so to speak.

Epic Games Blasts Apple Demand For $73 Million In Legal Fees, by Mike Scarcella, Reuters

Epic’s main argument for countering Apple’s fee bid is that prevailing defendants are not entitled to recover attorney compensation for successfully defending against antitrust claims.

In its court filing, Epic called Apple’s demand for $73.4 million in fees “striking.” It said at most the iPhone maker was entitled to a “far narrower” amount tied to Epic’s breach of Apple’s developer agreement.

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Can't wait for MacBook Quantum. I wonder where the crack marketing team will go to, after big cats and California landmarks.


Thanks for reading.

The Double-Estimate Edition Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Apple Says The iPhone 15’s Battery Has Double The Promised Lifespan, by Will Shanklin, Engadget

Apple has updated the iPhone 15’s battery lifespan. The company said on Tuesday its latest iPhones can retain 80 percent of their original charging capacity after 1,000 cycles — double the company’s previous estimate — without any new hardware or software updates. Not so coincidentally, the change will arrive in time for upcoming EU regulations that will assign an energy grade for phones’ battery longevity.

A Comprehensive Guide To Gaming On The Apple Vision Pro, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The lack of any kind of port significantly limits the type of gaming you can do in the Apple Vision Pro – or does it? Sure, even one USB-C port would make a big difference to gamers looking to play titles outside the App Store, but there is a surprisingly wide array of ways to play almost any game on the Vision Pro with the help of a combination of apps and hardware. The solutions run the gamut from simple to complex and span a range of price points. I’ve tried them all and have pointers on how to get started.

Apple In EU

Apple Rivals Lobby EU Over App Store Dominance, by Michael Acton, Financial Times

Apple is coming under fire from rivals Meta and Microsoft who say its plans to open up its mobile software to comply with a landmark EU law fail to go far enough, as the iPhone maker faces unprecedented regulatory challenges from Brussels over the coming month.


The growing backlash has left the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, with the dilemma of deciding whether years of work on the new legislation aimed at digital “gatekeepers” has had its desired effect on Apple — and whether it can sanction the company for failing to comply.


Apple Music Replay Updated With Monthly Stats Views, 2024 Replay Mix Available Starting Today, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple today updated the Apple Music Replay experience, available at, with visualizations of your favorite music habits by month, rather than just by year. You can see how many minutes you listened to in each month, as well as top songs, albums and artists.

Use 'Shifty' To Take Control Of MacOS’ Night Shift, by Justin Pot, Lifehacker

But if seeing accurate colors on your display is important—for example, if you're a designer or video editor—having more control over Night Shift might make your life a little easier. If so, check out Shifty, a free tool that lives in your menu bar and allows you to quickly toggle Night Shift on or off, or to disable the feature when a particular application or website is open.


Apple Maps To Get A Big Boost In The UK — Data Collection To Fuel Improved Navigation, Detail, And Place Information With Focus On Birmingham, Manchester, And London, by Stephen Warwick, iMore

Starting February 21, UK residents will see Apple vehicles driving around the country for the next eight months gathering information as part of the company’s ongoing rebuild of Apple Maps, the company confirmed to iMore on Tuesday. Apple's vehicles will gather information through October 17, and from May 20 through September 11, you’ll also see people wearing Apple backpacks walking the streets of Birmingham, London, and Manchester.

Apple Shuffles Leadership Of Team Responsible For Audio Products, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Gary Geaves, the company’s longtime vice president in charge of acoustics, is stepping down from the role, according to people familiar with the matter. He will be replaced by top deputy Ruchir Davé, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

The group, which has about 300 employees, is a core part of Apple’s growing AirPods and speaker businesses. It oversees sound and microphone technologies, and helped develop software features such as spatial audio that have become a selling point for AirPods, HomePods and the new Vision Pro headset. The group also operates audio testing labs at Apple’s Silicon Valley offices.

Why The New York Times Might Win Its Copyright Lawsuit Against OpenAI, by Timothy B. Lee and James Grimmelmann, Ars Technica

As and Texaco learned, this isn't always true. A use that’s fair at a small scale can be unfair when it’s scaled up and commercialized.


Defenders of OpenAI, Stability AI, and other AI companies have argued that they are doing the same thing Google did: learning information about works in the training data but not reproducing the creative expression in the works themselves.

But unlike Google’s search engine, generative AI models sometimes do produce creative works that compete directly with the works they were trained on. And this puts these defendants in a weaker legal position than Google was in a decade ago.

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I hope the better-than-expected battery lifespan is Apple under-promising and over-delivering, and not because the testing method has changed. Because I sure hope I can continue to use my iPhone 12 mini for a few more years, until there is another good small phone from Apple.


Thanks for reading.

The See-the-Future Edition Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Vision Accessibility On Apple Vision Pro, by zmknox

I have low vision. A kind you can’t really correct for with glasses or contacts. I also bought Apple Vision Pro at launch. Why would I do this? Well because I’m a nerd who wants to see the future, but also because I was fascinated to see how Apple would handle accessibility for this new product. Apple’s track record on accessibility in the past decade has been stellar, in my opinion, with their teams adding powerful options every year and ensuring every new platform has accessibility support built in from the start.

Why The EU Is Taking A €500m Bite Out Of Apple, by Alex Hern, The Guardian

In fact, there’s a chance Apple may walk away from the fine with its head held high. Each time it gets slapped with a regulatory action that leaves it the space to offer compromises such as the 27% commission for external purchases, it manages to hammer home one of its core points: that the real criticism isn’t high-minded points of principle, but simple haggling over fees. If complaints over Apple’s control of the App Store boil down to “we would like to pay less”, Apple then has an easier battle to fight than one in which it is truly forced to relinquish control of its platforms.


Apple's Beats Brand Teams Up With MLS For New Multi-year Partnership, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple’s Beats brand is teaming up with Major League Soccer as part of a new multi-year partnership. In a press release, Beats says that it has selected eight teams to produce custom headphones for – Atlanta United, Columbus Crew, Inter Miami, LAFC, Nashville SC, NYCFC, St. Louis City SC, and Toronto FC – with more to follow.

New App Always Points To The Supermassive Black Hole At The Center Of Our Galaxy, by Benj Edwards, Ars Technica

While using Galactic Compass, you set your iPhone on a level surface, and a big green arrow on the screen points the way to the Galactic Center, which is the rotational core of the spiral galaxy all of us live in. In that center is a supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A*, a celestial body from which no matter or light can escape. (So, in a way, the app is telling us what we should avoid.)


Apple In 2023: The Six Colors Report Card, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

It’s time for our annual look back on Apple’s performance during the past year, as seen through the eyes of writers, editors, developers, podcasters, and other people who spend an awful lot of time thinking about Apple.

Apple Music Testing Feature That Easily Imports Playlists From Spotify And Other Services, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple Music appears to be beta testing integration with a service called SongShift, for transferring music from other services into Apple Music. The feature is currently being A/B tested in the latest beta version of Apple Music on Android, according to user reports on Reddit.

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Why doesn't AirPods come with fun colors too, just like Beats'?

And, speaking of wishlist: will Snoopy and Woodstock (from Apple Watch) come over to iPhone lock screen anytime soon?


Thanks for reading.

The Weird-and-Wonderful Edition Monday, February 19, 2024

Phone Cases Are Boring. Put A Lip Balm On It, by Louryn Strampe, Wired

Where is my weird and wonderful case that fits my lifestyle and is ergonomically designed? Maximalist phones are the future I want. From mobile gaming controllers to PC-inspired coolers to decoden folding cases, there’s a market for hypercustomization.

I Hate My Apple Watch When It Rains, by Michael Grothaus, Fast Company

The issue is the Apple Watch’s capacitive touch screen. Like any capacitive touch screen, it reacts when an electrical charge comes in contact with it, like the kind of electrical charge the skin on your fingertip gives off. But when a piece of clothing is damp—such as the cuff of a coat that was in the rain—it, too, transfers an electrical charge to the touch screen. In my case, my damp cuff kept brushing against my Apple Watch’s screen, and it managed to activate the Messages app, select an existing thread (the one with my friend), and bring up the tiny onscreen keyboard.

Apple Vision

Why Some Of Apple’s Biggest Fans Are Returning Their Vision Pros, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Based on what I’ve seen so far, the demos have been effective — maybe too effective. They sell consumers on an experience that doesn’t quite exist yet. Some stores are seeing conversion rates after demos as high as 10% to 15%. That’s an impressive number for a product with the Vision Pro’s price tag.

Here's What It's Like To Watch A Movie In The Apple Vision Pro, by Jordan Hart, Business Insider

I didn't know I needed to be able to watch a movie from the side of a lake with the starry sky above me before getting the Vision Pro, but it's become my favorite way to have some alone time.

Vision Pro Panoramas, by Casey Liss, Liss Is More

The Vision Pro has un-distorted the image.

Apple In EU

EU To Hit Apple With First Ever Fine In €500mn Penalty Over Music Streaming, by Javier Espinoza, Financial Times

Brussels is to impose its first ever fine on tech giant Apple for allegedly breaking EU law over access to its music streaming services, according to five people with direct knowledge of the long-running investigation.


The probe is investigating whether Apple blocked apps from informing iPhone users of cheaper alternatives to access music subscriptions outside the App Store. It was launched after music-streaming app Spotify made a formal complaint to regulators in 2019.


‘Welcome Home, Franklin’ Peanuts Special Addresses Controversial Scene From Thanksgiving Special, by Armando Tinoco, Deadline

Apple TV+ dropped a new Peanuts special titled Snoopy Presents: Welcome Home, Franklin, focusing on the comic strip’s first Black character, Franklin Armstrong.

When the trailer was unveiled, one moment got social media buzzing as it referenced the 1973 special A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. The controversial scene is where Franklin is seen sitting on one side of the dinner table while the rest sit on the opposite side.

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The problem with the iPhone case market is that the market is too small.

What? The market too small?

Yes. Firstly, there are different models that all require different cases. But, secondly and more importantly, cases for one year will most likely not work for the models in the subsequent years. No wonder you don't see much 'innovation' with iPhone cases.

I hoped that the introduction of MagSafe will create a market for all sorts of cases and stuff that just sticks on the back on iPhones, but so far, this market is pretty much non-existent.

Oh well.


Thanks for reading.

The Making-of-the-Show Edition Sunday, February 18, 2024

Apple Shares Super Bowl Halftime Show Behind-the-scenes Video Shot Entirely On iPhone 15 Pro, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Following last weekend’s Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show with USHER, Apple has shared a new in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the making of the show. The kicker? The entire behind-the-scenes video was shot using iPhone 15.

Make Blogging Fun, Easy And Foolproof With This Mac App, by Becca Caddy, iMore

MarsEdit 5 is a sleek and dependable blog editor that’s capable of functioning both online and offline. It allows users to effortlessly organize their articles and publish them directly to various hosting services. This eliminates the need to deal with the sometimes unreliable and often clunky web-based editors that many bloggers will be all too familiar with.

I Got Thrown Out Of Bay Area Apple Stores For Asking About Theft, by Garrett Leahy, The San Francisco Standard

“I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave the store,” the Apple worker said. “You’re making unnecessary noise, and it’s distracting our customers.”

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In the last couple of decades, Apple has been replacing all the screens with its own devices. On our desks. In our pockets. In our living rooms. On our wrists. It has even found a home on our faces too.

And in the next decade, Apple may well be going after all the cameras.


Thanks for reading.

The Just-One-Person Edition Saturday, February 17, 2024

Why Does Apple Make It So Hard To Share The Vision Pro?, by Adi Robertson, The Verge

But Apple has also held fast to the idea that its devices are made for just one person, and with the Vision Pro, it can enforce that idea in ways it couldn’t before. Even as the hardware gets cheaper and more streamlined, it could easily insist on a fundamentally single-user experience — and that’s a shame, when the Vision Pro seems built for so much more.

Protect Against iPhone Trojan GoldPickaxe: How-to, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

While the iPhone trojan was first found distributed through the iOS TestFlight beta testing system, Apple was able to shut that down (at least for now).

However, the latest evolution has been GoldPickaxe being distributed through malicious iOS mobile device management (MDM) profiles.

Apple’s Gimmick: On “Fingernails” And The TV+ Brand, by Michael Szalay, Los Angeles Review of Books

Apple has integrated its streaming and device businesses with unnoticed sophistication, in fact. TV+ programs don’t urge us to buy Apple products simply by making them visible. It’s not as if non-Apple media wants for scenes with iPhones and other Apple devices; they are the water in which we daily swim. Rather, TV+ imbues these ubiquitous objects with dynamic significance. It manages their cultural meanings and, by extension, the meanings of work, home, love, and family. That brand management is fundamental to almost every TV+ program. It’s not a superadded bug, a worm in an otherwise pristine apple; it’s the feature at the fruit’s core.


What they’re delivering is a marketing machine, the likes of which we’ve never seen, one for which product placement inventories are wholly inadequate. The streamer delivers a world organized around Apple from the ground up. And that’s no less the case when the iPhone, above all, is physically absent but still very much implicit in a given program.

Apple In EU

Apple Unbanned Epic So It Can Make An iOS Games Store In The EU, by Emma Roth, The Verge

Epic is one step closer to opening its iOS games store in the European Union. As part of its 2023 year in review, Epic Games announced Apple has reinstated its developer account, which means it will finally be able to let users download Fortnite on iPhones again.


GraphicConverter 12.1, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The release gains a watermark filter and browser actions, adds support for displaying HDR images in the image editor (requires macOS 14 Sonoma and a screen with HDR support), and enables importing of JPEG and HEIC images with Apple gainmap directly as HDR.

Vision Pro App Spotlight: HomeUI Enables Spatial Control Over HomeKit Lights, Switches, And Outlets, by John Voorhees, MacStories

With just a tap or two, I can look over at a HomeUI window and control my lights and the outlets I’m using. It’s a great experience and one I look forward to using more as new device types are added to the app.


Over Half Of Vision Pro-only Apps Are Paid Downloads, Far More Than Wider iOS App Store, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Apple’s Vision Pro offers consumers a new way to interact with apps via spatial computing, but it also offers app developers a way to generate revenue without subscriptions. According to a recently released report from app intelligence firm Appfigures, over half of Vision Pro-only apps (52%) are paid downloads — a surprising percentage given that across the wider App Store, only 5% of apps monetize this way.

The European Commission Had Nothing To Do With Apple’s Reversal On Supporting RCS, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

But then why did Apple do a 180° turn on RCS? I can’t say for certain, alas, but after spending the last few months periodically poking around the trees inhabited by little birdies, I do have good news for fans of coercive government regulation. Apple’s hand was effectively forced. But by China, not the EU.

Chinese carriers have been proponents of RCS for years, and last year, the Chinese government began the process of codifying into law that to achieve certification, new 5G devices will be required to support RCS. (Here’s a good English translation on Reddit of the parts relevant to Apple.) Shockingly, the Chinese government seemingly isn’t concerned that the RCS standard has no provisions for encryption. The little birdies I’ve spoken to all said the same thing: iOS support for RCS is all about China.

‘When You Use A Walkman All The Memories Come Back’: The People Still In Love With Old Tech, by Larry Ryan, The Guardian

But who would spend thousands on a tape player in the age of Spotify and YouTube, when virtually all your entertainment needs can be concentrated into one device in your pocket

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Nostalgia. It can be a wonderful thing. (I've just 'wasted' two hours playing Loderunner on the web.)

Memories, on the other hand, can be happy and sad.


Thanks for reading.

The Demands-of-DMA Edition Friday, February 16, 2024

Apple Confirms iOS 17.4 Removes Home Screen Web Apps In The EU, Here’s Why, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple explains that it would have to build an “entirely new integration architecture that does not currently exist in iOS” to address the “complex security and privacy concerns associated with web apps using alternative browser engines.”

This work “was not practical to undertake given the other demands of the DMA and the very low user adoption of Home Screen web apps,” Apple explains. “And so, to comply with the DMA’s requirements, we had to remove the Home Screen web apps feature in the EU.”

Apple Vision

Apple Arcade Takes Players Into A New Dimension With Spatial Gaming, by Apple

“This is just the beginning of a new era in gaming, with players being fully immersed in stunning game worlds and interacting with games in their physical environment in amazing new ways,” said Alex Rofman, Apple’s senior director of Apple Arcade. “We’re leading the way in offering players unique spatial games on Apple Arcade that are only possible on Apple Vision Pro, and we’re excited to bring even more magical spatial gaming experiences to our customers soon.”


Spatial games available now on Apple Arcade include Game Room, WHAT THE GOLF?, Cut the Rope 3, Jetpack Joyride 2, Patterned, Illustrated, Wylde Flowers, stitch., Synth Riders, LEGO Builder’s Journey, Bloons TD 6+, and Super Fruit Ninja.

Vision Pro App Spotlight: My Favorite Ways To Take A Quick Note, by John Voorhees, MacStories

One of the advantages of working with the Vision Pro is the flexibility of using your surroundings to spread out. Your entire room becomes your workspace, and if you’re in an Environment, your workable space expands even further. That makes it easier to keep a note-taking app open at all times than on any other device. In turn, that makes having an app to quickly jot down your thoughts all the more useful.

There are already quite a few interesting note-taking apps on the App Store, so I wanted to highlight a handful I like, each of which has something unique to offer.

Ai Ai Ai

Apple Readies AI Tool To Rival Microsoft’s GitHub Copilot, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The new system will operate similarly to Microsoft’s GitHub Copilot and use artificial intelligence to predict and complete blocks of code, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. That simplifies the programming process for software development, potentially saving time and money.

Apple is also exploring the use of AI to generate code for testing applications, an often tedious process. Currently, Apple is pushing some engineers to try these new AI features internally as part of a “dogfooding” effort — when a company uses its own products — to make sure they work properly before releasing them to outside developers.

AI Will Eliminate Busywork. Are We Sure That’s A Good Thing?, by Lauren Larson, The Verge

I’m not suggesting that I want to spend the other 57,599.997 waking seconds of my day doing the Minesweeper-like number-dumping of Severance. But for an hour in the afternoon, when all my body’s resources have been diverted from brain to stomach to digest the meatball marinara sub I had for lunch? While a light rain falls outside and Spotify serves me ambient lullabies? No AI tool can give me such peace.


This Apple Watch App Is Designed To Help You Focus And Get More Done, by Becca Caddy, iMore

It's designed to help you maintain concentration and enhance your work efficiency by organizing your tasks into focused work sessions.

Astropad Slate Transforms Your iPad Into A No-screen Tablet And Trackpad For Mac, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Astropad Slate delivers drawing and handwriting input, mouse and trackpad functionality, gesture support, and more.

Peloton Backpedals: Company To Keep Apple GymKit Support After Member Backlash, by Laura Rosenberg, Connect The Watts

Now, the company has emailed members saying that they heard them “loud and clear,” and that they would no longer be ending the integration of Apple GymKit for the Bike+.


How A Musician Falsely Accused Of Fraud Got His Music Back On Spotify And iTunes, by Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica

The remaining question is whether distributors and streaming platforms being on higher alert will lead to more unfair takedowns like Jordan experienced. Artists' only recourse on platforms like Spotify is working with distributors to reinstate music, and even though it took days for Jordan to get his music back online, he felt fortunate to have the resources and clout he thought was necessary to get the desired response from his distributor. Not every artist will be in the same position.

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The weekend has commenced. At least for me. Time to pick up where I left off last weekend on my hobby project.

If only I remember what the heck I was doing. I think I need to write better documentations. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Take-a-Walk Edition Thursday, February 15, 2024

Why Walking Around In Public With Vision Pro Makes No Sense, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Across Apple’s library of first-party apps, there’s not a single one that has given any consideration in its design for on-the-go use. And I couldn’t find any in the App Store, either.

So if you were considering taking a walk with the Vision Pro, save yourself the humiliation. There’s nothing to be gained by doing so.

Can You Use A Headless MacBook Air With A Vision Pro?, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

The idea of using headless MacBooks has been around for a while, but I was wondering if it’d find new life with the Vision Pro and the ability to virtualize a Mac display or use Universal Control with it. Which is why I’m very glad that Miani tried this first and confirmed that, yes, a headless MacBook Air totally works as a very expensive Vision Pro accessory.

Apple in EU

Apple Appears To Be Breaking iPhone Web Apps In The EU, by Emma Roth, The Verge

Apple had previously treated the ability to install web apps as an alternative to its App Store, despite web apps not being nearly as capable. It’s possible that since there are now going to be true alternative app stores, Apple is cutting off the ability to use this other app-like experience — one that it doesn’t control and doesn’t make money from.


Apple Music Launches New Personalized 'Love' And 'Heartbreak' Stations, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The ‘Love Station’ has a romantic theme featuring songs about falling in love, whereas ‘Heartbreak’ features tracks about heartbreaks and sad love. Apple says these stations are deeply personalized to select the best music for each user, drawing from Apple Music’s catalog of more than 100 million songs.

DuckDuckGo’s Privacy Browser Adds Built-in Password Syncing, by Wes Davis, The Verge

DuckDuckGo has added a new “Sync & Backup” feature to its privacy-first browser that will keep passwords, bookmarks, and favorites constant across all of your devices — without setting up an account. Falling right in line with its usual claims that it won’t track you or collect your data, the company says that the data is end-to-end encrypted and that it “cannot access your data at any time.”

After 23 Years As A Fitness Industry Leader, Zumba Has Finally Launched Its First App, by Laura Rosenberg, Connect The Watts

For 23 years, Zumba has been a leader in dance fitness, and now the company has announced its first dip into the at-home workout world with its highly-anticipated Zumba app.

Vision Pro App Spotlight: My Favorite Digital Clock Apps For Vision Pro, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could always see a digital representation of the current time as a tiny window somewhere in your workspace? And wouldn’t it be even better if that digital clock had configuration options that, you know, a physical clock on a wall can’t offer?

10-year Old macOS Bug Still Causing Headaches For Mac Audiophiles, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

Fabian has been able to address the problem on his own with a third-party app called Balance Lock. The app does what its name implies—it runs in the background and check to make sure the Mac’s audio is balanced between its speakers. If not, it adjusts the audio and locks it in.


MLB TV To Offer Multiview Feature On Apple TV This Season, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

This year, however, MLB is bringing proper Multiview support to the Apple TV as well as other platforms. QUADBOX!

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I just noticed that I currently have twelve icons in my Mac's Dock, and there are only three colors for all eleven icons: Black, white, and blue.

The only exception: Messages, with its green and white icon.

Fortunately, blue is my favorite color. :-)


Actually, the Trash icon is filled with papers and stuff of different colors, but they are so small that I didn't notice. I am now so tempted to empty the trash, but that will be silly.


Thanks for reading.

The Innovation-and-Exploration Edition Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Vision Pro Accessibility In The Real(ish) World, by Shelly Brisbin, Six Colors

Though Macs got the VoiceOver screen reader first, the modern era of Apple access really began in 2009 when basic accessibility features came to the iPhone. Through the introductions of the iPad and Apple Watch and AppleTV models running software based on iOS, the accessibility suite has advanced, always building on the baseline, with just a few hiccups along the way. And once a feature debuts on one platform, it generally finds its way to all of them, with tweaks included to account for differences in the way you use a watch, a tablet or a computer.

So it isn’t surprising that Vision Pro accessibility builds on what’s gone before. What is surprising is the mix of real innovation here, along with some decidedly version 1.0 explorations of what’s possible.

Apple Shares An In-depth Look At Vision Pro Privacy In New Paper, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Following this month’s release of Apple Vision Pro, Apple has shared an in-depth overview on how Vision Pro and visionOS protect your data. The new “Apple Vision Pro Privacy Overview” covers things like Optic ID, cameras and your surroundings, Persona, EyeSight, and more.

Vision Pro App Spotlight: Things For visionOS Is A Familiar, Intuitive Task Management Experience, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

The biggest compliment I can pay to Things for visionOS is that it doesn’t feel like a compromised version of the iPadOS experience at all. In fact, thanks to the spatial nature of multitasking on the Vision Pro, I’d venture to say that Things for visionOS is a better version of the iPad app, at this point second only to its Mac counterpart in terms of functionalities and overall flexibility.

Apple Says There Are Now Over 1,000 Vision Pro Apps, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

There are more than 1,000 apps available for the Vision Pro, Apple marketing chief Greg Joswiak said today. There are also more than 1.5 million iPad apps that are compatible with the Vision Pro and that are able to run on the device.

Apple In EU

Apple Won’t Be Forced To Open Up iMessage By EU, by Jon Porter, The Verge

Apple’s iMessage is not being designated as a “core platform service” under the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), the European Commission announced today. The decision means the service won’t be hit with tough new obligations, including a requirement to offer interoperability with other messaging services.


The decision is the culmination of a five month investigation which the Commission opened when it published its list of 22 regulated services last September. Although it designated Apple’s App Store, Safari browser, and iOS operating system as core platform services, it held off on making a final decision on iMessage until an investigation could be completed. A similar investigation into iPadOS is ongoing.

Coming Soon

iOS 17's AirPlay Feature For Hotel Room TVs Rolling Out 'This Spring', by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

A spokesperson for LG today informed MacRumors that the company expects the first hotels to install AirPlay-enabled smart TVs "later this spring," meaning that the feature should be available by mid-June at the latest. LG last year announced that it would be the first manufacturer to offer this capability on both new hotel room TVs and models released in "recent years," suggesting it could also be enabled with a software update on some existing models.


Memorizer Is A Movie And Book Tracking App That Also Helps You Find Inspiration, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

There are quite a few apps that let you log the movies, TV shows and books that you have watched and read. Some of them are indie apps that take advantage of various online databases. Some of them, like Letterboxd, Goodreads and Trakt, are full-fledge services with large communities of users.

Memorizer starts with that same idea and shows you that it’s always nice to write a list of the things you’ve enjoyed to revisit them later. But it goes in another direction. This mobile app also helps you find inspiration and encourages you to discover new things.


Apple Researchers Unveil ‘Keyframer’: An AI Tool That Animates Still Images Using LLMs, by Michael Nuñez, VentureBeat

Apple researchers have unveiled a new AI tool called “Keyframer,” which harnesses the power of large language models (LLMs) to animate static images through natural language prompts.

This novel application, detailed in a new research paper published on, represents a giant leap in the integration of artificial intelligence into the creative process — and it may also hint at what’s to come in newer generations of Apple products such as the iPad Pro and Vision Pro.

Behind HAL: Apple’s Last Super Bowl Ad, by Ken Segall

With Kubrick’s approval, Steve was ready to go full speed ahead. As usual, he didn’t “direct” us to do anything. He trusted us to apply our talents, and only ask for help or an opinion if needed.

There were only two main elements in this spot: the visual and the voice. But both were absolutely critical. Falling short in either effort would make the commercial fail.

Apple’s Longest-Serving Designer To Depart Company, Adding To Exodus, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Bart Andre, who joined Apple in 1992 alongside Ive, told colleagues this month that he is retiring, according to people familiar with the matter. Andre was one of the last remaining designers from the Ive era and helped create the aesthetic for Apple products released over the past three decades — even prior to Steve Jobs returning to the helm in the late 1990s.

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I am not sure if it is nostalgia speaking, or if it is because Apple was very much the underdog. But I find that I liked many of the commercials put out by Apple under CEO Steve Jobs a lot more than those by CEO Tim Cook. They seemed more fun, and more interesting.


Thanks for reading.

The Reset-Headset Edition Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Apple Releases visionOS 1.0.3 With Reset Option For Forgotten Passcode, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

With ‌visionOS‌ 1.0.3, Apple added an option to reset the Vision Pro headset if the passcode set on the device has been forgotten. It also includes unspecified bug fixes.

Be Productive

OmniFocus 4, by Michael Tsai

Overall, I’m quite happy with OmniFocus 4. I think of it as a model for how to build a multi-platform app, and it seems to be a success story for SwiftUI. The data model remains rock solid, while the interface has been expanded and largely harmonized across platforms, without any of them feeling shortchanged. Apple could learn a lot from Omni’s approach.

Wunderlist’s Creators Are Back With A Nifty New To-do App, by David Pierce, The Verge

More than a tasks product, Superlist is a lists product: you make a list for a project, share it with your team, and then fill it with all the notes, files, tasks, images, and whatever else is associated with that project. The app then automatically recognizes and organizes your tasks, so you get a “Today” list with everything from every project that you need to deal with today. There’s also a toggle for switching from personal to professional tasks, so you can manage everything in one place without managing everything at the same time.


Apple's Journal App Is Easy, Free, And Already On Your Phone, by Brenda Stolyar, Wired

But it's easy and intuitive to use. You can express yourself with TikToks and songs, not just written feelings. And if you're ever stuck, it offers you prompts, so, you'll always have something to write about. If you, like me, never journaled because it felt overwhelming, it's a good place to start.

This iPhone App Makes Habit-tracking Easier And More Beautiful, by Becca Caddy, iMore

What sets Everyday apart from other habit-tracking apps is how great it looks. The app presents your habits listed on one side and days completed along the top. Completing a habit fills in a square with a color, creating a beautiful gradient as you continue your streak. This approach not only makes tracking habits satisfying but also serves as a vivid representation of your progress towards your goals, which I love seeing when I'm not feeling motivated.

Wallpaper Frenzy: A Roundup Of My Favorite Wallpaper Apps, Tools, And Artists In 2024, by Niléane, MacStories

Early this year, I once again started going through a frenetic wallpaper-hunting phase. It turns out, high-quality wallpaper apps in the App Store are not that easy to find. I have frequently come across wallpaper apps that are filled with scammy ads, and sometimes even seem to contain stolen artwork. So I am seizing this opportunity to round up and highlight some of my favorite high-quality wallpaper apps, tools, and artists on Apple’s platforms in 2024.

Lunar 6.6, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Alin Panaitiu has released version 6.6 of Lunar with a new approach for unlocking the 1600nits of brightness in Apple’s XDR displays.

Peloton Is Getting Rid Of Apple Watch GymKit Support, by Amrita Khalid, The Verge

Like GymKit, Peloton’s app integrates data from each workout to Apple’s Health app. As with GymKit, you can still track distance and pace and see your heart rate metrics on screen. It’s just not using Apple’s proprietary fitness equipment API, so if you have the latest updates installed, things shouldn’t change much.


Jon Stewart Says Apple TV+ Canceled His Show Because ‘They Didn’t Want Me To Say Things That Might Get Me In Trouble’, by Zack Sharf, Variety

“I wanted a place to unload thoughts as we get into this election season,” Stewart said. “I thought I was going to do it over at — they call it Apple TV+. It’s a television enclave, very small. It’s like living in Malibu. But they decided … they felt that they didn’t want me to say things that might get me in trouble.”

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Of course, on his return to The Daily Show, Jon Steward also mentioned he will want to talk about AI and China. I hope we will get to hear about them.


Thanks for reading.

The Perfect-Sense Edition Monday, February 12, 2024

How To Build Your Own Digital Music Library, by, What Hi-Fi

Whether meagre artist payouts or a desire for better sound are fuelling your move, or you simply find yourself forking out a monthly subscription for music you already have shoved in a loft somewhere, there are plenty of reasons that a digital music collection makes perfect sense.

But if the last time you built a digital music library was on an old iPod shuffle with some – ahem – questionably sourced MP3s, you may be wondering about how you go about doing it, what kit you’ll need and the ways you can listen. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with our handy guide to getting your own digital music system up and running.


Telegram Rolls Out Saved Messages 2.0, One-time Voice And Video Messages, And More, by Sushruth V H, OnlyTech

The latest update contains improved saved messages, one-time voice and video messages that get deleted after being played, detailed read receipts that display the time at which the message was read, an upgraded search feature in a chat, and more.


iOS 17.4 Adds New 'Virtual Card Number' Feature To Apple Cash, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Once you opt into setting up your Apple Cash virtual card number, you can view that card number, generate new card numbers and security codes, and more. This is essentially the same functionality that’s been available for the Apple Card credit card since it launched, but for the Apple Cash debit card now.

The Vision Pro's Scary Side Effect, by Adam Rogers, Business Insider

Our brains are about to undergo a massive, society-wide experiment that could rewire our sense of the world around us, and make it even harder to agree on what constitutes reality.

The Loss Of Things I Took For Granted, by Adam Kotsko, Slate

I recognize that not everyone centers their lives on books as much as a humanities professor does. I think they’re missing out, but they’re adults and they can choose how to spend their time. What’s happening with the current generation is not that they are simply choosing TikTok over Jane Austen. They are being deprived of the ability to choose—for no real reason or benefit. We can and must stop perpetrating this crime on our young people.

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I sure hope I have enough time to reach some milestones for my hobby project, because I am not going to get there fast.


Thanks for reading.

The Path-to-Happiness Edition Sunday, February 11, 2024

The Best Ad Of Super Bowl Weekend Comes From Apple (And It's Not In The Super Bowl), by Chris Matyszczyk, ZDNet

This little film -- naturally all shot on an iPhone 15 Pro Max with a stellar film crew -- offers the notion that if you can't be perfect, you might as well be yourself, because that's the best path to happiness.


The ad is, though, an elegant reminder that for all the approbation people seek in the digital world -- and some research now suggests that young people find far more there than in the real world -- there's (ultimately) a deeper joy in simple, real-world self-acceptance.

Movies On The Vision Pro Are A Stunning, But Imperfect Experience, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

The biggest reason this won’t be something I use all the time is that this was a completely solo experience. My weekend morning movie watching sometimes sees my wife come in halfway through a film and join me for the remaining bit if she’s interested in it. Watching in the Vision Pro means she has no idea what I’m watching and whether she want’s to join or not. Even if she did, I couldn’t bring her into this experience. Fast forward 10 years to a potential world where we both have headsets, and maybe there is a way for me to watch a movie in a mode that lets other people see that movie in the same 3D space as me so she could walk into the living room and join seamlessly if she wanted. There’s a lot of implementation details that still make this a weird thing, but maybe there’s a solution we can figure out, but for now using the Vision Pro to watch movies is a decidedly solo experience.

Apple Investigating 'Ghost Touches' Issue Affecting Some Series 9 And Ultra 2 Watches, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

"Some customers may report their Apple Watch Series 9 or Apple Watch Ultra 2 is experiencing false touches on their display," reads Apple's memo, obtained by MacRumors. Apple said some customers may describe the issue as "ghost" touches.

I Replaced Doom Scrolling With Shark Stalking, by Richard Sibley, TechRadar

Shark Tracker isn't a productivity or health app that will transform your life, but it is a wholesome alternative to doom strolling for me. I occasionally open the app and see if Ormond has popped up somewhere; he was last seen off the coast of New York. Before that, he was off the coast of Nova Scotia - some distance from his first track near Florida over 400 days ago. There was a Z-Ping from Ormond a week ago, so he is still swimming around somewhere.

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I've removed doom scrolling by deleting apps, unsubscribing feeds, and care only about things that I care.


Thanks for reading.

The Repair-Ecosystem Edition Saturday, February 10, 2024

Apple Is Lobbying Against Right To Repair Six Months After Supporting Right To Repair, by Jason Koebler, 404 Media

An Apple executive lobbied against a strong right-to-repair bill in Oregon Thursday, which is the first time the company has had an employee actively outline its stance on right to repair at an open hearing. Apple’s position in Oregon shows that despite supporting a weaker right to repair law in California, it still intends to control its own repair ecosystem. It also sets up a highly interesting fight in the state because Google has come out in favor of the same legislation Apple is opposing.


Oregon’s bill restricts “parts pairing,” while the California bill does not. This is a critical difference.

Vision's First Chapter

Apple Vision Pro Review: It’s A Carousel, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

It’s okay that we don’t know where this story is going to end, because the first chapter has proven to be pretty amazing, even if it doesn’t replace another computer in my life.

I’m keeping mine to enjoy what it’s good for and to keep tabs on what Apple is doing with this new platform. I expect I will do some light work with it and will enjoy media on it, but I still feel torn about what a product that covers my eyes means.

Can A $3,500 Headset Replace Your TV? We Tried Vision Pro To Find Out, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

So, yes, the Vision Pro might be able to replace your TV, and it could be a worthwhile investment if you’re a home theater aficionado who can’t always use your preferred setup. Does that make it worth $3,500 on its own? That answer will be different for everybody, but I suspect it’s still a “no” for most. If the capabilities expand and the price comes down, though, I think there is potential here for a lot of people.

The Best Way To Take Screenshots On Apple Vision Pro, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Taking good-looking screenshots on the Apple Vision Pro isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either. I’ve already spent many hours taking screenshots on the device, and I thought I’d share my experience and some practical tips for getting the best screenshots possible.

I Just Took My First Flight With The Apple Vision Pro And I’m Never Traveling Without Them Again—here’s Why, by Gio “Chat Chow” Gutierrez, Time Out

Unlike my neighbor, who had to stow away his laptop, I was never asked to remove or put them away during takeoff and landing. Until the airlines figure out what to consider the AVP, I’ll be gaming the system with the greatest tech for travelers.


Cord-cutting Live TV App 'Channels' Adds Playlists Feature, Big Apple TV Upgrades, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Channels, the fan favorite live TV and cord-cutting app, is getting a nice update today for Apple TV and iOS users. The update includes a new playlists feature, library management improvements, and more. Plus, some good news for Vision Pro users.


The iMessage Halo Effect, by John Siracusa, Hypercritical

I think this popular conception of the issue is slightly wrong—or right for a different reason, at least. The iMessage service is not so good that it makes the iPhone more attractive to customers. It’s the iPhone that makes iMessage attractive. The iPhone gives iMessage its cachet, not the other way around.

Apple To Settle Trade Secrets Lawsuit Against Chip Startup Rivos, by Blake Brittain, Reuters

The companies told the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, opens new tab that they had "signed an agreement that potentially settles the case," and that the agreement allows Apple to examine Rivos' systems and recover any confidential information.


Apple sued "stealth" startup Rivos in 2022. It said Mountain View, California-based Rivos had hired away dozens of its engineers and used its confidential information to develop competing "system-on-chip" (SoC) technology.

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Just like many things in this world, there isn't just two sides to the right-to-repair. And to frame it as such -- you are either for, or you are against -- is not helpful to move things forward in whichever direction.


Thanks for reading.

The Wonder-and-Enthusiasm-Curiosity Edition Friday, February 9, 2024

Apple Vision Pro Review: Eyes On The Future, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

I don’t know if the Vision Pro will predict the future like those early computers did. But I do know that it’s so new and weird and interesting that it brings back all those feelings of wonder and enthusiasm and curiosity that I felt in those early days. Wherever this product goes, whatever it does, it’s certainly going to be a fun ride.

Apple Vision Pro Review: Beta Testing The Future, by Devindra Hardawar, Engadget

The Vision Pro is a flawed product, but it's certainly not empty. It's as if Apple has compiled everything it's learned from building the Mac, iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods into a single device, all in a bid to avoid the Innovator's Dilemma. It would be easy for the company to coast by slowly iterating its current products, making minor tweaks to appease investors and slight hardware hops to excite an already devoted fanbase. True vision takes risk, and I can't help but admire that.

Like Buying An iPhone In 2007, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

Sometimes writing about tech all the time turns into a negative game where there are (legitimate) reasons to be upset about almost everything, so it’s great to see I still get giddy when something genuinely new comes along and rephrases Apple’s favorite question: what is a computer?

Spatial Mix

Apple Music’s Spatial Audio Royalty Change Raises Indie Label Concerns Over Cost, Artistry, by Dan Rys, Billboard

The biggest issue is cost. Sources tell Billboard that a spatial audio mix can cost around $500 per track, or anywhere between $2,500 to $5,000 per album, with one putting the cost as high as $15,000. (Cheaper options as low as $50 per track exist online, though Apple is said to discourage those options because they do not meet its standards. The reality, however, is that there is no universally accepted industry standard, and some labels are using these services anyway, justifying them as the only way to convert catalog efficiently enough.) That’s difficult for many indie labels, whose margins can often be akin to a small restaurant, where cash is at a premium and wiggle room is often extremely thin.


Even then, the return from the uplift may not offset the outlay on mixing for spatial, sources say, particularly for smaller indies, labels with younger or developing artists, or those with genres or artists that don’t typically stream very well. Several label sources also said that Apple won’t playlist songs or will withhold valuable space on the Apple Music homepage — where there is a dedicated section for new releases in spatial — if songs aren’t delivered using the format. And since spatial is an Apple Music-only initiative, those dealing with the financial issues can’t get a higher rate at any other digital service provider (DSP) for mixing tracks in spatial.

Apple In the EU

Apple Broke Web Apps In iOS 17 Beta And Hasn't Fixed Them, by Thomas Claburn, The Register

In the second beta release of iOS 17.4, which incorporates code to accommodate Europe's Digital Markets Act, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) have been demoted from standalone apps that use the whole screen to shortcuts that open within the default browser.


"For PWAs to run, the browser has to create a component called a service worker," they explained. "It seems that Apple hasn't found a way to allow other browsers to create their own service workers without compromising the sandboxed nature of apps on iOS. And the only way to fulfill this DMA rule by the deadline in March is to disable PWAs for all browsers. And now all browsers are equal."

Apple Rolling Out App Store Connect And TestFlight Changes To Support Alternative App Stores In The EU, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple says that developers who have opted into the new App Store business terms in the EU can now begin setting up and testing their app marketplaces and marketplace distribution.

On Privacy

Revealed: Proposal To Support Advertising On Apple Devices, by Jim Edwards, Press Gazette

Apple devices currently prioritise user privacy over supporting advertising, making them a poor source of revenue for ad-funded news publishers.

An engineer at Apple now appears to have proposed a new system named “Private Ad Measurement” (PAM) that would allow publishers and advertisers to track the performance of their online campaigns on Apple devices, via apps and on the Safari browser, whilst preserving the privacy of readers.


macOS 14.3.1, iOS 17.3.1, And iPadOS 17.3.1 Fix WebKit Text Bug, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

The bug caused words or entire lines to seem to disappear and reappear, jump around, or overwrite other text while you were typing in any app that relied on WebKit, most notably Mail, Notes, and Safari, but also including third-party apps like Mimestream and MarsEdit.

Apple Shares Mini Film Promoting Upcoming Apple Music Halftime Show Starring Usher, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple is continuing to hype the upcoming Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show that's set to air this weekend, with the company sharing a full mini film for its "Where's Usher?" ad campaign.

WaterField's Latest Shield Case Is A More Compact Tote For Apple Vision Pro, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Vision Pro Shield Case is half the size and a fraction of the cost of Apple’s travel case. It also features an exterior zipped pocket unlike other Vision Pro bags we’ve seen so far.


Q&A With The Apple UX Writing Team, by Apple

Ask yourself: What am I trying to accomplish with my writing? Once you’ve answered that, you can start addressing the writing itself.

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One month ago, have you set a theme for the new year, or new resolutions for the new year, but have forgotten about them already? No worries. Here's your second chance.

Happy Lunar New Year, as we welcome the year of the dragon tomorrow.



Thanks for reading.

The Impossible-Technology Edition Thursday, February 8, 2024

“Wherever You Get Your Podcasts” Is A Radical Statement, by Anil Dash

You've heard the call to action at the end of nearly every podcast you've ever listened to: "Listen to us on your favorite podcast app", or in the phrasing of podcaster extraordinare Roman Mars, "...wherever you find podcasts". [...]

But here's the thing: being able to say, "wherever you get your podcasts" is a radical statement. Because what it represents is the triumph of exactly the kind of technology that's supposed to be impossible: open, empowering tech that's not owned by any one company, that can't be controlled by any one company, and that allows people to have ownership over their work and their relationship with their audience.

I Stopped Using Passwords. It’s Great—and A Total Mess, by Matt Burgess, Wired

For the past month, I’ve been converting as many of my accounts as possible—around a dozen for now—to use passkeys and start the move away from the password for good. Spoiler: When passkeys work seamlessly, it’s a glimpse of a more secure future for millions, if not billions, of people, and a reinvention of how we sign in to websites and services. But getting there for every account across the internet is still likely to prove a minefield and take some time.

Apple Releases ‘MGIE’, A Revolutionary AI Model For Instruction-based Image Editing, by Michael Nuñez, VentureBeat

Apple has released a new open-source AI model, called “MGIE,” that can edit images based on natural language instructions. MGIE, which stands for MLLM-Guided Image Editing, leverages multimodal large language models (MLLMs) to interpret user commands and perform pixel-level manipulations. The model can handle various editing aspects, such as Photoshop-style modification, global photo optimization, and local editing.

Coming Soon

iOS 17.4 Allows Video Calling Apps To Turn Off Hand Gesture Reactions To Prevent Awkward Moments, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Alongside iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4, Apple is releasing a new API that allows video conferencing apps to turn off the gesture-based reactions by default in their apps.

Vision Pro Gets iMessage Contact Key Verification On visionOS 1.1 Beta, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

iMessage Contact Key Verification is an optional security feature that allows you to manually verify who you are messaging with by comparing verification codes in person or on a phone call.

In The Courts

Apple Defeats Lawsuit Claiming It Overpaid CEO Tim Cook, Others, by Jonathan Stempel, Reuters

U.S. District Judge Jennifer Rochon in Manhattan said the iPhone maker described its pay methods in detailed compensation tables in its 2023 proxy statement, "precisely" as securities laws and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules require.

Judge Rules Against Users Suing Google And Apple Over “Annoying” Search Results, by Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica

While the world awaits closing arguments later this year in the US government's antitrust case over Google's search dominance, a California judge has dismissed a lawsuit from 26 Google users who claimed that Google's default search agreement with Apple violates antitrust law and has ruined everyone's search results.


Apple Maps Now Offers Cycling Directions In Switzerland, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple Maps‌ provides cycling directions along bike lanes, bike paths, and bike-friendly roads wherever possible, including details like steep inclines, how busy a street is, and whether there are stairs or other obstacles along a route.

Apple Officially Splits iTunes For Windows Into Apple Music, TV, And Devices Apps, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Devices apps that Apple has been testing for Windows machines have officially launched, ending a long preview period and bringing an end to the iTunes app on some computers.

Apple Launches A Redesigned iCloud App For Windows, by Ivan Mehta, TechCrunch

The new app, available for Windows 10 and 11, has a new setup experience for easier onboarding. It also has a syncing status indicator for different services to better indicate how many items have been downloaded or uploaded.

Photoscope Helps You Clean Up Your Photo Library, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Photoscope just launched on both iPhone and Apple Vision Pro (possibly a first for that combo with a new app). The pitch is that it can help you clean up your massive photo library and rediscover your best shots.

Plex Now Lets You Rent Movies As It Continues Expansion Beyond The Media Server Business, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Unsurprisingly, Plex’s app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV doesn’t support the ability to rent movies. Instead, you’ll have to jump out to the Plex website to rent content, which you can then watch in the Plex app. This is Plex skirting Apple’s App Store fees, like many other streaming services.

Universal Print, Microsoft's One-stop Solution For Printing In Cloud Services, Now Arrives On macOS, by Rafly Gilang, MSPoweruser

It’s been at least four years since Microsoft first launched Universal Print, its one-stop solution for businesses to print documents without installing drivers locally. Now, the Redmond company is rolling this out for macOS users.


Vision Pro's Biggest Shortcomings Are Its Best Path To Success, by Dan Moren, Macworld

There are a handful of places where Apple has spent very little time talking about the Vision Pro’s capabilities–in some situations those capabilities are limited or simply aren’t present at all. If you look closer, there’s often a very clear reason why that’s so, but it also means that there’s clearly room for Apple to make forays into new arenas as the platform develops.

Bite Me! How Apple’s Download Chart Became A New Battleground For Pop – And Politics, by Shaad D'Souza, The Guardian

Over 20 years after its launch, Apple’s online music store has found a surprising new life – as a battleground for online turf wars. Last week, at least five songs rose to the upper reaches of the Apple Music (formerly iTunes) download charts, powered by different internet factions.

Security Researcher Allegedly Hacked Apple’s Backend, Scammed $2.5 Million, by Joseph Cox, 404 Media

A legitimate presenting security researcher who has reported multiple vulnerabilities to Apple has been charged with allegedly breaking into a system connected to Apple’s backend, and then using that access to defraud the tech giant out of $2.5 million worth of gift cards and electronics, according to recently unsealed court records.

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And so, here's the end of that glass of ice water for someone in hell.

It's finally time to say goodbye to iTunes.

(I'm not a music person, so my fond memories of iTunes -- and the great AppleScript support -- is it being my first podcast client.)


Thanks for reading.

The Life-Like Edition Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Apple Starts Improving Vision Pro Personas In visionOS 1.1 Beta, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

After installing visionOS 1.1, Vision Pro users are immediately prompted to recapture their Personas to get the "latest appearance updates" included in the update. Some users shared screenshots of their updated Personas in social media posts today, and the new versions generally appear to be more detailed and lifelike.

visionOS 1.1 Beta Adds Option To Reset Vision Pro In Case Of Forgotten Passcode, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

With today's visionOS 1.1 beta, there appears to be a new hardware-based option to reset the Vision Pro, allowing the device to be wiped and set up fresh should the user forget their passcode.

Your iPhone's Clock App Is Getting A Big New Feature With The Next iOS Update, by Jovana Naumovski, Gadget Hacks

With the iOS 17.4 update, currently in beta, Clock's stopwatch now supports Live Activities.


Apple ID Security Keys Feature Now Supports iCloud For Windows, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

If you have physical security keys set up for your Apple ID account, you can now sign in to iCloud on Windows, after updating the app to version 15 or later. Apple confirmed this change in a support document updated today.

Vision Pro App Spotlight: Day Ahead, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Day Ahead is an interesting approach to visualizing the events on your calendar. It’s a visionOS-only app that uses what looks like a transparent tube filled with drops of colored liquid that represent the events of your day.

Vision Pro App Spotlight: NowPlaying, by John Voorhees, MacStories

visionOS allows users of the app to spread out, focus on the music, and absorb the rich catalog of metadata and editorial content about their music in a beautiful, relaxing atmosphere.

Vision Pro App Spotlight: Juno, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Juno is essentially a single-purpose browser dedicated to watching YouTube. The app is a native visionOS app that controls embedded videos via JavaScript. That makes it seem like a simple, stripped-down app, but it’s clear as soon as you start using Juno that Selig has put a lot of thought and time into making it all look good and work well together.

GoPro's Quik Editing Software Arrives On macOS, by Dave LeClair, Pocket-lint

The desktop version will allow GoPro users to edit their footage on a larger display and with a full keyboard, which could expand their creativity.


Why We Procrastinate—and How To Stop, by Kathleen Davis, Fast Company

Between the constant email and Slack notifications and the onslaught of news and social media, it can feel like there are a lot of forces conspiring against us getting things done. But at the heart of many of our feelings of overwhelm is our own tendency to distract ourselves from important or difficult tasks. How can you recognize your triggers and overcome procrastination?


Is Apple's New Vision Pro A Health Care Machine? Sharp Healthcare Thinks So, by Paul Sisson, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Sharp is working with Epic, the industry leader in electronic health records systems, to explore how Vision Pro might be used in health care settings.


“We have invested in enough devices so that, right away, we can have physicians and nurses and informaticists and software developers and others start using it,” Exley said. “We want them to work with us to figure out which tasks and workflows it’s best for.”

Apple Won't Face AliveCor Antitrust Lawsuit Over Apple Watch Heart Rate Technology, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple argued that AliveCor did not have the right to dictate Apple's design decisions, and that the request to support the older heart rate technology would require the court to be a day-to-day enforcer of how Apple engineers its products. The court ultimately agreed with Apple.

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Twenty-years ago, Apple introduced the lower-cost iPod mini, finally allowing me to justify spending the money. And then podcasts were invented, and Audible started advertising on every single podcast episodes (it seems), and I'm now hooked on spoken words entertainment. What a ride.


Thanks for reading.

The Series-of-Digits Edition Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Forgot Your Apple Vision Pro’s Passcode? You May Have To Take It Back To Store, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The company is telling users who forget their code — typically a series of digits — that they’ll have to bring the device to a store or mail it to AppleCare customer support if they want to get it working again. Apple will then erase and reset it.

The issue is one of a few early customer-service snags surrounding the $3,499 device, which went on sale Friday.

YouTube Says A Vision Pro App Is ‘On The Roadmap’, by Nilay Patel, The Verge

Here’s a little bit of an about-face: YouTube now says it has a Vision Pro app on its roadmap. I mean this literally, as YouTube spokesperson Jessica Gibby just emailed me the following statement: “We’re excited to see Vision Pro launch and we’re supporting it by ensuring YouTube users have a great experience in Safari. We do not have any specific plans to share at this time, but can confirm that a Vision Pro app is on our roadmap.”


Exclusive Apple Music USHER Content, Ahead Of Super Bowl Show, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple Music is offering a wide range of exclusive USHER content, ahead of the singer’s Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday.

Apple TV+ Sets Spring & Summer Release Dates For Series Including ‘Acapulco’, ‘The Big Door Prize’, ‘Loot’ & More, by Denise Petski, Deadline

Apple TV+ today announced release dates for a slew of new and returning series on the first day of the Television Critics Association’s Winter 2024 press tour. They include new seasons of returning series including Acapulco, The Big Door Prize, Acapulco, The Reluctant Traveler With Eugene Levy and Trying.

Feeeed: Embracing Feed Diversity And Personal News Curation, by Niléane, MacStories

Today, with our favorite content scattered across social media platforms, apps, blogs, and newsletters, it’s honestly really hard to keep up, and there is clearly a demand for an app that could juggle with all of them. feeeed is an attempt at embracing that diversity, and letting you build your own feed, merging all those sources into one continuous and beautifully designed stream.

Da Vinci Eye For Apple Vision Pro Projects Transparent Art Over Any Canvas For Inspiration, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Speaking of ways creatives can use Apple Vision Pro, check out this augmented reality art projector app from Da Vinci Eye. It uses Apple Vision Pro’s Passthrough feature to let you see your own canvas as you project a transparent layer of art for inspiration over it.

Apple Vision Pro Has An App That Can Help Manage Anxiety, by Teodosia Dobriyanova, Mashable

Inspired by ancient meditation practices like Tibetan singing bowls, the app lets users interact with virtual instruments to create their own relaxing soundscapes. This immersive 3D environment uses RealityKit, Spatial Audio, and hand gestures, and each user can regulate the app’s immersion levels based on their own preferences.


Apple Opens The 2024 Swift Student Challenge To Submissions, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple has opened up submissions for the 2024 Swift Student Challenge. [...] Eligible students have from today through February 25, 2024, to submit their app playgrounds on a topic of their choosing.

Apple Just Launched A New Open-source Programming Language, by Luke Hughes, TechRadar

Apple has released Pkl, a new open source ‘embeddable configuration language’, hoping to take the stress out of ‘small to large, simple to complex, ad-hoc to repetitive configuration tasks’.


iOS 17 Adoption Is Slower Than iOS 16 Adoption, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

iOS 17 is installed on 76 percent of iPhones released in the last four years, according to newly released iOS 17 adoption statistics provided today by Apple.

Spotify Subscribers Rise To 236 Million After Record Year, by Jon Porter, The Verge

The results cap off a year that included both cost-cutting and price increases for the world’s largest audio streaming service.

Bottom of the Page

If not for all the podcasts that I listen to, there will still be quite a few English words that I would probably be pronouncing wrongly.

Especially many of the California-places macOS releases.


Thanks for reading.

The Pivacy-Violations Edition Monday, February 5, 2024

‘They Thought They Were Doing Good But It Made People Worse’: Why Mental Health Apps Are Under Scrutiny, by David Cox, The Guardian

Instead of being an isolated exception, research suggests that such privacy violations are too common within the vast industry of mental health apps, which includes virtual therapy services, mood trackers, mental fitness coaches, digitised forms of cognitive behavioural therapy and chatbots.

An Apple Store Employee Gave Me A Surprising Reason To Love The Vision Pro, by Chris Matyszczyk, ZDNet

I wondered if this work-focused sales patter had been part of her Vision Pro training. Don't let them think it's primarily an entertainment gadget, tell them it's a time-saver and moneymaker. And, wait, can't businesses buy these and write them off?

MIT PhD Student Hacks Apple Vision Pro Days After Release, Reveals Potential Jailbreaks And Malware Threats, by Rahul Verma, Mashable

On the day following the Apple Vision Pro's release, Ravichandran shared insights into the identified kernel vulnerability, shedding light on the potential risks associated with the device's operating system. Notably, he demonstrated the headset's response to an attempted kernel exploit through a series of photographs, emphasizing the severity of the uncovered flaw.


Why NetNewsWire Isn’t Available For Vision Pro, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

I consider it risky to support an app running on a device I don’t own.

Apple And Samsung Won The Smartwatch War And We're All Worse Off, by Ian Carlos Campbell, Inverse

But can they really be meaningfully different when there are effectively only three smartwatches to choose from, and they’re all made by companies that also make smartphones?

Write Code For The Web, by

This realisation has made me happier since I now know my place. I can like their products without wanting to develop for them.

Why Is Big Tech Still Cutting Jobs?, by Tripp Mickle, New York Times

In contrast with its peers, Apple showed restraint with hiring during the pandemic. But last year, as sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs dropped, the company began to shrink its work force. For the first time in at least 15 years, it reported that its total number of employees declined, even as it avoided making major layoffs.

The 3,000 fewer jobs that Apple reported at the end of its most recent fiscal year were eliminated largely through attrition, and by encouraging some managers to give tougher annual reviews, according to three people with knowledge of the company’s strategy.

Bottom of the Page

You may say Apple always put customers (users) before third-party developers, and that's how we ended up with all the rules about app stores and the like. You may also say Apple always put Apple itself before developers, and that's how you get Apple closing all possible loopholes that potentially leave money on the table for itself.

But, no matter what, you have to realize Apple is definitely not putting third-party developers ahead of everyone.

Memories are long, and it is deep in the DNA that remembers Apple was once held hostage by third-party developers and their Internet Explorers and Office and Photoshop.


Thanks for reading.

The As-Secure-As-Possible Edition Sunday, February 4, 2024

Apple’s Phil Schiller Says Alternative App Stores Expose iPhone Users To Major Risks. He’s Right, by Michael Grothaus, Fast Company

With alternate app stores, Apple will have much less power to stop nefarious apps from hitting users’ iPhones. However, Schiller and company aren’t just throwing up their hands and saying it’s the other app stores’ problem. Quite the contrary. Apple still wants iPhone users who use alternative app stores to have the best and safest iPhone experience possible, and it has created tools to help developers in alternative app marketplaces make their apps as secure as possible under the requirements of the DMA.


For more than 15 years, Schiller says, “we have dealt with a lot of input from families, from governments, on things that we need to do to try to either not allow certain kinds of objectionable content on our App Store, or give users control over that experience to decide what’s best for themselves—and we have rules around that,” Schiller says. “Those rules will not apply in another marketplace unless they choose to make rules of their own, [with] whatever criteria they come up with. Does that increase the risk of users, and families, running into objectionable content or other experiences? Yes, it does.”

Into the Spatialverse

Answering A Few Early Vision Pro Questions, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

This is hard to get across in flat screenshots, but I was able to sit a desk in my son’s room, right up against the wall, and place a window deep behind behind the posters on the wall. The discontinuity didn’t really bother me. Then again, visionOS space is so weird that my brain may have already noped out and turned itself off for the day.


What I will say after a day and a half is that the Vision Pro is most definitely a computer. It feels like the most computery device Apple makes, after the Mac itself. A lot of that is the fact that it’s got a freeform multi-window interface.

Apple Vision Pro – What About Comic Books?, by Ron Brinkmann, Digital Composting

Obviously the Vision Pro isn’t the first VR/AR/whatever device, but it’s the first one that’s got enough resolution to prevent me from getting pissed off as soon as I stick it to my face.

And while there have already been reams of articles published about other aspects of using the Vision Pro, I haven’t seen anybody yet discuss what it’s like to read a comic book with it. So… here you go.


Apple Vision Pro's Virtual Display Feature Works With Intel Macs, But Limited To 3K Resolution, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

In a new support document, Apple has confirmed that the Vision Pro's Mac Virtual Display feature is compatible with any Mac running macOS Sonoma. If the Mac has an Apple silicon chip, the headset can show its display at up to 4K resolution. If the Mac has an Intel processor, however, Apple says resolution is limited to up to 3K.

Optic ID: Apple Explains Vision Pro's Iris Authentication System, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Optic ID can recognize the uniqueness of your irises, the colored part of your eyes, allowing you to quickly unlock your Vision Pro, authorize Apple Pay purchases, sign in to many third-party apps, access sensitive personal data, and more. Apps that support Face ID and Touch ID on the iPhone and iPad automatically support Optic ID. After setting up Optic ID, it also becomes a requirement in order use your Persona.

Apple Vision Pro Launches With New Spatial App From PGA TOUR, Compatible Apps From MLB, MLS, NBA, And More, by Jason Dachman, SVG News

At launch, Vision Pro offers a wealth of new sports-focused spatial apps — such as PGA TOUR Vision — on top of immersive experience in compatible apps like the NBA App, MLB App, Red Bull TV, MLS Season Pass, and others.

Long Exposures On An iPhone: No Tripod Needed, by Mel Martin, Fstoppers

Enter Spectre. Basically, it's an AI-powered shutter for your iPhone.


The Apple Vision Pro Is Spectacular And Sad, by Ian Bogost, The Atlantic

For a time, at what may have been the height of the internet’s thrall, it became popular to pretend that the digital and material worlds were continuous—that the “real” one had no special meaning, because cyberspace had become a part of it. That turned out to be wrong. We live in cars and on couches and, separately, we also live on phones. Apple believes it can resolve this conflict—that the digital and material worlds can be merged together—but it has only put the conflict into higher resolution. A headset is a pair of spectacles, but a headset is also a blindfold.

Could The Apple Vision Pro Fund My Retirement?, by Michael Grothaus, Fast Company

Back in July 2007, I got my hands on the hottest tech product of the day: the original iPhone with 4GB of storage. It cost $499. Stupidly, I opened and used mine. I say “stupidly” because almost exactly 16 years later an original, unopened iPhone with 4GB of storage sold at auction for $190,373.

Now, 17 years later, do I have a chance at redemption? Could the latest first-generation Apple device, the Vision Pro, which went on sale to the public yesterday, appreciate in value as much as that original iPhone did? If I were to buy a Vision Pro today and leave it in the box for 20 years, could I auction it off for six figures, giving my retirement years a nice financial cushion?

Apple May Be Acquiring This AI Startup For Vision Pro Privacy, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Sources indicate Apple plans to acquire Brighter AI, a German AI startup specializing in anonymizing face and license plate data. Apple aims to use this acquisition to enhance privacy features on Apple Vision Pro, 9to5Mac is told. Apple may be considering Brighter AI’s technology to minimize the risk of Apple Vision Pro capturing identifiable information in videos or photos taken in public.

The U.S. Economy Is Booming. So Why Are Tech Companies Laying Off Workers?, by Gerrit De Vynck, Danielle Abril and Caroline O'Donovan, Washington Post

For many tech workers, the shine has come off an industry that they had given their lives to in return for steady employment, flashy perks and the chance for lucrative stock options. Google and Meta in recent years have cut down on employee perks like free laundry, free massages, and food and fitness offerings.

Bottom of the Page

Don't you hate it as a programmer when your customers reports bugs to you with demands on how you should fix the problem? The very same customers who don't know anything about programming or security or marketing or business?


Thanks for reading.

The Precision-and-Approachable Edition Saturday, February 3, 2024

Apple Vision Pro: Exclusive Interview With The Apple Design Team, by Pei-Ru Keh, Wallpaper

When you wear Vision Pro, you are slowly eased into this new world, with varying levels of translucency between what’s real and what’s digital. Lights dim slowly when you view photos, videos or content. Everything moves with you so you never feel like you’re strapped in. The knitted band, which feels more like apparel than a tech product, brings a casualness that’s fitting for a device that can be used sitting, leaning back or even lying down. Even the absence of controllers was intentional to facilitate being able to do other things, like drinking coffee or taking notes, at the same time.

Howarth sums up, ‘There’s a hardness and precision to the front of the product that is completely technical and feels like it’s been sent from the future, but then everything else that connects the product to you is soft and really approachable, so you feel cushioned and there’s not a barrier to putting it on or taking it off. And in fact, it should be a pleasure.’

Inside Disney’s Big Bet On Apple Vision Pro And Spatial Computing, by Harry McCracken, Fast Company

For Disney’s techies, coding the Disney+ app involved both familiar processes and new challenges, and took the better part of a year. Even brief exposure to native Vision Pro apps will tell you that they’re close kin to those designed for the iPad, which gave the company a healthy head start on getting a spatial version of the streaming service up and running. “If you’re building apps in Swift for the iPad, it’s a no-brainer,” says LaBerge. “It all translates over and is super-easy to do.”

To construct the immersive viewing environments, Disney used an Apple tool called Reality Composer Pro. That software allows for the creation of 3D imagery in a format called Universal Scene Description. And in a nifty bit of proof of how deep the Apple-Disney collaboration runs, USD happens to have originated at Disney’s own Pixar studio. (It’s since become an industry standard supported by other big players such as Adobe, Autodesk, and Nvidia.)

NBA Looks Into Using Next-Gen Apple Cameras For Vision Pro, by Jacob Feldman, Sportico

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Apple CEO Tim Cook met on Friday, hours after the official launch of Apple’s Vision Pro headset, to walk through the league’s new app for the platform and discuss the future of the at-home fan experience.


“The real first question to ask is, ‘What does it mean to reimagine your app for this kind of 3D, immersive environment?” NBA SVP and head of product Chad Evans said. “When Apple started talking about capabilities like ‘infinite canvas,’ how could we really use that space to bring fans closer to the game—that was sort of the foundational principle.”

Simple Tricks And Nonsense, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

One comparison would be to a maestro conducting an orchestra. But that doesn’t convey the sense of precision in VisionOS — the sense of fine control through indirect manipulation. What it feels like is using the Force.


And, like the butterfly from Encounter Dinosaurs that some people can feel landing on their outstretched finger, I swear to you, I can almost feel the telekinetic connection with UI elements in VisionOS. It’s a hint, a whiff, of tension — between not just my hands and the virtual elements I’m manipulating, but between my mind and those elements. Just the vaguest sensation of tension emanating from my forehead, like a taut thread of ultrafine string connecting my mind to the window I’m moving, or button I’m pressing, or photo I’m stretching.

The Story Of When I Bought Apple Vision Pro And Gifted Tim Cook A T-shirt, by Jonathan Gulbrandsen

But as the countdown happens to 8am and the queue starts moving (all the Apple folks where shouting “AVP! AVP! AVP!” during the countdown, so pretty sure that’s the official term now!), I am realising quickly that everybody gets to shake hands with Tim Cook as they go in! And some even grab a selfie! I take out the t-shirt of my pocket and show it to my Apple escort (everybody in the queue has one Apple Retail person assigned to them) and ask, “Should I give this to Tim!?” He laughs out loud and say for sure.

That gave me the confidence i needed.


Don't Lose Your $3,500 Apple Vision Pro, You Can't Track Its Location, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

In a new support document, Apple has confirmed that a Vision Pro's location cannot be viewed in the Find My app on another Apple device, or on Of the Find My family of features, the Vision Pro only supports Activation Lock, which ensures that a thief cannot erase or freshly set up the headset unless they know the owner's Apple ID and password.

Apple Details What To Do If Vision Pro Causes Visual Discomfort, Motion Sickness And More, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Those experiencing motion sickness should stop using the headset, and should not use Vision Pro while on an airplane. Using the device for short increments of time and with less immersive experiences can help.

To minimize motion sickness, Apple says that users should reduce head motion and move the head and neck as little as possible. Apple also recommends reducing visual motion by decreasing window sizes, reducing the level of immersion, and turning on the Reduce Motion setting in the Accessibility section of Settings.

Apple Says Vision Pro Isn't Compatible With Bluetooth Mice, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has published a new support document today detailing more about Vision Pro’s support for Bluetooth accessories. Notably, the company has confirmed that “Apple Vision Pro also isn’t compatible with Bluetooth mice.”


Apple Now Selling $300 Developer Strap For Vision Pro, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple says that the Developer Strap is helpful for "accelerating the development of graphics-intensive apps and games." It is designed to provide the same audio experience as the standard Right Audio Strap, so it can be used for both development and testing.

Pricing Indie Apps: The Perks Of A Wallflower Rule, by Jordan Morgan, Swiftjective-C

You could rely on the intricate complexities of pricing theories, or you could simply charge a little bit higher than what you think you can get away with - and then let the market truly adjust from there. So when I talk to to other indies, I always encourage them to follow “Perks of Being a Wallflower” pricing: Charge the amount that you truly think you deserve.


‘Argylle’ May Be A Bust, But Apple Is Gathering The Right Intelligence, by Miles Surrey, The Ringer

There’s no guarantee that Apple will stick to this strategy in the long run, or that the company won’t butt heads with creatives the way Amazon has. But in the meantime, Apple has transformed into a viable alternative to Hollywood’s major studios—and is taking a bite out of its competition.

App Developers Can Now Sign Up For Consultations On Complicated EU App Ecosystem Changes, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Developers can request a 30-minute online consultation to ask questions and provide feedback about Apple's changes. Topics of discussion include alternative distribution on iOS, alternative payments in the ‌App Store‌, linking out to purchases on a webpage, new business terms, and more.

Bottom of the Page

I feel disturbed when, all of my sudden, the keyboard and mouse and trackpad icons on my macOS battery widget started to disappear one by one while I was reading some web page.

Yes, bluetooth has gone wonky, again.


Thanks for reading.

The Spatial-Experience Edition Friday, February 2, 2024

Apple Announces More Than 600 New Apps Built For Apple Vision Pro, by Apple

“Apple Vision Pro is unlocking the imaginations of our worldwide developer community, and we’re inspired by the range of spatial experiences they’ve created for this exciting new platform,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. “With more than 600 new spatial experiences to explore in the all-new App Store, alongside more than 1 million compatible apps across iOS and iPadOS, users can discover a wide array of apps that expand the boundaries of what’s possible. These incredible apps will change how we experience entertainment, music, and games; spark our imaginations with new ways to learn and explore; unlock productivity like never before; and so much more. Developers are already capturing the promise of spatial computing, and we can’t wait to see what they create next.”

Vision Pro’s Killer Feature? It’s A Wearable Mac, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

Think back to the iPhone — or even the Macintosh — and it was the emergence of productivity apps on both platforms that helped them make the leap from consumer bauble to enterprise essential. [...] We’re seeing this again in Vision Pro, with Microsoft confirming plans to introduce Office apps for visionOS, and Ukraine’s Readdle delivering a powerful new suite of PDF applications for use in Apple’s reality distortion field. This perhaps shows the extent to which people in the business recognize the opportunity to build creative productivity solutions for Apple’s new world of spatial computing.

Why Tim Cook Is Going All In On The Apple Vision Pro, by Nick Bilton, Vanity Fair

“What we do is we get really excited about something and then we start pulling the string and see where it takes us,” Cook told me. “And yes, we’ve got things on the road maps and so forth, and yes, we have a definitive point of view. But a lot of it is also the exploration and figuring out.” He concluded, “Sometimes the dots connect. And they lead you to some place that you didn’t expect.” (Letting connected dots lead the way was a theme Cook’s predecessor used to talk about.)

The question is, is the place we’re about to go, into the era of spatial computing, going to make our lives better, or will it become the next technology that becomes a necessity, where we can’t live in a world that’s not augmented? I think Joswiak had it half right when he said, ​​“It feels like we’ve reached into the future and grabbed this product. You’re putting the future on your face.” I think it’s the other way around. Apple is taking us into the future, into a new era of computing. Some of us are running as fast as we can to get there, and others are being dragged, kicking and screaming. But we’re all going. We’re going to the moon, and we’re going to look around at the ghostly luminescence of ancient dust under a black, star-studded sky, and we’ll just know that this is the future of computing and entertainment and apps and memories, and that this apparatus wrapped around our head will change everything.

Apple Vision Pro Demos Can Be Reserved Online Starting Monday, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple is also offering Vision Pro demos from today through Sunday at all of its U.S. stores on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no way to reserve a demo on these days, so you simply need to show up and wait.

Adobe Brings Lightroom And Firefly AI To The Apple Vision Pro, by Jess Weatherbed, The Verge

Adobe’s Firefly AI, the text-to-image tool behind features like Photoshop’s generative fill, will be available on the Apple Vision Pro as a native app, alongside the company’s popular Lightroom photo editing software already demonstrated during the headset’s announcement.

Juno App Brings YouTube To Apple Vision Pro Because Google Won't, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

The video player includes native controls for interacting with the video, including resizing to create a home theater experience in your living room, repositioning, dimming your room around the video, and more.

Apple's Business

Apple Breaks Year-long Streak Of Falling Revenue With Strong Holiday Sales, by Johana Bhuiyan, The Guardian

Apple has ended the quarter with its first revenue gain in over a year, but the company still struggled to cope with a decline in global smartphone demand. The company posted $119.58bn in revenue and $2.18 in earnings per share (EPS), beating Wall Street expectations of $117.91bn in full-year revenue and $2.10 in EPS. Apple broke its four-quarter streak of declining revenue with a reported a 2% growth in sales. Shares dropped in after-hours trading.

Apple Says The EU Accounts For Just 7% Of Its Global App Store Revenue, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Maestri revealed a notable statistic about the importance of Apple’s App Store business in the European Union, saying that it accounts for around 7% of Apple’s global App Store revenue.

Apple’s China Slump Deepens Even As Total Sales Grow Again, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple is contending with cooling consumer spending in China, rising competition and widening government bans of foreign technology.

This Is Tim: Transcript Of Apple’s Q1 2024 Analyst Call, by Six Colors

"Moments like these are what we live for at Apple. They are why we do what we do. They’re why we’re so unflinchingly dedicated to groundbreaking innovation and why we’re so focused on pushing technology to its limits as we work to enrich the lives of our users. As we look ahead, we will continue to invest in these and other technologies that will shape the future. That includes artificial intelligence, where we continue to spend a tremendous amount of time and effort, and we’re excited to share the details of our ongoing work in that space later this year."


This iPhone And iPad App Is A Virtual Corkboard In Your Pocket, by Becca Caddy, iMore

It could be an idea board, a photo album, a place where you keep reminders, manage to-do lists, plan lessons and so much more. Its flexibility makes it ideal for lots of different tasks, but I can imagine it being particularly useful for students, creatives and teachers.


Independent Record Labels Push Back On Apple’s Pay Plans, by Anna Nicolaou, Financial Times

Independent record labels behind artists including Phoebe Bridgers and Vampire Weekend are pushing back on Apple’s plans to pay more money for songs recorded in higher-quality audio — a move they say funnels cash towards megastars and away from other musicians.


“It’s going to benefit the biggest player, Universal, because they’re the ones with the resources to invest in that. Whereas the independent sector . . . we’ve found it hard to justify the expense of creating spatial masters . . . we’re not in the business of chucking money just because Apple is saying you should be spending money on this.”

Here Is Apple's Official 'Jailbroken' iPhone For Security Researchers, by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, TechCrunch

Kalman told TechCrunch that his Security Research Device is “identical” to an iPhone 14 Pro. The only difference, he added, is that at the bottom of the locked screen there is the writing “Security Research Device” and an Apple phone number, presumably to report it if it gets lost.

Bottom of the Page

Do I have FOMO about not having -- and can't see myself having -- an Apple Vision Pro? Sure, just a little.

Do I have FOMO about not doing Teams meeting in an Apple Vision Pro? Not at all.


Thanks for reading.

The Three-D-Wallpaper Edition Thursday, February 1, 2024

Apple Vision Pro’s Secret Weapon? Mindfulness, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

An image like a circle of flower pedals expands and contracts to help you center your breathing, while a narrator offers a guided meditation. It’s simple, like the best parts of Zen.

Couple it with the headset’s Environment offers (effectively 3D desktop wallpaper for the world around you) and you’ve got an appropriate level of immersion that forces you to focus on the app, which forces you to focus on your breathing, making you mindful of a powerful and important aspect of our lives that most people take for granted most of the time.

Apple Fixes Zero-day Bug In Apple Vision Pro That 'May Have Been Exploited', by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

On Wednesday, Apple released visionOS 1.0.2, the software that runs on the Vision Pro, with a fix for a vulnerability in WebKit, the browser engine that runs Safari and other web apps. Apple said the bug, if exploited, allowed malicious code to run on an affected device.

Apple Is Putting A Giant Vision Pro On Top Of The Cube For Launch, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Ahead of Vision Pro’s launch on Friday, Apple has started preparing its retail stores for the festivities. In particular, Apple appears to be working a dramatic overhaul to its Apple Fifth Avenue retail store in New York – including a huge Vision Pro replica in the front window.

Returning As Indie

Podcast App Castro Saved By Sale; Price Not Increasing 'At This Time', by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

The team behind Castro today announced that the app has been sold, and will continue to operate. [...] Bluck Apps said that it too is an indie developer, and it has no plans for major change.

Castro Isn’t Dead, Apparently, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

Podcast apps don’t do a great job of this, as the place you see new episodes come in is usually the same place you listen to shows as well. What I loved about Castro was that it had an inbox page where all my shows appeared, and with a very quick UI, I was able to choose what to do with each episode, whether that be adding it to the bottom of my queue, the top of the queue, archiving the episode, or even playing it immediately.


Apple Music Playlist Collaboration Is Age-restricted, Unavailable In These Countries, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

In addition to being age-restricted, the collaborative playlists feature is also just not available in certain markets where Apple Music is offered. These countries include Cameroon, China, Malawi, Mali, Russia, Türkiye, United Arab Emirates, and Uruguay.

Webex Now Available On Apple TV 4K For Video Calls, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Webex today announced the launch of its new Webex app that's designed for the Apple TV 4K. The app is designed to allow hybrid workers to join meetings from the biggest screen they have, which is often a television.

You Need This Mac App If You're Always Forgetting About Meetings, by Becca Caddy, iMore

In Your Face: Meeting Reminder might seem like a bold name for an app, but that's the whole point. It's designed to make sure you never miss another meeting ever again and it goes to extreme lengths.


The Creators Of Twitterrific Are Making An App To Read (Almost) Anything On The Web, by Amrita Khalid, The Verge

After nearly 16 years in operation, Twitterrific was abruptly deactivated last year during Twitter’s unceremonious purging of third-party apps. Now, the app’s developer Iconfactory is raising funds on Kickstarter to create Project Tapestry, a new internet reader for the publicly accessible web. The iOS app will serve as a “universal, chronological timeline,” pulling from federated social media networks like Mastodon and Bluesky, as well as Tumblr,, and any RSS feed. It’ll also be able to access governmental data sources, such as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite imagery and US Geological Survey (USGS) earthquake data.

Apple Extends Modem Licensing Deal With Qualcomm Through March 2027, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple has extended its modem chip licensing agreement with Qualcomm through March 2027, Qualcomm said today during its first earnings call of 2024. Apple's existing agreement has now been extended for two years, so we can expect to see Qualcomm modems in the next several iPhone generations.

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Castro is great for listening to podcasts that you enjoy listening to some of the episodes. Examples, for me, includes New York Times' The Daily and BBC World Service's The Real Story. I'm sure you can think of lots of similar podcasts for you.

Every morning, you can just spend a couple of seconds in Castro's inbox and make a few decisions, and you are all set for your podcast listening pleasure for the rest of the day. There is no need to make a ton of little decisions on what to listen next throughout the day.

This is a feature that I wish other podcasting clients will copy; unfortunately, no one else did.

But like Mr Matt Birchler, I stopped using Castro a while back because of bugs. For me, it was the general lagginess with the app as my listening history piled up. It seems to me that the app continued to keep track to all the episodes I've listened, and the responsiveness of the app suffered.

I wish the new team at Castro all the best, and hopefully they can re-focus on polishing the app.


Thanks for reading.