Archive for May 2024

The Swapping-Batteries Edition Friday, May 31, 2024

Apple Silicon MacBook Pro Batteries Can't Be Replaced Under Warranty By Third Parties, by Jeff Johnson

I long for the days when the MacBook Pro had a user-replaceable battery that could be swapped in a few seconds (not to mention a matte display). I continue to insist that the 2006 MacBook Pro was peak Apple hardware design. Apple silicon CPUs are nice, of course, but unfortunately for us, Apple has exploited the processor transition as an excuse to lock down the Mac in a number of abusive ways.

Battery Replacements Should Be The Easiest Repair For Any Device, by Nick Heer, Pixel Envy

[Batteries] are a consumable good with a finite — though not always predictable — lifespan, most often shorter than the actual lifetime usability of the product. The only reason I do not use my AirPods any more is because the battery in each bud lasts less than twenty minutes; everything else is functional. If there is any repair which should be straightforward and doable without replacing unrelated components or the entire device, it is the battery.

Ai Ai Ai

Report: Apple And OpenAI Have Signed A Deal To Partner On AI, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Apple and OpenAI have successfully made a deal to include OpenAI's generative AI technology in Apple's software, according to The Information, which cites a source who has spoken to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman about the deal.


"Now, [Altman] has fulfilled a longtime goal by striking a deal with Apple to use OpenAI’s conversational artificial intelligence in its products, which could be worth billions of dollars to the startup if it goes well," according to The Information's source.

Apple Plans AI-Based Siri Overhaul To Control Individual App Functions, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The new system will allow Siri to take command of all the features within apps for the first time, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the initiative isn’t public. That change required a revamp of Siri’s underlying software using large language models — a core technology behind generative AI — and will be one of the highlights of Apple’s renewed push into AI, they said.


Apple's New iPad Air Is Bigger, Brighter, And Better, by Brenda Stolyar, Wired

As someone who watches probably too much TV and is constantly working on the go, I'd buy the 13-inch iPad Air with M2 solely for its larger display. It's a great option for students or content creators who don't need to harness the power of the iPad Pro but want a bigger screen. The only thing that would make this tablet better is if the Air continued to live up to its name as the lightest iPad of them all. Hopefully, Apple is saving that for the next generation.

Apple Shares New Ads Promoting Apple Card, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The Sock, Sweater, and Ladder spots all highlight different ‌Apple Card‌ features. Sock focuses on the Daily Cash back reward, Sweater demonstrates the option to see past purchases, and Ladder shows the ease of paying an ‌Apple Card‌ balance through the Wallet app.

SmartGym Gets Multi-equipment Lists, Personalized Weights, Alt Exercises, And More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The new release brings a top-requested feature – tracking multiple equipment lists as well as the ability to personalize weights, give alternative exercise suggestions, a new Summary Screen for Apple Watch, and more.

Spatial Puzzle Game 'Where Cards Fall' Now Available On Apple Vision Pro, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

A dreamlike spatial puzzle game, Where Cards Fall is a coming-of-age story that tasks players with building houses of cards to bring memories to life.

Logitech Expands 'Designed For Mac' Range With New Accessories, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Logitech today introduced a new lineup of Mac accessories, including the latest MX series keyboards and mice, as well as an ergonomic keyboard.

Bottom of the Page

Apple products that I do want to be lighter: AirPods, iPhones. If the price of getting something extremely light is the trouble in getting the batteries replaced, I am willing to do that tradeoff.

On the other hand, although I do want lighter iPads and MacBooks, it is not a priority for me. I seldom travel with these devices anymore; and I seldom travel.

But, everyone's priorities are different. And, someday, when Apple is bigger and have more resources, perhaps the company can cater equally to all these priorities. (Right now, it can't even do a good iPhone for customers who prefer a smaller but powerful device.)



Thanks for reading.

The Single-Footage Edition Thursday, May 30, 2024

Apple Touts The Power Of M4 iPad Pro With A Trio Of Green Screen Creativity, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The one-minute ad features work commissioned by Apple with three different animators/illustrators offering their unique perspectives on what to do with a single piece of green screen footage on an M4 iPad Pro with Apple Pencil Pro.

Apple’s New iPad Pro Ad Puts The Focus Back On Creators, by Allison Johnson, The Verge

The animators are listed farther down in the caption; they are Natalie Labarre, Jin & Jay, and Eric Lane. All real people! Personally, I think their work leaves a more lasting impression than the previous one.

Spatial Adventures

Apple Vision Pro And Marvel Studios’ New Interactive ‘What If…?’ Game Lets Fans Play The Hero, by Rudie Obias, Hollywood Reporter

Time. Space. Reality. These are three of the elements you can control in Marvel Studios‘ What If…? – An Immersive Story, a new interactive original experience for the Apple Vision Pro inspired by the animated series of the same name.

One-part series original and one-part video game, What If? is available as a free app starting on Thursday, May 30, exclusively for the tech company’s mixed-reality headset.

Review: “What If?” Shows Off The Vision Pro’s Strengths, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

It’s hard to judge “What If?” overall, because it really does seem like a sampler platter of ways this sort of entertainment could evolve in the future. Is there room for something that’s more interactive than watching TV, but less interactive than a full-on video game? I have no idea. But I do know that the hour I spent with “What If?” was maybe the best hour I’ve spent on the device since I got it. If Apple is looking for a single app that demonstrates all the features of the Vision Pro at its best, “What If?” may be the answer.

Marvel’s What If…? Vision Pro App Is An Awkward Mix Of Video Game And Movie, by Wes Davis, The Verge

This stuff is actually fun to do, but it’s also very constrained by the fact that you can only do it at scripted moments, which sucks. That would be fine if the story was compelling, but it’s not given any room to be. It’s just a series of brief vignettes that serve as setup for the next interactive section, then you’re dropped in to get whichever stone you’re after, at which point you learn a new skill that you may or may not use again later. Each vignette basically follows the same pattern and ends up feeling like it’s building to something that never pays off.

I Spent An Hour In Marvel’s Apple Vision Pro Experience. I’m Still Not Sure Why, by Marah Eakin, Wired

Just sitting on a couch flopping my hand around like a fish felt anti-climactic, considering I was supposedly tasked with saving all of humanity. Ultimately, it felt like a ride on the Jungle Cruise, in that there was a lot of action and story supposedly happening all around, but at no point did I feel like it was in any way real or dependent on me caring.


Beats Solo Buds Available To Order June 18, Launching June 20, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Following a late April announcement, the upcoming Beats Solo Buds will be available to order starting Tuesday, June 18, with a launch coming two days later on Thursday, June 20.

Japanese 'My Number Card' Digital IDs Coming To Apple's Wallet App, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Apple today announced that support for national My Number Card IDs in Japan will be coming to Apple's Wallet app "late next spring," marking the first expansion of digital IDs in Apple Wallet beyond the United States.

Apple's Tap To Pay On iPhone Now Available In Italy, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

As in other countries where the feature is available, the company has been working closely with major payment platforms in Italy so that they can provide support for Tap to Pay on iPhone to their customers. Nexi SoftPOS and SumUp are among the first platforms to work with Apple in Italy.

Halide's Kino App Aims To Revolutionize Shooting iPhone Video, by Jeremy Gray, PetaPixel

The team says its mission with Kino is to “make great, cinematic video easy — while still delivering an app that’s powerful enough for real pros.” In that spirit, Kino sports a simple user interface but complete manual control.

However, while seasoned vets can override automatic tools to dial in their desired settings, Kino promises very sophisticated features to help beginners get cinematic footage. Kino includes “AutoMotion,” for example, which enables users to get a 180-degree shutter angle on footage without tweaking settings. This is achieved through auto control over exposure values.

Pixelmator Pro 3.6, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The update introduces a new masking framework that enables you to add masks by simply double-clicking a layer or selection.

Carrot Weather Gets Major Update With New Look, Line Charts, Fresh Layouts, And More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The default new design features a “garden that grows over time,” line charts have arrived for hourly and daily forecasts, weather news is integrated from around the world, and more.

YouTube Stops Screen Stealing On Apple TV, by Joe Steel, Unauthoritative Pronouncements

So what happened? What made the screensavers go poof all of a sudden? Is this a temporary reprieve as something about the screensavers gets retooled, or is this permanent? Is it because someone from Apple called someone from Google and got this quietly killed only on Apple TVs?


Apple Signals That It’s Working On TV+ App For Android Phones, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

In a job listing published in recent days, Apple said it’s looking for someone to lead the development of “fun new features” and “help build an application used by millions to watch and discover TV and sports.” A spokesman for Apple declined to comment.

Apple Wins Legal Battle In China Over App Store Fees, by Business Times

A Chinese court dismissed a case filed by a local consumer against Apple’s commission fees for purchases via its App Store, granting the US company some reprieve as it faces growing scrutiny around the world over its practices.

Apple has not abused its status despite dominating the App Store, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court said in an unpublished on Wednesday (May 29) verdict seen by Bloomberg News.

The Last Kid In Ninth Grade Without An iPhone, by Liz Krieger, The Cut

Greta always knew she would have to face her first year of high school without a phone. Her parents made their stance clear back when she was in elementary school, then banded together with a handful of other families in the neighborhood to stand firm.

“I know I missed out on hanging out with friends because I just didn’t know or wasn’t able to coordinate. And there were conversations I was not a part of,” says Greta, who is now 17 and finishing her senior year in Richmond, Virginia. Her parents finally relented the summer before Greta began tenth grade. “It was actually a huge deal, in junior year, when I was finally able to get added to this text thread that a group of girls had all started many years before. Getting added to an established group chat can be really hard.” Feeling clueless about viral videos and memes was also deflating. “Sometimes I pretended to know, although that can be embarrassing too. But honestly, my friends usually just explained it all to me, then they sometimes joked that ‘I live under a rock.’”

Bottom of the Page

Remember all those iPad AR demos at all the keynotes before the Vision Pro?

So, why isn't any of these AR stuff on the iPad anymore?


Thanks for reading.

The Community-Celebration Edition Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference To Kick Off June 10 With Keynote Address, by Apple

Today, Apple unveiled the lineup for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, including Keynote and Platforms State of the Union, and shared more information about what developers will learn and experience all week. The free online conference brings the global Apple developer community together to provide them with insights into the latest technologies, tools, and frameworks coming to iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, visionOS, and watchOS. Throughout the week, developers will be able to hear from Apple engineers, designers, and other experts through more than 100 technical sessions, in-depth consultations, and live forums for guidance on building even more innovative and platform-differentiating apps and games across all Apple products.

Introducing The 2024 Apple Design Award Finalists, by Apple

Every year, the Apple Design Awards recognize innovation, ingenuity, and technical achievement in app and game design.

But they’ve also become something more: A moment to step back and celebrate the Apple developer community in all its many forms.


Running Day Challenge Set For June 5 Is The Next Apple Watch Special Event, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

What appears to be the first Apple Watch Activity Challenge specifically centered on running is set for June 5 with both indoor and outdoor runs counting to earn the award.

Apple Releases New AirPods Pro 2 Firmware, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple does not provide details on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware beyond "bug fixes and other improvements," so it is unclear what's new in the update.

Adobe Lightroom Mobile (2024) Review, by Steve Paris, TechRadar

Adobe Lightroom Mobile is truly excellent, combining the powerful features of its Desktop counterpart, with the elegance of a tablet or phone. Its automatic connection to your Adobe account’s online storage means you can work on your shots wherever you like, bringing ease of use and versatility to your workflow.

This App Turned My Apple Home Smart Home Into An Interactive Map, by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, The Verge

Controller for HomeKit, a third-party app for controlling your Apple Home smart home, has a new Floor Plan feature that adds a map interface for interacting with connected devices like lights, locks, shades, sensors and more.

Nomad Launches Qi-Rechargeable Find My Tracking Card To Prevent Lost Wallets, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Nomad today announced the launch of the Tracking Card, a super thin Find My-enabled card that is designed to be carried in a wallet so that it's trackable with an iPhone.


Perhaps the best feature of the Tracking Card is the battery. The battery inside can be recharged by putting the card on a Qi-based charger, and the markings on the card show the alignment.

VR Games Job Simulator And Vacation Simulator Launch On Apple Vision Pro, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Job Simulator is a VR game where automation and robots have replaced all human jobs. Players can relive what it was like to work as a human with not-so historically accurate recreations of jobs that include an office worker, gourmet chef, and store clerk.

YouTube Launches 'Playables' Mobile Games For iOS, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Playables are free games that can be played on the YouTube website or in the YouTube app for iPhone and iPad. There are more than 75 games available, including Angry Birds Showdown and Cut the Rope.


Apple To Open First Retail Store In Malaysia On June 22, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Apple is set to open its first retail store in Malaysia on June 22, marking a significant expansion of its physical retail presence in south-east Asia. The new store will be located in Kuala Lumpur at The Exchange TRX mall.

The store features a unique, tiered white pyramid architectural design. This will be the sixth Apple Store in south-east Asia, following three in Singapore and two in Thailand.

Google Won’t Comment On A Potentially Massive Leak Of Its Search Algorithm Documentation, by Mia Sato, The Verge

The leaked documents touch on topics like what kind of data Google collects and uses, which sites Google elevates for sensitive topics like elections, how Google handles small websites, and more. Some information in the documents appears to be in conflict with public statements by Google representatives, according to Fishkin and King.

Bottom of the Page

I was complaining to myself about the hot weather today while working at home and drinking lots of water. Then I saw the news report that the temperature in northern India reaching 50 degrees (about 120 F), and all of sudden, I see no need to complain.

And now, I shall go drink more water.


Thanks for reading.

The App-Based Edition Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Apple Hearing Study Shares Preliminary Insights On Tinnitus, by Apple

Through the study, University of Michigan researchers reviewed a cohort of more than 160,000 participants who answered survey questions and completed app-based assessments to characterize their experience of tinnitus. This research aims to improve understanding of tinnitus characteristics and inform future research on potential treatments.

“Roughly 15 percent of our participants experience tinnitus daily,” said Rick Neitzel, University of Michigan School of Public Health’s professor of environmental health sciences. “Tinnitus is something that can have a large impact on a person’s life. The trends that we’re learning through the Apple Hearing Study about people’s experience with tinnitus can help us better understand the groups most at risk, which can in turn help guide efforts to reduce the impacts associated with it. The Apple Hearing Study gives us an opportunity that was not possible before to improve our understanding of tinnitus across demographics, aiding current scientific knowledge that can ultimately improve management of tinnitus.”

How BBC’s Breaking News Alerts Are Giving Voters – And Political Parties – An Electoral Buzz, by Jim Waterson, The Guardian

The most powerful person in British media during this election, in terms of having the most direct access to voters, is no longer the editor of BBC’s News at Six or the person who chooses the headlines on Radio 2. Nor are they a newspaper editor, a TikTok influencer, or a podcaster. Instead, they’re the anonymous on-shift editor of the BBC News app, making snap judgments on whether to make the phones of millions of Britons buzz with a breaking news push alert.

The BBC does not publish user numbers, but external research suggests about 12.6 million Britons have its news app installed. BBC newsroom sources say the actual number is higher and the assumption is that about 60% of users have notifications enabled. This means that on a conservative estimate, a typical push alert is reaching the phones of 7 million Britons – more than any other broadcast news bulletin in the UK.

My Desire To Kill iPadOS Has Been Greatly Exaggerated, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

None of my desires for a touch-based Mac should be taken to imply that I think iPadOS should be abandoned. iPadOS is a distinct operating system with different choices, different limits, and different freedoms than are on macOS. Adding touch to Mac would not take anything away from iPad users, nor would it take anything away from Mac users who are happy already, it would simply add more flexibility and accessibility to people who aren’t perfectly served today.

Coming Soon?

New Beats Pill Speaker Listed On Apple's Regulatory Website As Launch Approaches, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

After appearing alongside athletes and celebrities, in iOS 17.5 code, and in the FCC database over the past month or so, a next-generation Beats Pill speaker has now been listed on Apple's regulatory compliance website for Europe.


Jumping Between Zoom, Teams, Webex And Google Hangouts Video Calls? This Mac App Will Make Your Life Easier, by Becca Caddy, iMore

Meeter doesn't care which app you're using or whether you're talking to someone personally or professional, it's like a hub for all of your video calls. All you need to do is connect your calendar to get started and Meeter can automatically pull in all your upcoming calls and let you manage them in one place.

VR Role-playing Game ‘Demeo’ Now Available For Apple Vision Pro, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Demeo is “a cross-platform cooperative adventure for up to four players that recreates all of the magic and camaraderie of gathering around a tabletop with friends to do battle against the forces of evil.” There are four heroes available, each with different abilities. It mixes augmented and virtual reality, creating a unique gameplay where players can feel like they’re part of the game.

Kado Is One Of Only Three Speakers Of Ngalia. He Designed An App To Pass Down His Knowledge To The Next Generation, by Giulia Bertoglio, ABC

The Mamutjitji Story app uses a local Dreamtime story about the life cycle of a common desert insect, the antlion, to teach Aboriginal and Western science concepts.


How To Identify Good Uses For Generative AI Chatbots And Artbots, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Despite initial skepticism due to underwhelming chatbot experiences, I found plenty of scenarios where generative AI could be helpful. I also came up with a few ways to determine whether they would benefit from it for particular tasks.

Bottom of the Page

All this week, I am rethinking how to tackle my to-dos. Lately, I seems to be stuck, and haven't been happy on how I am working on both my work work as well as my hobby projects. I am really hoping I can stumble upon a better way for me, and not just a placebo effect.

I'll let you know how it goes.


Thanks for reading.

The Ecosystem-Features Edition Monday, May 27, 2024

Canal+ Subscribers Can Now Watch Apple TV+ For Free Inside The Apple TV App, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

You can now link your Apple ID with your Canal+ subscription, and unlock the Apple TV+ channel in the Apple TV app itself.

This means users can use all of the usual Apple ecosystem features as if they had paid for Apple TV+ separately, except it’s included for free in their Canal+ membership.

Finally, An App That Accurately Counts Your Steps On Stroller Walks, by Katie McPherson, Romper

Whether you work out often and track your physical activity religiously, or you like to monitor your steps as a general way to make sure you’re moving enough each day, it is so irritating when your literal fitness tracker doesn’t count your steps. This is especially true when you’re postpartum, and walking is one of the first forms of exercise that’s safe to do (and getting out the door with a wee babe is no small feat).

These Are The Best Apps For Building Good Habits, by Jeremy Caplan, Fast Company

Most New Year’s resolutions are buried by now. April’s a great time for a fresh start. So today’s post focuses on simple, useful tools to help you revive a good habit or two. Read on for my favorite app for tracking habits plus a few alternatives.

Pikmin Bloom Has Been Helping Me Meet My Outdoor Walking Goals For Years, by cheyenne macdonald, Engadget

For all its simplicity, Pikmin Bloom adds just the right amount of reward to a walk without distracting from the actual activity. Plus, there are Pikmin.


Much Ado About Nothing: World’s Most Relaxed People Gather In Seoul For ‘Space-out’ Competition, by Raphael Rashid, The Guardian

In downtown Seoul, in front of the iconic Gyeongbokgung palace, dozens of people of all ages sit on wet yoga mats, staring into space. Some are dressed in doctors’ and dentists’ uniforms, while others wear the attire of office workers and students. Welcome to the international “space-out competition”.

The rules are simple: do absolutely nothing. Falling asleep, however, leads to disqualification. Organisers monitor the participants’ heart rates; the contestant with the most stable heart rate wins.

Bottom of the Page

From the web with the seemingly infinite amount of articles to read, podcasts to listen, videos to watch -- and that's just the 'free' stuff -- I don't have a lot of time to just 'do absolutely nothing', even when I am tired of doing anything.

And I will feel guilty if I also don't consume stuff that I paid for with real money -- newspapers, music, audiobooks, and streaming movies and television.

Do I even want to do nothing? Or, maybe, I need to find some time to do nothing?


Thanks for reading.

The Getting-Things-Done Edition Sunday, May 26, 2024

Why Reviewers Lament iPadOS While Users Absolutely Love It, by Jaron Schneider, PetaPixel

Gen Z is extremely capable on tablets and smartphones because they spend so much time in that environment but their skills with a computer are lacking because of it. There certainly are more studies that need to happen based on this thesis, but if you only ever use a tablet and only have ever used a tablet for years, getting the things done that you need to using one will feel like second nature. Even if it’s harder than if you were on a computer — assuming you had equal skills — it’s still possible.

If you look at the iPad as one part of a larger creation system of a desktop computer, a laptop, and external monitors, then it starts to fall apart. Trying to do things the way you’re used to doing them on a computer is a recipe for disaster when it comes to the iPad. But that’s the world tech reviewers live in: they are fluent in multiple types of tech language and when they try and integrate the iPad into an existing workflow, even a workflow designed by Apple, it stumbles and falls.

Could I Use The iPad As My Only Computer?, by Nicolas Magand, The Jolly Teapot

The iPad can allow itself to be this powerful because some apps, some use cases require a lot of power. Apps like Procreate thrive on a touch interface, and they can utilise all the power of an iPad Pro with an M4 chip. Should these professionals be satisfied with a regular, slower iPad? They should not, so the iPad Pro makes a lot of sense for them, for Apple, and for the market.

For the rest of the regular experience — outside of pro apps, the iPad relies on simplicity, on a “straight-forwardness” that people appreciate about the iPad, especially if they believe that using a computer isn’t that different from using a phone. And just because the iPad Pro runs a desktop-class chip, doesn’t mean it has to do desktop-class things. Fast cars don’t have to all look like supercars.


iPhones Pause MagSafe Charging During Continuity Camera, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

The practical upshot is that if you use Continuity Camera, you should expect your iPhone’s battery to drop, potentially significantly. If that’s a problem for you, you can try plugging the iPhone in via USB, but even that may not help. Using a mount with a MagSafe Charger, as I do, at least ensures that the iPhone will start charging again after your meeting.

Apple Reminders Has A Hidden Kanban Feature, by Khamosh Pathak, Lifehacker

Kanban boards help you find the flow in your work: Instead of a simple list of tasks, your large tasks can be broken into different stages (in columns), and as you move from one stage to another, you can drag the task over to the next section. Kanban boards are useful when you’re collaborating with team members, or when you’re dealing with tasks that take two or more steps before they’re actually done.

Feeling Distracted? This iPhone App Has A Cute And Effective Approach To Procrastination, by Becca Caddy, iMore

By using Forest to work in these 25-minute chunks, you grow a virtual forest as you focus, unlocking new trees along the way. The catch is that once you plant a seed, it’ll only grow into a tree if you resist the temptation to look at your phone. If you leave the app the tree withers.


British Microchip Plant Faces Closure After Apple Pulls The Plug, by James Titcomb, Telegraph

Accounts filed by the US semiconductor company Coherent, which owns a 310,000 sq ft facility in County Durham, revealed that the loss of its main customer had put the factory’s future in jeopardy.

The Sunday Telegraph understands that the plant manufactures components for Apple that feature in the iPhone’s Face ID recognition system, but that the US giant is believed to have ceased orders due to upcoming changes to the next version of the iPhone.

Bottom of the Page

If a Mac and an iPad turns out to be the exactly same machine, it will really be disappointing and wasteful.


Thanks for reading.

The Carbon-Thing Edition Saturday, May 25, 2024

What’s Better For The Climate: A Paper Book, Or An E-reader?, by Chloe Veltman, NPR

"If you buy an e-reader and you read loads and loads of books on it, then it's the lowest carbon thing to do," Berners-Lee said. "But if I buy it, read a couple of books, and decided that I prefer paperback books, then it's the worst of all worlds."

Yet Berners-Lee said that reading is still, relatively speaking, a pretty sustainable activity — regardless of whether you read using an e-reader, phone or old fashioned paperback.

Ai Ai Ai

Big Tech Has Distracted World From Existential Risk Of AI, Says Top Scientist, by Alex Hern, The Guardian

Big tech has succeeded in distracting the world from the existential risk to humanity that artificial intelligence still poses, a leading scientist and AI campaigner has warned.

Study Finds That 52 Percent Of ChatGPT Answers To Programming Questions Are Wrong, by Sharon Adarlo, The Byte

That's a staggeringly large proportion for a program that people are relying on to be accurate and precise, underlining what other end users like writers and teachers are experiencing: AI platforms like ChatGPT often hallucinate totally incorrectly answers out of thin air.


Apple’s Logic Pro For iPad's Upgrades Aren’t Just AI-buzz – Here's My Verdict On A Week With The New Tools, by Jacob Krol, TechRadar

Logic Pro for iPad 2 keeps what was successful with the original Logic Pro for iPad and tries to employ its new AI capabilities in the areas that matter most to a potential user. For a budding songwriter, Session Players allows you to add in drums, piano, and even bass. For a starting band, you can easily split your recording session from a voice memo into separated tracks to adjust and customize.


New iPod-like Device Turns Strapless Watch Into Click-wheel ‘Phone’, by Ryan Christoffel, 9to5Mac

tinyPod is essentially a case for the core Apple Watch hardware that takes inspiration from the iPod to turn your Watch into something of a tiny phone. Oh, and instead of using your Digital Crown to navigate watchOS, you’ll use the included iPod-like click wheel.

Apple Built A Tetris Clone For The iPod But Never Released It, by Lawrence Bonk, Engadget

Apple once designed a Tetris clone that has been found on a prototype version of the third-generation iPod, indicating the company was experimenting with releasing the game on the music player. It’s called Stacker and, obviously, is controlled via the iPod’s scroll wheel. The software was spotted by X user AppleDemoYT, who is known for finding rare prototype devices.

ICQ, One Of The Oldest Instant Messengers, Is Shutting Down, by Michael Kan, PC Magazine

It's an unceremonious end for a software program that helped kick off instant messaging on PCs in the 1990s. ICQ, which stands for "I Seek You," was originally developed at an Israeli company called Mirabilis before AOL bought it in 1998 for $407 million.

Bottom of the Page

It seems just a while ago, Apple was losing the AI competition, and has to show some AI during the upcoming WWDC, or it will become irrelevant.

And so, Apple made promises, and changed ML to AI.

A while later, it seems maybe Apple is better off changing AI back to ML?


Thanks for reading.

The Did-Not-Fully-Delete Edition Friday, May 24, 2024

Apple Elaborates On iOS 17.5 Bug That Resurfaced Deleted Photos, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

According to Apple, the photos that did not fully delete from a user’s device were not synced to iCloud Photos. Those files were only on the device itself. However, the files could have persisted from one device to another when restoring from a backup, performing a device-to-device transfer, or when restoring from an iCloud Backup but not using iCloud Photos.

In a now-deleted post, a Reddit user last week alleged that their photos reappeared on an iPad they sold to a friend, despite them having erased the content of that iPad prior to selling it. Apple confirmed to me that this claim was false.

Apple Wasn’t Storing Deleted iOS Photos In iCloud After All, by Bill Toulas, Bleeping Computer

Apple removed a routine in the function responsible for scanning and re-importing photos from the filesystem, which caused it to reindex old files on the local file system and add them back to people’s galleries.

“Based on this code, we can say that the photos that reappeared were still lying around on the filesystems and that they were just found by the migration routine added in iOS 17.5,” explained Synactiv.


Apple Announces 'Tap To Pay On iPhone' Now Available In Canada, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple has announced that "Tap to Pay on iPhone" is available in Canada starting today through select payment platforms in the country.

Pixelmator Pro Gains AI-Powered Background Removal Tool, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Popular photo editing app Pixelmator Pro was today updated with an overhauled set of AI-powered masking tools that make it easier than ever to make selective edits. Masking was "reengineered from the ground up" in the new 3.6 version of Pixelmator Pro, so it's quicker to create and refine masks.

HandBrake 1.8, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The HandBrake Team has issued version 1.8 of its open-source video conversion program HandBrake with macOS-specific improvements.

Bottom of the Page

I am satisfied by Apple's elaborations on 9to5Mac. But, wouldn't it better if Apple also write something on their own web site?

On the other hand, is Apple changing the library files of the Photos app? Is it preparing for something big (cough ai cough) coming this fall?


Thanks for reading.

The How-You-Are-Supposed-to-Feel Edition Thursday, May 23, 2024

Yes, Apple’s 100 Best Albums List Is Ridiculous And Exists Almost Expressly To Make You Mad, by Chris Willman, Variety

Feeling angry about Apple’s ranking of the 100 best albums of all time, are you? Good. (From their point of view.) That’s exactly how you’re supposed to feel, given a list that aspires less toward any semblance of an informed or authoritative voice than a seeming sense of randomness that can only be explained away as rage bait. “Nailed it!” is not the desired response, as if there would be a soul in the world who’d say that in response to a list that pits millions of works from dozens of disparate genres across a 70-year period against one another and pretends they can all be evaluated on the same scale. “Nailed it!” would just represent a failure of virality. (And Apple is not in the business of failure, no matter what you remember about the Newton or Cube.)

Apple's 'Best Albums' List Was Supposed To Be A Love Letter. Instead, It's A Eulogy., by Ryan Teague Beckwith, MSNBC

Most outlets that try their hand at a list like this limit it in some way, like the Best Rock Albums, the Best Hip-Hop Albums or the Best Albums of the 2010s, but Apple chose to just call this the "100 Best Albums," saying it was "the definitive list of the greatest albums ever made." Are they supposed to be the best thematically? The best collections, song by song? The most important historically? Apple doesn't say.

And what kinds of albums are we talking about?

Apple In Courts

Top Apple Exec Acknowledges Shortcomings In Effort To Bring Competition In iPhone App Payments, by Michael Liedtke, AP

In the first four months, only 38 apps have sought approval for external payment links, and only 17 of those currently engaged in digital transactions, according to evidence submitted in the hearings. That is out of about 136,000 apps in the U.S. that have completed digital transactions in the U.S.

Schiller said the facts emerging in the hearings — all of which he has attended — have prompted him to create “an action item” to prod more iPhone apps to take advantage of external payment options.


‘What If?’ For Vision Pro To Arrive Next Week, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Today Marvel and ILM dropped the trailer for the forthcoming “What If?” immersive story, which was just announced a couple of weeks ago, and (surprise!) is launching next Wednesday in the visionOS App Store as a free app.

Marvel and ILM say the immersive story is about an hour long, and is directly connected to the “What If?” animated series on Disney+, which itself is a multiversal riff on various Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.

Every Mac User Needs This Little Menu Bar Calendar App, by Khamosh Pathak, Lifehacker

One of the first things I do after I set up a new Mac is install Itsycal, a small yet mighty calendar app that stays docked in the menu bar. I use it to replace the Mac's more limited default calendar, and it serves as a quick and accessible calendar whenever I need to plan something, confirm a date for a deadline, or look up the day's events.

"World's Most Accurate Game Boy Emulator" SameBoy Launches On iOS App Store, by Damien McFerran, Time Extension

Described by developer Lior Halphon as possessing the "world's most accurate Game Boy emulation core," SameBoy offers save states, rumble support, scaling filters, motion control emulation, rewind and external controller support.


‘Killers Of The Flower Moon’ Native Costume Designer Sues Apple Over Awards Exclusion, by Gene Maddaus, Variety

Hoffman filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which resulted in a confidential settlement in December 2022. Subsequently, Hoffman alleges that the studio retaliated by denying her credit and accolades and “attempting to erase her contributions.”

Congo Lawyers Say They Have New Evidence On Apple's Minerals Supply Chain, by Sonia Rolley, Reuters

International lawyers representing the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo said on Wednesday they had new evidence gathered from whistleblowers, which deepened concerns that Apple, opens new tab could be sourcing minerals from conflict areas in eastern Congo.

Bottom of the Page

I have my own best albums of all time, and I am not telling what they are.


Thanks for reading.

The Precise-Location Edition Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Why Your Wi-Fi Router Doubles As An Apple AirTag, by Brian Krebs, Krebs On Security

Researchers from the University of Maryland say they relied on publicly available data from Apple to track the location of billions of devices globally — including non-Apple devices like Starlink systems — and found they could use this data to monitor the destruction of Gaza, as well as the movements and in many cases identities of Russian and Ukrainian troops.

At issue is the way that Apple collects and publicly shares information about the precise location of all Wi-Fi access points seen by its devices. Apple collects this location data to give Apple devices a crowdsourced, low-power alternative to constantly requesting global positioning system (GPS) coordinates.

A Day In The Life Of Apple TV+ Graphic Designer Gina Alessi: "We're Surrounded By Flurries Of Paper, Set Drawings And Research Photos", by Ian Dean, Creative Bloq

Recently acclaimed film graphic designer Gina Alessi revealed how she led an art department crafting the world of Manhunt for Apple TV+, a period drama about the hunt for Abraham Lincoln's assassin.

The project required hundreds of graphic designs, creating and recreating era perfect wallpapers, posters and signage as well as books, carpets and even the blanket Lincoln died on.

What Comcast's New Netflix, Peacock, Apple TV+ Streaming Bundle Tells You About The Industry's Economics, by Peter Kafka, Business Insider

But another part of that argument was new to me: People who get streaming services by signing up via broadband companies like Comcast or Verizon are much less likely to stop and start their subscriptions. Which would make Netflix much more willing to take a discounted rate for this kind of bundle than it would be if it were part of a different bundle.

Apple In Courts

Apple Takes Steps Toward Asking Court To Dismiss US Antitrust Case, by Mark Gurman and Leah Nylen, Bloomberg

“This court should reject the invitation to forge a new theory of antitrust liability that no court has recognized, that would harm innovation, and that would only deprive consumers of the key competitive features that make iPhone distinctive,” Apple wrote in its filing.


Motions to dismiss are commonly filed in antitrust cases, though rarely granted in government lawsuits. Alphabet Inc.’s Google filed one in the Justice Department case concerning its advertising technology business, but failed to get the case tossed out.

Apple Works

Apple Taps Bank Of America Veteran As Latest Diversity Chief, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. hired a new diversity chief for the fourth time in recent years as the iPhone maker seeks to make its workforce more inclusive.

Banking veteran Cynthia Bowman is taking over the role from Barbara Whye, becoming vice president of inclusion and diversity. Bowman left Bank of America Corp. earlier this year after a 17-year career there, serving most recently as chief diversity, inclusion and social responsibility officer.


Apple Adds Support For Live Activities To Shazam, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Shazam's Live Activities keep the user updated when searching for music in the background, which is particularly useful when multitasking or identifying songs in other apps.

New 'Parkour' Immersive Video Coming To Vision Pro On Friday, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

A description of the Parkour episode invites Vision Pro wearers to join the "world's leading parkour athletes" as they go on a "gravity-defying trek across the streets and rooftops of Paris."

Apple And Île-de-France Mobilités Introduce Navigo Card For iPhone And Apple Watch, by Apple

Apple and Île-de-France Mobilités today introduced an easy, secure, and private way for customers to add a new Navigo card to Apple Wallet and purchase passes to ride transit in the Paris region. Riders can buy passes from the Île-de-France Mobilités iOS app or directly from Apple Wallet, and use an iPhone or Apple Watch to tap and ride. Additionally, beginning this week, real-time transit information in Apple Maps is available in Paris to help users navigate their travels throughout the city.

Adobe Lightroom Gets A Magic Eraser, And It’s Impressive, by Jess Weatherbed, The Verge

“Generative Remove” — powered by the company’s Firefly AI model — is now available to try in early access across Lightroom’s mobile, web, and desktop apps. Described as Lightroom’s “most powerful remove tool yet,” the feature allows users to “paint” over unwanted objects or people in images and then delete them with a click of a button.

Little Snitch 6 Released For macOS Sonoma With DNS Encryption, Integrated Blocklists, New Traffic Chart, And More, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

The key new features include DNS encryption, easier access to blocklists, a redesigned interactive traffic chart, a new Control Center in the menu bar, new hierarchical grouping options in the connection list, new sound notifications, and an overhauled user interface.

QuickTune: A Music Remote App For Mac With Tiger Vibes, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Guzmán’s latest app is QuickTune, a remote control utility for Apple Music. The app is the spitting image of QuickTime 7 running on Mac OS X Tiger, with a sprinkling of modern features and fun interactions that make it a pleasure to use.


Apple Offers Biggest-ever iPhone Discounts In China As Annual ‘618’ Shopping Festival Begins, by Laura He, CNN

Apple is offering unprecedented price cuts in China as big brands and retailers launch promotions for the annual “618” shopping festival in the face of sluggish consumer demand.

The hefty discounts by the iPhone maker come at a time when it is battling stiff competition from Chinese smartphone manufacturers, such as Huawei and Vivo, and declining market share in the world’s second largest economy.

OpenAI Just Gave Away The Entire Game, by Charlie Warzel, The Atlantic

On its own, this seems to be yet another example of a tech company blowing past ethical concerns and operating with impunity. But the situation is also a tidy microcosm of the raw deal at the center of generative AI, a technology that is built off data scraped from the internet, generally without the consent of creators or copyright owners.

‘It’s Basically Inaccessible Without A Phone’: Are Kids Losing Their Love For Music?, by Oliver Keens, The Guardian

My daughter is nine years old. When I was her age, in 1989, I had my own small cassette player and a beloved pile of my own tapes – brand new, or made up of songs from the radio – that I could listen to whenever I wanted. The same went for my parents’ modest CD collection (Genesis’s Invisible Touch was awesome; their three Lionel Richie albums were boring). There were a few vinyl records knocking about and there were at least two radios – invariably set to Capital FM – that I could turn on whenever.

My daughter has none of these things. The only way she can access music is by making me get my phone out and play a song on my Spotify account. The inconvenience is trifling, but more painful and alarming is the growing gap between us when it comes to musical experience.

Bottom of the Page

There are rumors that Apple will be adding an iPhone ultra to its lineup, increasing the price of the top-end of the iPhone line.

Yes, maybe Apple has hit a price ceiling on what 'innovations' they can put into an iPhone, whether it is a super-duper display or a super-duper camera.

But that's the easy way. The challenge facing Apple is on the other end of the price spectrum. For whatever standards Apple is measuring, 5c failed. 12/13 mini failed. The SE is still around, but is standing still.

Sure, make an Ultra. But don't forget to also innovate on the lower-end. It is not easy. But that's why you are Apple.


Thanks for reading.

The Database-Corruption Edition Tuesday, May 21, 2024

iOS 17.5.1 And iPadOS 17.5.1 Fix Photo Reappearance Bug, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Apple has quietly released iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1 to address what it says is a “rare issue where photos that experienced database corruption could reappear in the Photos library even if they were deleted.” Apple hasn’t yet updated either set of release notes with the text in the screenshot below, and I would be surprised if the company offered any explanation.

iOS 17.5.1 Contains A Fix For That Reappearing Photos Bug, by Nick Heer, Pixel Envy

Also, the anecdote of photos being restored to the same device after it had been wiped has been deleted from Reddit. I have not seen the same claim anywhere else which makes me think this was some sort of user error.

Apple Needs To Explain That Bug That Resurfaced Deleted Photos, by Victoria Song, The Verge

This is obviously a privacy concern. It raises valid questions as to how Apple stores photo data and whether iPhone owners can truly trust that their deleted data is actually deleted. The Verge has reached out to Apple multiple times to comment publicly on the matter but has yet to receive a response. Doing so would at least shed light on why this bug happened, what’s been done to fix it, and what it’s doing to ensure that this won’t happen again. However, Apple has yet to respond.

What’s troubling is that, so long as Apple remains silent, we have no idea of how far this bug goes. Some iPhone owners have reported the same thing happening with deleted voicemails. Did the bug only impact people who use iCloud photo backups? Another post claimed that old photos appeared on an iPad that was sold to another person. All today’s fix confirms that this bug did exist, it was a problem, and it had something to do with database corruption. And by ignoring requests to comment publicly on the matter, it doesn’t impart confidence that this won’t happen again.

Real Doom

Can You Read A Book In A Quarter Of An Hour?, by Anthony Lane, New Yorker

The most potent enemy of reading, it goes without saying, is the small, flat box that you carry in your pocket. In terms of addictive properties, it might as well be stuffed with meth. There’s no point in grinding through a whole book—a chewy bunch of words arranged into a narrative or, heaven preserve us, an argument—when you can pick up your iPhone, touch the Times app, skip the news and commentary, head straight to Wordle, and give yourself an instant hit of euphoria and pride by taking just three guesses to reach a triumphant guano. Imagine, however, that your foe were to become your literate friend. Imagine getting hooked on a book, or on something recognizably book-esque, without averting your eyes from the screen. This is where Blinkist comes in.


This takes us to the very nub of Blinkist. Apart from the vexed ontological question of whether blowing up little green pigs with crates of cartoon TNT does or does not have any meaning, in a universe already rich in absurdity, two features are worth noting. One, the mild shade of pedagogy in Seim’s gentle insistence on teaching and being taught. (German educators of an older and sterner school might well frown with approval.) Two, the way in which, far from denying that phones have assumed possession of our lives, Seim leans into that stubborn fact. Why struggle? Why not collaborate with our captors and see what comes of it? “The social-media apps—they made us addicted to checking our screens all the time,” Seim tells me. “That is happening. That is a trend, whether we like it or not.” Since I’m fated to doomscroll anyway, I might as well channel that itchy-thumbed habit into browsing a Blink of Eric Schlosser’s “Command and Control.” Or “Chernobyl,” by Serhii Plokhy. Or something on Fukushima. Get me some real doom.

Apple In EU

Apple Fights €1.8 Billion EU Antitrust Fine For Curbs On Spotify, by Samuel Stolton, Bloomberg

The iPhone maker has filed a suit at the EU’s General Court in Luxembourg to topple the March decision, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity.


Apple declined to comment other than pointing to an earlier blog post in which it said that EU regulators failed to uncover any credible evidence of consumer harm.


12 Incredibly Useful Ways To Repurpose Your Old Mac Mini, by Stephan Wiesend, Macworld

There are many sensible uses for it, even if it’s past its prime. If you have an old Mac mini that has been replaced by a newer model, here are a few ideas on how you can put it to good use.

Audio Hijack 4.4.1, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Rogue Amoeba has issued Audio Hijack 4.4.1, introducing a new Audio Device Selection section for enhanced audio capture through Application blocks. These updated controls offer more refinement over how audio is captured from applications, including channel-level fine-tuning.

Notes On Post-Pandemic Business Travel, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

It was my first conference and solo business trip since the pandemic started in 2020, and it took some time to update my travel gear and habits.

MacWhisper 8 Debuts With New Video Player, WhisperKit Models, ChatGPT 4o Support, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

MacWhisper is a super useful utility for quickly transcribing spoken audio on the Mac. Version 8 is launching today with new features around video, speed, AI, and more.


The End Of ‘iPhone’, by Carlton Reid, Wired

It was Segall who persuaded Jobs in 1998 to use “iMac” as a new computer name instead of the internally-developed and rather dreadful moniker MacMan. (Thank Segall that there was never such a thing as the ManPhone.)


“The 'i' needs to go,” he says. “It's now meaningless. Sure, [Jobs] built [Apple] around it, but remember, the 'i' has always been a sub-brand. There might be marketing experts who say Apple would be crazy to drop the prefix—it's still in front of some of the greatest brands ever—but it can't be protected, and for too long there have been companies with 'i' internet-connected things, and that's an issue for Apple, known for innovation.”

ASML And TSMC Can Disable Chip Machines If China Invades Taiwan, by Diederik Baazil, Bloomberg

ASML Holding NV and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. have ways to disable the world’s most sophisticated chipmaking machines in the event that China invades Taiwan, according to people familiar with the matter.

Bottom of the Page

So, Microsoft has released the new Copilot + PC thing, which, it seems to me, have two main messages for customers. Firstly, the brains of the new computers are finally competitive with Apple Silicon. Secondly: AI, AI, AI.

Two questions I am looking forward to see being answered by reviewers and customers in the next few months: Number one: is the performance per watt really that great, and can it keep up with what Apple is doing. Two: if Copilot is really helpful, or is it just a backseat driver?

But, this definitely does signal the end of Wintel.


Thanks for reading.

The Front-and-Center Edition Monday, May 20, 2024

As Clicks Dry Up For News Sites, Could Apple’s News App Be A Lifeline?, by Max Tani, Semafor

At the moment, Apple News is as good a partner in Big Tech as many media companies are going to find. Almost every publisher Semafor spoke to said that Apple paid well and directed eyeballs to their longer, more ambitious work. While some of the articles surfaced by the app are algorithmic and based on user behavior, the company also employs a team of journalists — led by editor-in-chief Lauren Kern, a well-regarded former New York Magazine editor — who seem to prioritize putting quality journalism front-and-center on the app. As a reader, it’s a nice product, and in many cases a better reading experience than publishers’ own homepages and apps.

Apple Launches iPhone Trade In Promotion, Get Boosted Credit For A New iPhone For A Limited Time, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has launched a limited time promotion, offering boosted trade in values when buying a new iPhone. From now until June 3, customers trading in their iPhone 11 or newer at the Apple Store can get extra credit towards the purchase of their new phone.

The value of the promotion isn’t that dramatic, however. Depending on model, the trade-in amounts have increased by approximately $10-$30 as part of this promotion.

The Three Dots That "Prove" macOS Could Never Work On A Touch Screen, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

I think there is a general lack of imagination out there from the ardently anti-touch-on-Macs crowd out there. It feels to me like they’re pointing to what they think are “impossible” problems and immediately throw their hands in the air as if nothing can be done. I'm not saying this mock up is perfect, but it is an attempt to actually address the issue rather than throwing in the towel at the first sign of any challenge.

Bottom of the Page

Was Hulu -- the original version, where different studios pooled their shows to form a streaming service to compete with Netflix -- a fluke? Music labels are not combining their albums to form a service to compete with Apple Music and Spotify? Book publishers are not setting up an alternative to the Kindle store? And newspapers are not aggregating their offerings to get a more direct relationship with their customers, as opposed to outsourcing to Apple News+?


Thanks for reading.

The Inevitably-Wear-Down Edition Sunday, May 19, 2024

Replacing The OLED iPad Pro’s Battery Is Easier Than Ever, by Wes Davis, The Verge

Apple’s newest iPad Pro is remarkably rigid for how thin it is, and apparently also a step forward when it comes to repairability. iFixit shows during its teardown of the tablet that the iPad Pro’s 38.99Wh battery, which will inevitably wear down and need replacement, is actually easy to get to. It’s a change iFixit’s Shahram Mokhtari says during the video “could save hours in repair time” compared to past iPad Pro models.

One Month With The Apple Macbook Air M3, by Bill Bennett, Scoop

For now Apple’s M3 MacBook Air is the best all-round laptop in the world and certainly the best option in its price range. You won’t find a better blend of features, functionality and performance anywhere else. You’ll power through your daily work with ease.

Adobe Fresco (2024) Review, by Steve Paris, TechRadar

A good interface, perfectly responsive, with a great collection of varied and diverse brushes, coupled with numerous powerful customisable layer properties, Adobe Fresco is definitely worth giving a look if you’re into drawing and painting.

Bottom of the Page

I just had my lazy Sunday, just to get over all the excitement over the week. I hope you have a restful Sunday too.


Thanks for reading.

The Wiped-and-Sold Edition Saturday, May 18, 2024

iOS 17.5 Bug May Also Resurface Deleted Photos On Wiped, Sold Devices, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The latest report suggests that the erased and sold iPad is somehow restoring old photos from an Apple ID that is no longer signed in to it. The Reddit user says the photos that are reappearing are from 2017, which is in line with similar reports. The images were initially taken on an iPhone, and so had been synced to the iPad via iCloud Photo Library before the iPad was wiped and sold.

Some iPhone Users Say 'Allow Apps To Request To Track' Toggle Is Suddenly Grayed Out, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple's fine print below the grayed-out toggle says "this setting cannot be changed because a profile is restricting it, or because your Apple ID is being managed, does not meet the minimum age requirements, or is missing age information." However, many affected users say none of these reasons actually apply to them.

On Security

Another Nasty Mac Malware Is Spoofing Legitimate Software To Target macOS Users, by Sead Fadilpašić, TechRadar

Intego’s researchers now say they have found a new variant that was pretending to be Homebrew, a popular macOS software package manager. The attackers set up a fake landing page, seemingly identical to the authentic Homebrew page, which deployed the infostealer.

Apple In EU

Apple Limits Third-party Browser Engine Work To EU Devices, by Thomas Claburn, The Register

It effectively geofences the development team. Browser-makers whose dev teams are located in the US will only be able to work on simulators. While some testing can be done in a simulator, there's no substitute for testing on device – which means developers will have to work within Apple's prescribed geographical boundary.


Apple Shares 2023 App Store Transparency Report, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today published its second annual App Store Transparency Report, highlighting details like the number of apps that were rejected during the year, the number of customer and developer accounts deactivated, the number of apps removed from the App Store, and more.

Bottom of the Page

This bug of bringing back deleted photos even to devices that have changed Apple IDs, if the reports are true, seems really bad. Not only, it seems, that Apple is not doing its job correctly, it has not being doing its job correctly for quite a long time.

Apple definitely owns all its customers an explanation. I hope the explanation will come soon.


Thanks for reading.

The Shifting-Units Edition Friday, May 17, 2024

The iPad Air Only Exists To Sell Other iPads, by David Price, Macworld

I have no doubt that Apple sells plenty of iPad Airs, but the product’s value to Apple isn’t limited to the number of units it shifts. It’s all about the way it makes customers feel about the other iPads.

Heads-up, Apple And The Rest Of Big Tech: Disney Wants Better App Store Deals., by Peter Kafka, Business Insider

"We have to look at the way we're distributing," Iger told analyst Michael Nathanson at a MoffettNathanson-hosted conference. "Unlike Netflix, we distribute largely through third-party app stores. There's obviously an advantage to that to some extent, but there's a cost to that, too. And we're looking at that."

The Dream Of Streaming Is Dead, by Jacob Stern, The Atlantic

With the new bundles, the streamers are trying to strike a balance between the total consolidation of cable and the total chaos of streaming. That new balance may well be superior to the status quo, but the trade-off between having things in one place and paying for things you don’t need will remain. As long as it does, we’ll never feel totally satisfied.


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

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

Carbon Copy Cloner 7.0, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

CCC 7.0 introduces a new Backup Volume Setup Assistant that guides you through formatting destination volumes and ensures the destination is dedicated to the backup task to avoid conflicts.

BBEdit 15.1, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Bare Bones has released BBEdit 15.1, renaming ChatGPT Worksheet to AI Chat Worksheet with preferences that let you select alternative services (ChatGPT, Claude, and Ollama service models are included).

Can A New Audio App Help You Train, Think And Sleep Better?, by Kieran Alger, Men's Health

You know music alters mood. Now a new app promises the right tracks can sooth stress, bolster productivity and even boost your gym gains.


Apple Forgiven Millions In Chicago ‘Netflix Tax’ Paid By Rivals, by Michael J. Bologna, Bloomberg Tax

Apple Inc. received at least $13 million, and probably much more, in tax forgiveness from the city of Chicago after settling a lawsuit that claimed the city’s “Netflix tax” on streaming entertainment violated federal law, newly released documents reveal.


The documents, characterized as jeopardy assessment workpapers and drafted by the Chicago Department of Finance, estimate the city forgave $13 million in back taxes, interest, and penalties that should have been applied to popular services such as Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and Apple Fitness over a seven-year period.

Bottom of the Page

There will always be stuff that I've paid, but didn't watch. Even on Apple TV+, the HBO of streaming service (maybe), there are quite a few shows that I couldn't stomach.


Thanks for reading.

The Control-With-Your-Eyes Edition Thursday, May 16, 2024

Apple Announces New Accessibility Features, Including Eye Tracking, by Apple

Apple today announced new accessibility features coming later this year, including Eye Tracking, a way for users with physical disabilities to control iPad or iPhone with their eyes. Additionally, Music Haptics will offer a new way for users who are deaf or hard of hearing to experience music using the Taptic Engine in iPhone; Vocal Shortcuts will allow users to perform tasks by making a custom sound; Vehicle Motion Cues can help reduce motion sickness when using iPhone or iPad in a moving vehicle; and more accessibility features will come to visionOS.

Apple Still Isn't Done Building Its Dream iPad, by Harry McCracken, Fast Company

Lots of iPad enthusiasts covet the sort of flexibility and customizability that MacOS has always offered and iPadOS, in its current form, does not. Maybe Apple will make them happy with announcements at next month’s WWDC. But Ternus also pushes back on the notion that the iPad Pro is less than “pro”—a term, he says, that isn’t defined by the Mac.

“There’s a funny perception thing,” he says. “Maybe it’s Mac people with their notion of what professional is. You saw what the Procreate team has done with Apple Pencil Pro. There is no more professional drawing application in the world than Procreate—I mean, they’re the lifeblood of artists.”

iOS 17.5 Is Allegedly Resurfacing Pictures That Were Deleted Years Ago For Some Users, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

By default, the Photos app has a “Recently Deleted” feature that preserves deleted images for 30 days. That’s not what’s happening here, seeing as most of the images in question are months or years old, not days.


The 10th-gen iPad Is Everything Apple's SE Devices Should Be, by Mahmoud Itani, Macworld

With the 10th-gen iPad, you’re not sacrificing the aesthetics for a low price. You’re having your cake and eating it. Despite its $349 price tag, this model manages to follow the same modern design language adopted by the flagship iPads. Sure, its display bezels may not be as thin amd the tech not as high, but, otherwise, it looks and feels pretty similar. And its chip packs enough power to handle casual users’ typical tablet needs.

Goodnotes Adds New Features That Work With Apple Pencil Pro, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Goodnotes' Fountain Pen now includes Dynamic Ink with an ink flow that is able to respond to the rotation of the ‌Apple Pencil‌. Instead of just responding to pressure sensitivity, the Fountain Pen is able to make thinner or thicker lines based on the orientation of the ‌Apple Pencil‌, for a more natural pen-like feel.

This App Will Sync A Pomodoro Timer Across All Your Apple Devices, by Justin Pot, Lifehacker

I, for example, like to get up and walk around the house during my breaks—with this application installed I can start my break on my laptop, get up, and get my "back to work" reminder on my phone.

RetroArch Arrives On iOS As A Gaming Emulator For Popular Systems, by Ryan Christoffel, 9to5Mac

RetroArch brings with it an abundance of supported game systems ranging from Nintendo favorites like the N64, SNES, Game Boy, and Nintendo DS to Sony’s PlayStation and PSP, Sega consoles, and more.


Craftsmanship & Consideration, by David Smith

I continue to be excited about spending a week learning how I can improve my craft, be more considerate in my designs, and spending time with others who feel the same way. If I can still feel that way after 15 years of doing this, then I’m a part of something truly special.

I'm Sticking With Native iOS Development, by Axel Rivera, Rivera Labs

I choose to go all in with Apple’s frameworks and technologies. It keeps things simple, but more importantly, it increases the odds of getting featured on the App Store.

Is Apple’s walled garden perfect? No. But as an indie developer, it makes my life easier. I can focus on the things that are important and deliver value to my users.

Bottom of the Page

Yes, the iPad is looking better with the price cut. Will we be getting a M1 iPad anytime soon? That will be the one to get, if Apple manage to not increase prices too much.

Me, on the other hand, is waiting to see what Apple will do to the iPad mini.

I like minis.


Thanks for reading.

The Simplicity-First Edition Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The M4 iPad Pros, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

But let’s invert our thinking on this. Instead of starting with the hardware and pondering what the ideal software would be like to take advantage of its power, let’s start with the software. A concept for simplicity-first console-style touchscreen tablet computing. A metaphor for computing with smartphone-style guardrails, with tablet-specific features like stylus support and laptop docking. A tablet OS that is unabashedly a souped-up version of iOS, not a stripped-down version of MacOS. What type of hardware should Apple build to instantiate such a platform?

New iPad Air And iPad Pro Feature Battery Health Menu Including Cycle Count And 80% Charging Limit Option, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple's latest iPad Air and iPad Pro models feature a new Battery Health menu in the Settings app that is not available on older iPads, and which includes options that were once limited to iPhone 15 models.

On App Stores

App Store Stopped Over $7 Billion In Potentially Fraudulent Transactions In Four Years, by Apple

From 2020 through 2023, Apple prevented a combined total of over $7 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions, including more than $1.8 billion in 2023 alone. In the same period, Apple blocked over 14 million stolen credit cards and more than 3.3 million accounts from transacting again.

As published in its fourth annual fraud prevention analysis released today, Apple found that in 2023, it rejected more than 1.7 million app submissions for failing to meet the App Store’s stringent standards for privacy, security, and content. In addition, Apple’s persistent efforts to stop and reduce fraud on the App Store resulted in the termination of nearly 374 million developer and customer accounts, and removal of close to 152 million ratings and reviews over fraud concerns.

Coming Soon?

Vision Pro Appears In Chinese Regulatory Database Before Expansion To New Countries, by Aaron Perris, MacRumors

The Apple Vision Pro has shown up in China's product regulatory database as Apple prepares to bring the headset to additional countries sometime in the near future. Both the Vision Pro (A2117) and its Battery Pack (A2697) have shown up in the Chinese database, indicating that a launch in China could be coming soon.


Apple Watch Is The Perfect Golfing Companion, by Apple

The high-frequency motion API released in watchOS 10, which takes advantage of the latest accelerometer and gyroscope in Apple Watch to detect rapid changes in velocity and acceleration, has equipped developers such as Golfshot with tools to create innovative new experiences that help users improve their golf swing and performance. For swing practice, Golfshot’s new Swing ID On-Range experience, launching today, utilizes this API to detect the precise moment the club strikes the ball. Apple Watch sensors also offer a comprehensive analysis of a golfer’s swing from the beginning to the end of the motion, and users of any skill level can track key swing metrics with precision, including tempo, rhythm, backswing, transition, and wrist path, to improve their gameplay.

iOS 17.5 Includes These 15 Security Fixes, But One Causes Another Bug, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

According to Mysk, a security patch related to the MarketplaceKit framework has resulted in a bug that prevents iPhone users in the EU from reinstalling an alternative app marketplace like AltStore if they happen to delete the app after initially installing it. Apple will likely fix this issue in a subsequent update, such as iOS 17.5.1.

Bring The iPad’s One-app-at-a-time Focus To Your Mac With This App, by Ryan Christoffel, 9to5Mac

Developer Michael Tigas, maker of Focused Work, has launched a new app for Mac, iPhone, and iPad called focusOS. This new app is designed to elevate your focus and productivity by eliminating distractions through a variety of different tools. The one I’m most excited about helps your Mac imitate the iPad’s one-app-at-a-time design.


Comcast's Bargain Bin Basement Bundle, by M.G. Siegler, Spyglass

I simply cannot for one second believe that Apple signed off on this name. I'd sooner expect them to send out a weekly coupon book. Either they just learned of the name Comcast chose alongside the rest of us, or that's how dire things are with Apple TV+ right now.

Google’s Broken Link To The Web, by Casey Newton, Platformer

Still, as the first day of I/O wound down, it was hard to escape the feeling that the web as we know it is entering a kind of managed decline. Over the past two and a half decades, Google extended itself into so many different parts of the web that it became synonymous with it. And now that LLMs promise to let users understand all that the web contains in real time, Google at last has what it needs to finish the job: replacing the web, in so many of the ways that matter, with itself.


But to everyone who depended even a little bit on web search to have their business discovered, or their blog post read, or their journalism funded, the arrival of AI search bodes ill for the future. Google will now do the Googling for you, and everyone who benefited from humans doing the Googling will very soon need to come up with a Plan B.

Apple, SpaceX, Microsoft Return-to-office Mandates Drove Senior Talent Away, by Scharon Harding, Ars Technica

"Taken together, our findings imply that return to office mandates can imply significant human capital costs in terms of output, productivity, innovation, and competitiveness for the companies that implement them," the report reads.

Bottom of the Page

Putting both iPadOS and macOS on a single device will eventually kill both iPadOS and macOS. That's my hypothesis.

Rather, I hope Apple can find a way to make iPadOS more powerful -- not that it isn't already quite powerful -- and to entice more app makers put pro-level apps on the iPad. I also hope Apple can find a way to make Mac computers extremely portable, including a way to efficiently make use of cellular data.

To do dual-booting will just collapse both computing models back to a single one, which we all already have back in the days.


Thanks for reading.

The Magic-Pane Edition Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Apple iPad Pro (2024) Review: The Best Kind Of Overkill, by David Pierce, The Verge

For now, it’s just an iPad. The best iPad ever, I think — maybe even the best iPad you could reasonably ask for. But the story of the iPad — the “magic pane of glass,” as Apple is so fond of calling it — is actually all about software. The iPad’s software has let its hardware down for years. Apple has led us to believe that’s about to change, that this year’s WWDC will be the great turning point for AI and iPads and everything. We’ll see. Until then, the iPad Pro is almost too good for its own good.

M4 iPad Pro Review: Well, Now You’re Just Showing Off, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

The iPad Pro is so much faster than most people need it to be—so loaded with expensive, cutting-edge technology—that it seems like it exists more for Apple to show off what it’s truly capable of than it does for most actual user needs.

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for—but I’m not sure most of us need to pay this much to get what we need. The cheaper iPad Air—or even the even-cheaper regular iPad—will already exceed most people’s purposes.

M4 iPad Pro Review: Here We Go Again, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

If the iPad Pro works for you, you won’t be disappointed by this one. I just wish more people could fit in that category.

Worried About Another iPad Pro Bendgate? Apple Wants You To Relax, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

Apple’s John Ternus describes a “cowling” over the metal logic board cover that dissipates heat and creates a “central rib” that runs through the whole iPad Pro Pro to “tremendously” improves the device’s stiffness. Ternus says the cowling is a new part of the iPad Pro.

iPad Pro OLED Display Has A Weird HDR Highlights Bug Apple Is Trying To Squash, by Gerald Lynch, iMore

In a relatively specific set of circumstances, HDR highlights are blown out on certain blue shades including navy and indigo to a point that they almost appear white on screen. The best way to spot it would be to look at a character wearing a navy blue shirt — the creases appear to shimmer, like a spider’s web placed over the surface; at other times it appears like an inky blob morphing over it:


Apple has confirmed to iMore that it is aware of the issue and is working on a software fix to address it.

iPad Air

M2 iPad Air Review: The Everything iPad, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call the new Airs the "default" iPad for most buyers—the now-$349 10th-gen iPad still does everything the iPad is best at for less money, and it's still all you really need if you just want a casual gaming, video streaming, and browsing tablet (or a tablet for a kid). But the M2 Air is the iPad that best covers the totality of everything the iPad can do from its awkward perch, stuck halfway between the form and function of the iPhone and the Mac.

The New Apple iPad Air Is Great — But It’s Not The One To Get, by David Pierce, The Verge

My standard buying advice is to buy the best stuff you can afford and then keep it as long as possible. But I’m confident that even a two-year-old 10th-generation iPad is capable enough to do most things really well for a long time. So is the Air, obviously! But the bad news for Apple, and the good news for you, is that every iPad is a great iPad — including the cheapest one.

OSes Updates

Apple Releases iOS 17.5, macOS 14.5, And Other Updates As New iPads Launch, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Apple has released the latest updates for virtually all of its actively supported devices today. Most include a couple handfuls of security updates, some new features for Apple News+ subscribers, and something called Cross-Platform Tracking Protection for Bluetooth devices.

Apple And Google Deliver Support For Unwanted Tracking Alerts In iOS And Android, by Apple

Apple and Google have worked together to create an industry specification — Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers — for Bluetooth tracking devices that makes it possible to alert users across both iOS and Android if such a device is unknowingly being used to track them. This will help mitigate the misuse of devices designed to help keep track of belongings. Today Apple is implementing this capability in iOS 17.5, and Google is now launching this capability on Android 6.0+ devices.

Apple News+ Introduces Quartiles, A New Game, And Offline Mode For Subscribers, by Apple

Apple News+ introduced Quartiles, a new original spelling game, and a new Offline Mode that automatically provides recent and personalized News content for subscribers when they’re not connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular network.

Apple Releases watchOS 10.5 With New Pride Watch Face, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

While watchOS 10.5 is primarily a bug fix update, it does introduce a new Pride watch face to go along with the Pride band that Apple introduced earlier in May.


Comcast To Launch Peacock, Netflix And Apple TV+ Bundle At A ‘Vastly Reduced Price’, by Todd Spangler, Variety

Get ready for the next cable-like streaming bundle: Comcast later this month will launch a three-way bundle — with Peacock, Netflix and Apple TV+ — offered at a deep discount, Comcast chief Brian Roberts said.


The three streaming services, Peacock, Netflix and Apple TV+, will “come at a vastly reduced price to anything available today,” Roberts said, although he didn’t reveal any pricing.

Setapp's EU Alternative iPhone App Marketplace Launching On May 14, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

According to MacPaw, Setapp will provide a "carefully selected assortment of apps" across categories like productivity, design, lifestyle, utility, and more.


Not An iPad Pro Review: Why iPadOS Still Doesn’t Get The Basics Right, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Lately I’ve seen some people argue on Mastodon and Threads that folks who criticize iPadOS do so because their ultimate goal is to have macOS on iPads, and I wanted to clarify this misunderstanding. While I’m on the record as thinking that a hybrid macOS/iPadOS environment would be terrific (I know, because I use it), that is not the point. The reality is that, regardless of whether macOS runs on iPads or not, iPadOS is the ideal OS for touch interactions. But it still gets many basic computing features wrong, and there is plenty of low-hanging fruit for Apple to pick. We don’t need to talk about macOS to cover these issues.

Lastly, I wanted to provide readers with the necessary context to understand what I mean when I mention the limitations of iPadOS. My iPad setup and workflow have changed enough times over the years that I think some of you may have lost track of the issues I (and others) have been experiencing. This article is a chance to collect them all in one place.

Bottom of the Page

I am pretty sure I will not be buying an iPad Pro anytime soon. Why? Because I don't need it. Just like the Mac Pro, it does seem that the 'Pro' status of iPad has graduated to the level where if you have to ask whether you should buy a Pro, you probably shouldn't.


Thanks for reading.

The Editorial-Statement Edition Monday, May 13, 2024

Apple Music Celebrates The Greatest Records Ever Made With The Launch Of Inaugural 100 Best Albums List, by Apple

Apple Music today announced the release of its 100 Best Albums of all time, a celebratory list of the greatest records ever made, crafted by Apple Music’s team of experts alongside a select group of artists, including Maren Morris, Pharrell Williams, J Balvin, Charli XCX, Mark Hoppus, Honey Dijon, and Nia Archives, as well as songwriters, producers, and industry professionals. The list is an editorial statement, fully independent of any streaming numbers on Apple Music — a love letter to the records that have shaped the world music lovers live and listen in.

Apple, Netflix Amazon Want To Change How They Pay Hollywood Stars, by Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg

In recent weeks, Apple Inc.’s Hollywood studio has told its business partners that it wants to change the way it pays talent. After years of compensating people as though all their projects were successful, Apple will soon begin basing pay on how a series or movie performs.

The Crush

Apple’s Momentary Lapse Of Reason, by Ken Segall

Apple is lumped in with the “big tech” held responsible for the threats posed by AI. Tim Cook has publicly proclaimed that AI will play a big part in Apple’s future. Apple has to be careful in the way it communicates.

With Crush, Apple did not show much care. In fact, it didn’t show any care. The ad made it feel like the company was suddenly insensitive to the threat. To creators, it felt like a sucker-punch delivered by a old friend.

If The New Apple iPad Ad Is Worthy Of An Apology, We’re All Doomed, by Ryan O'Connell , AdNews

The ad may not be your cup of tea, and perhaps even upset you, and that’s OK. Creative will forever be subjective, and no campaign in the history of humankind has experienced universal love.

Yet this one’s not even remotely worthy of saying sorry for.


This App Put The Universe In My Hands And Now I Can't Put It Down, by Paul Hatton, TechRadar

At the heart of it is a free video streaming service called NASA+ that collates all the video content from various NASA departments. There is live coverage, original on-demand series, one-offs, and videos organized by theme. Think of Netflix but where all the content is space-themed. Through all of this, it is possible to lift the lid on NASA and be treated to all its inner workings. If you’re remotely interested in space, you’ll probably find yourself drawn in and amazed at what goes on at the government agency.

The Gamma App Brings PS1 Emulation To The iPhone, by Wes Davis, The Verge

iPhone users without a penchant for jailbreaking can finally enjoy the blocky polygons and shifty textures of the original PlayStation with Gamma, a free PS1 emulator that hit the iOS App Store last night. Gamma comes courtesy of developer ZodTTD, which has been creating emulators for the iPhone since the earliest days of third-party iOS apps.


Newspaper Groups Warn Apple Over Ad-blocking Plans, by Daniel Thomas, Financial Times

Apple is preparing to include an AI-based privacy feature in the Safari browser in the next iOS 18 software update that will remove ads or other unwanted website content, according to reports.

In a letter sent on Friday to Apple’s government affairs chief in the UK, the News Media Association, which represents 900 national, regional and local titles, raised concerns about how this would affect digital revenues in the industry.

Internet Use Linked To Higher Wellbeing, Global Study Suggests, by Chris Vallance & Philippa Wain, BBC

"If we’re going to make the online world safe for young people, we can’t just go in guns blazing with strong beliefs and a one size fits all solution - we really need to make sure that we’re sensitive to having our minds changed by data," he said.

The study did not look specifically at social media - which is what much of the most heated debate around online safety is focussed on - but took a broader approach to assessing access to the internet.

Bottom of the Page

Hmmm... 100 best albums of all time... in U.S. English only?

Hmmm... doesn't Safari's reader already remove ads or other unwanted website content?


Thanks for reading.

The Every-Generation-of-Every-Model Edition Sunday, May 12, 2024

The Beats Solo 4 Skip Extra Features In Favor Of Great Sound, by Ryan Waniata, Wired

I was admittedly dismissive of the Solo 4 for their lack of firepower at first, but over multiple days of testing, the sound kept calling me back. Their warm, clean, and buttery performance stems from a redesigned acoustic architecture that proves Apple’s sonic influence on the Beats brand runs deep. You can get a lot more tech from other options, but there’s enough here to make the Solo 4 worth considering for some—especially once the price inevitably drops.

An In-Depth Breakdown On Every AirPods Model—Which Ones To Buy In 2024, by Luke Guillory, Esquire

Generally, I think it's the AirPods Pro, but the other AirPods models have their good and bad features. I've used every generation of every model of AirPod in some capacity, so this is the definitive ranking on the lineup. If you're looking to buy your first pair or just a new pair, these are the AirPods models you should buy.


Apple's Maryland Store Workers Vote To Authorize Strike, by Gnaneshwar Rajan and Chandni Shah, Reuters

"The issues at the forefront of this action include concerns over work-life balance, unpredictable scheduling practices disrupting personal lives, and wages failing to align with the area's cost of living", IAM said in the statement.

When Nature Meets Technology: Phone Cameras Bring The Northern Lights To Life, During Solar Storm, by Griffin Eckstein, Salon

Dazzling images of the northern lights — visible as far south as Arizona — have been made possible, in part, by dark mode photography features on our cell phones.

Bottom of the Page

Old bones and creaky joints. That's what I have.

Any day where I wake up without me noticing is a good day. Today is not that day.

Hope you have a better Sunday than me.


Thanks for reading.

The Loss-on-Each-Purchase Edition Saturday, May 11, 2024

Apple Started Cheating Me Out Of App Store Bundle Purchases, by Jeff Johnson, The Desolation of Blog

I've discovered that starting in February, Apple mistakenly subtracts the price of the previously purchased app twice from the proceeds of a "Complete My Bundle" purchase, thereby causing me to take a loss on each such bundle purchase. This accounting change has cost me thousands of dollars over the past few months.

A Crushing Blow, by M.G. Siegler, Spyglass

What's the solution here for Apple? Dunno. There honestly probably isn't one. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. But I do think kicking off WWDC by opening with the video playing backwards, un-crushing the souls of the creative community, would be a pretty incredible show of humility and sense of humor.


Bookends 15.0.2, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

You can use your Mac’s camera to scan ISBN barcodes, which enables you to import metadata and cover art found in Google Books (requires macOS 10.14 Mojave or later).

Training Today Apple Watch App Gains Dynamic Cycling Workouts For More Intentional Rides, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Training Today is a clever app that offers Apple Watch users a “readiness to train” score to help know when to rest, push, and more. Now the watchOS and iOS app have been updated with “dynamic cycling workouts” to train more intentionally on rides.

Mophie Juice Pack For iPhone 15 Review, by Simon Jary, Macworld

It has a superior build, and even at the higher price is a great solution for people who find their phone fading during the day or who need to use their phone for long periods away from their wall charger.

Bungie’s Classic Sci-fi Shooter Marathon Is Now Free On Steam, by Andrew Webster, The Verge

Bungie just announced that the first game in the original trilogy has surprise-dropped on Steam, and it’s available on both Mac and PC. Even better, you can play it for free.


Apple Nears Deal With OpenAI To Put ChatGPT On iPhone, by Mark Gurman and Julia Love, Bloomberg

The two sides have been finalising terms for a pact to use ChatGPT features in Apple’s iOS 18, the next iPhone operating system, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the situation is private. Apple also has held talks with Alphabet’s Google about licensing that company’s Gemini chatbot. Those discussions haven’t led to an agreement, but are ongoing.

Tech Giants Start To Treat Southeast Asia Like Next Big Thing, by Olivia Poh and Suvashree Ghosh, Bloomberg

The CEOs of Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Nvidia Corp. are among the industry chieftains who’ve swung through the region in past months, committing billions of dollars in investment and holding forth with heads of state from Indonesia to Malaysia. Inc. just this week took over a giant conference hall in downtown Singapore to unfurl a $9 billion investment plan before a thousands-strong audience cheering and waving glow sticks.


Take Tim Cook and Satya Nadella, who last month embarked on their biggest tours across Southeast Asia in years. The investments they pledged are set to help turn the region into a major battleground between the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Google in future frontiers such as artificial intelligence and the cloud.

Bottom of the Page

It's the weekend. Maybe go play a tune on a trumpet. Maybe paint some trees on a canvas. Or maybe go stop an alien invasion aboard the Marathon.

Go have fun.


Thanks for reading.

The In-Need-of-the-Very-Best Edition Friday, May 10, 2024

Apple’s “Let Loose” iPad Event Was Shot On iPhone — With Panavision Lenses, by Stu Maschwitz, Prolost

None of this would be possible without Apple having adding Log ProRes recording to the iPhone 15 Pro. Log is to video what raw is to still photography, and the story of how Apple Log transforms the definition of “Shot on iPhone” from a dalliance to a responsible, even desirable strategy for filmmaking is still ongoing.

Truly “pro” features like color-accurate OLED screens on iPads and ProRes Log on phones don’t just sell a few devices to a few filmmakers. They preserve and elevate Apple’s reputation as the choice of creative professionals in all fields. Apple hardware is vastly overpowered for most of its customer’s uses, so as Apple looks around for folks in need of their very best, they find the Zbrush artist, the Redshift renderer, and now, improbably-but-deservedly, the professional cinematographer.

How The iPad Pro's M4 Chip Sets The iPhone And Mac On A New Path, by Jason Snell, Macworld

Basically, Apple used the M3 generation to get to 3nm before everyone else, but it knew that it would need a new design for the system TSMC was building toward. Hence the M4–and presumably the A18–were redesigns Apple absolutely had to do.

Why launch the M4 on the iPad Pro rather than a more popular product, like a MacBook Air? Chances are pretty good that at the beginning of a chip cycle, the volume of chips coming out of the factory will be low. The iPad Pro doesn’t sell in remotely the same numbers as a MacBook Air, allowing Apple and TSMC to ramp up deliveries.

The Crush

Apple Apologizes For 'Crush' iPad Pro Ad That Sparked Controversy, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has now responded to this criticism, issuing a public apology to Ad Age saying it “missed the mark with this video.”

Is The ‘Crush’ Backlash A Dead Canary In The Apple Brand Coal Mine?, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Today there’s widespread uncomfortableness, perhaps outright concern, that the digital world is consuming the analog one. It plays differently today than a decade ago to emphasize that an iPad can replace a veritable truck-full of artistic tools and toys.

Ai Ai Ai

Apple To Power AI Tools With In-House Server Chips This Year, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The company is placing high-end chips — similar to ones it designed for the Mac — in cloud-computing servers designed to process the most advanced AI tasks coming to Apple devices, according to people familiar with the matter. Simpler AI-related features will be processed directly on iPhones, iPads and Macs, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan is still under wraps.

Where Does Photoshop Go From Here?, by Caroline Mimbs Nyce, The Atlantic

And there’s the challenge: Photoshop, the most professionalized fake-image program, now has to walk a middle path. It needs to offer generative-AI tools to stay cutting-edge, but it also cannot risk alienating its clientele by taking off the guardrails. Adobe is a technology company that serves artists, and in the art world, AI is deeply polarizing.


‘I Taught Myself’: Tucker MacDonald And The Rise Of Tide Guide, by Apple

Lots of apps have great origin stories, but the tale of Tucker MacDonald and Tide Guide seems tailor-made for the Hollywood treatment. It begins in the dawn hours on Cape Cod, where a school-age MacDonald first learned to fish with his grandfather.

“Every day, he’d look in the paper for the tide tables,” says MacDonald. “Then he’d call me up and say, ‘Alright Tucker, we’ve got a good tide and good weather. Let’s be at the dock by 5:30 a.m.’”

Plinky Is An App For You To Collect And Organize Links Easily, by Ivan Mehta, TechCrunch

Plinky lets you save links to web pages, apps, videos, images and even app stores; label them neatly; and organize them in different folders. You can customize these labels and folders, and even how a link shows up in the app. Additionally, you can search for links and pin them for easy access.

New Sonos App Breaks Accessibility For Visually Impaired Users, Here's What This Advocate Recommends, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

While the company made an official statement on the matter, it hasn’t appeared to address a concerning issue – the update has broken accessibility for visually impaired users.


Apple Is Making It Easier To Develop Your First App Using Pathways, by Ryan Christoffel, 9to5Mac

Today the company launched Pathways, a collection of videos, documentation, and other resources that will walk you step by step through the journey of developing your first app.


When Your Smartphone Tries To Be Too Smart, by Tim Harford, Financial Times

And so we carry around these pocket miracles, and very useful they are too — until something unfortunate happens. It’s brilliant to have your tickets, keys, phone, address book and cash all in the same little box of delights, as long as you don’t drop the box of delights down the toilet. As Earl Wiener put it, “Digital devices tune out small errors while creating opportunities for large errors.” Next time, I’ll print the ticket.

Apple Music Rolls Out New Analytics Tools, by Elias Leight, Billboard

Those who pay to gain access to the tools can lose themselves in more than 4,500 charts — each ranking as many as 1,500 titles — that cover 60 genres and span 270 countries, regions, and cities. While radio is not the commercial force it once was, Apple also harnessed Shazam to monitor what’s playing on over 40,000 radio stations (terrestrial and internet) across the globe.

Bottom of the Page

It is okay for Apple to sell an iPad that is not meant for you and your work. It is okay if you find that you are better off using macOS rather than iPadOS. Stop asking Apple to do an iPad that can run macOS, but start asking why MacBook's portability is still far behind iPad's.


Thanks for reading.

The Signalling-Loudly Edition Thursday, May 9, 2024

Apple Is A Camera Company Now (Again), by Jaron Schneider, PetaPixel

Over the years, the company repeatedly said it likes to give its app developers the ability to make the most out of its hardware. Sure, you can just use the default camera app, but at a certain point, it’s just not powerful enough. That’s why Apple itself relied on Blackmagic’s camera app in its productions, including the very impressive “Scary Fast” event from last year which was visible in the company’s behind-the-scenes video it published shortly after.

But with Final Cut Camera, Apple signaled very loudly that it is shifting its perspective: it’s now making the software required to take full advantage of its capture hardware. There really is no other definition of a camera company than that.

Brief Thoughts And Observations On Yesterday’s ‘Let Loose’ iPad Keynote, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

One thing I’m taking away from this is that it’s wrong to think about M-series generations as year-over-year annual iterations, like the A-series chips in iPhones. Rather, it seems like Apple is evolving the M-series chips in parallel, designing them with very specific but widely variant products in mind.

Goodbye To Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio, The Best iPad Pro Accessory, by Chris Welch, The Verge

The Smart Keyboard Folio was thin enough that you never really had to make a choice; you could always just leave it on no matter what you were doing.

Apple Pencil Pro Packaging Is An Inspiring Piece Of Art, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Starting with the Apple Pencil Pro, the product artwork is surrounded by actual art.

The Crush

Apple's 'Crush' Ad Is Disgusting, by Devin Coldewey, TechCrunch

But what Apple is doing is destroying these things to convince you that you don’t need them — all you need is the company’s little device, which can do all that and more, and no need for annoying stuff like strings, keys, buttons, brushes or mixing stations.

Apple’s New iPad Pro Ad Sparks Outrage As Hugh Grant And More Slam Tech Giant: ‘The Destruction Of The Human Experience’, by Todd Spangler, Variety

But the ad has been interpreted more as a visual depiction of the tech industry’s devastation of cultural industries. “The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley,” actor Hugh Grant commented on X.

Filmmaker and actor Justine Bateman, who has served as an adviser to SAG-AFTRA on AI issues, had a similar incredulous reaction: “Truly, what is wrong with you?” she said in quoting Cook’s post.

People Sure Are Pressed About Apple’s Crushing iPad Commercial, by Alex Cranz, The Verge

The last time Apple did this, people weren’t talking quite as urgently about AI automation snapping up all the jobs humans once held.

iPad Pro Ad Looks Better In Reverse; Hugh Grant And Others Criticize, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

It would have been better to start with this ‘impossibly thin’ device, and then show all these amazing things emerging from it.

Apple In Courts

Judge Grills Apple Exec About Whether Company Is Defying Order To Enable More iPhone Payment Options, by Michael Liedtke, AP

Gonzalez Rogers was particularly pointed as she grilled Fischer about whether Apple had deliberately made it more cumbersome and confusing for consumers to make digital purchases through alternative services.


Fischer maintained Apple is complying with the judge's order while still trying to shield iPhone users from bad actors on the internet and enabling the Cupertino, California, company to reap a return on its investments in the app store and other mobile software.

Music Streaming Firms Urge European Commission To Reject Apple's Proposal In App Store Case, by Jaspreet Singh, Reuters

Digital Music Europe expressed concern in a letter submitted to the European Commission on Tuesday that Apple's proposal to comply with the regulator's March order, in which the iPhone-maker was fined 1.84 billion euros, does not provide concrete and effective remedies.

On Smart Home

Matter 1.3 Specification Adds Energy Reporting, Electric Vehicle Charging, Water Management Support And More, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Matter 1.3 adds support for a range of new device types and features, including water management devices, electric vehicle chargers, kitchen and laundry appliances, and TVs.

Matter Is Now Racing Ahead, But The Platforms Are Holding It Back, by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, The Verge

We have reached the chicken-and-egg stage of a new protocol. If the platforms don’t support the new device types, manufacturers are less likely to spend resources supporting them (on top of all the other support they need to add to their products to work with Alexa or Google Home or Apple Home, if they can’t do it through Matter). But if there are no devices, then why should the platforms bother putting time, effort, and resources into supporting the new device types?


Disney+ Launching Exclusive Marvel Immersive Story For Apple Vision Pro, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

An hour-long interactive and immersive Disney+ story is coming to the Apple Vision Pro in the near future, according to an announcement from Marvel Studios. The Disney+ original is connected to the "What If…? animated series and it will be released as a new app for the Vision Pro.

Apple TV Plus Is Turning Into The Best Place For Streaming Sci-fi, by Andrew Webster, The Verge

For whatever reason, the lineup of sci-fi shows on Apple TV Plus has steadily grown over the years, not just in terms of size and quality but also tone and scope. The genre has become one of the service’s strongest selling points.

Apple Releases iTunes For Windows 12.13.2 With Support For New iPads, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today released an iTunes 12.13.2 update for Windows users, with the software introducing support for the new iPad Air and iPad Pro models.

This App Combines Your Calendar And To-Dos, by Khamosh Pathak, Lifehacker

Planning a day like this, you're much more likely to finish the tasks, as they are now anchored to a time block. Plus, you can be mindful about spacing them out so that they aren't overlapping (something the app will alert you about).

Logitech Announces Combo Touch For M2 iPad Air And M4 iPad Pro, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Following the announcement of new iPads on Tuesday, Logitech today announced a new version of its popular Combo Touch keyboard case for the latest M2 iPad Air and M4 iPad Pro. The accessory works as a great alternative to Apple’s Magic Keyboard, as it also features a full-size keyboard and multi-touch trackpad.

Vision Pro Support Arrives For Duet Display And Screens To Enhance Your Virtual Desktop, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

More functionality for Vision Pro has landed with two new third-party app updates. The popular Duet Display and Screens are both now available for Apple’s headset. Here are all the details and features.

Sonos’ Redesigned App Is Going Over Like A Lead Balloon With Many Users, by Chris Welch, The Verge

The new app moves backward in certain areas, but Sonos has succeeded at some of its over-arching design goals. Whether you’re a fan of the new app will vary depending on how you use Sonos products in the first place.


Tim Cook Can’t Run Apple Forever. Who’s Next?, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg Businessweek

If Cook were to stay that long, people within Apple say, the most likely successor would be John Ternus, the hardware engineering chief. In a company whose success has always come from building category-defining gadgets, the ascension of a hardware engineering expert to the CEO job would seem logical. Ternus, who’s not yet 50, would also be more likely than other members of the executive team to stick around for a long time, potentially providing another decade or more of Cook-esque stability.

Ternus is well-liked inside Apple, and he’s earned the respect of Cook, Williams and other leaders. “Tim likes him a lot, because he can give a good presentation, he’s very mild-mannered, never puts anything into an email that is controversial and is a very reticent decision-maker,” says one person close to Apple’s executive team. “He has a lot of managerial characteristics like Tim.” Christopher Stringer, a former top Apple hardware designer, called Ternus a “trustworthy hand” who’s “never failed with any role he’s been elevated to.” Eddy Cue, the Apple executive known as Cook’s closest confidant, has privately told colleagues that Ternus should be the next CEO, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

FDA Recalls Defective iOS App That Injured Over 200 Insulin Pump Users, by Jess Weatherbed, The Verge

At least 224 people with diabetes have reported injuries linked to a defective iOS app that caused their insulin pumps to shut down prematurely, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

On Wednesday, the agency announced that California-based medical device manufacturer Tandem Diabetes Care has issued a recall for version 2.7 of the iOS t:connect mobile app, which is used in conjunction with the company’s t:slim X2 insulin pump. Specifically, the recall relates to a software issue that can cause the app to repeatedly crash and relaunch, resulting in the pump’s battery being drained by excessive Bluetooth communication.

Apple’s Unionized Maryland Store To Vote On Possible Strike, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The store and Apple have reached a series of agreements, none of which are considered to veer greatly from Apple’s preexisting policies. The union told employees there are ongoing negotiations regarding pay, overtime, unpaid leave of absences, time-away benefits and scheduling.

What A Zoom Cashier 8,000 Miles Away Can Tell Us About The Future Of Work, by Whizy Kim, Vox

While video calling isn’t bleeding-edge tech, the Zoom cashier captures what often happens when an industry integrates new tech into its business model: Jobs don’t really disappear, they just shrink, along with their paycheck, and this degradation is presented as the natural outcome of automation and technological progress.

Bottom of the Page

Somewhere in my house, there are still lightning cables that I am not using, a DVD player that can play physical media that I have not switch on for many years, and an iPod nano that can play radio but I never listen.

What I am saying... well... firstly, I am not a hoarder. I try very hard not to be a hoarder and do get rid of things that I no longer need nor want.

But, I don't like to throw away things, or things being destroyed when they are still working fine. Things that are still useful, still functional, still beautify, should not be just destroyed.

Which is why I was feeling so much uneasiness during this crusher bit during the 'live' Apple iPad event.

Yes, I know no real stuff are being destroyed. All these can be done, and are probably done, in CGs. (I hope I am right on this.) Yes, I know the messaging Apple is going for, that the thinnest iPad is made up of all these stuff. Yes, I know Apple is not messaging that AI is coming to crush us all.

Nevertheless, I feel so uneasy during that spot during the event. And, furthermore, the whole crushing thing went on and on for so long. I had to, and I did, look away towards the end.

To use this as an advertisement, it's not good. Not good at all.

And yes, AI is out to get you all ended up as the unintended message. I'm pretty sure someone somewhere is probably making a supercut with all the "AI" uttered during the event and intersperse with this no-good advertisement.


Thanks for reading.

The Let-Loose Edition Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Apple Announces New iPad Pros With OLED Displays And Thinnest Design Ever, by Chris Welch, The Verge

The new 13-inch and 11-inch tablets have a fresh design, more powerful internals, and a thinner profile than ever before, and they come with a major display upgrade. As rumored, Apple has switched to OLED screens on both sizes, bringing perfect blacks, richer color saturation, and enhanced contrast to its flagship iPads. Oh, and the front-facing camera is now in the correct (landscape) position for video calls.

Apple Pencil Pro Unveiled With New Squeeze Gesture, Haptic Feedback, Find My, And More, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

A new sensor in the Apple Pencil Pro allows users to squeeze the accessory to bring up a tool palette to quickly switch tools, line weights, and colors. In addition, a new gyroscope allows users to rotate the Apple Pencil Pro for precise control of shaped pen and brush tools.

Apple Updates Magic Keyboard For iPad, by Nathan Edwards, The Verge

Alongside the long-expected OLED iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air, Apple has also released a lightly updated Magic Keyboard with an aluminum palm rest and a larger trackpad with haptic feedback — and, finally, a function row.

Why The Apple Silicon M4 Is A Big Deal For Gaming, by Oliver VanDervoort, Pocket-Lint

For gaming enthusiasts, the two most exciting announcements also happened to be bits of info that weren't leaking out much ahead of the Apple Event. The more powerful GPU built into the iPad Pro's M4 chipset means that the tablet will support both ray tracing and mesh shading. Both features are brand new to these tablets and are also features that some gaming PCs aren't always able to offer.

You Can Upgrade The iPad Pro’s Processor Now, Too, by Wes Davis, The Verge

The newly announced iPad Pro hides a sneaky upgrade option that Apple didn’t mention during its event today. When you cough up the $600 it costs to jump from the 256GB base model iPad Pro to the 1TB version, Apple doesn’t just double the RAM along with that — it also puts a faster chip inside, going from a nine-core M4 chip to a 10-core version.

iPad Pro With 1TB+ Storage Has 16GB RAM, Other Models Have 8GB, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple's new iPad Pro models have different amounts of RAM based on storage capacity, with the higher-tier models offering double the memory.

Nano-texture Glass For M4 iPad Pro Only Available On 1TB And 2TB Models, by Ryan Christoffel, 9to5Mac

The nano-texture option is limited to the 1TB and 2TB models. It adds $100 per model.

Hands-on With The New iPad Pro: Yeah, It’s Really Thin, by David Pierce, The Verge

It’s such a big difference that the larger model, which I’ve always felt was kind of preposterously huge, feels much more comfortable to hold and use.

New iPad Pro Drops 5G mmWave Support As Carrier Rollout Stumbles, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Its adoption by carriers has been relatively low. mmWave deployment in the US is championed by Verizon, where customers can see 1-2 gigabit speeds in select areas. mmWave is also useful in highly-congested areas like sports stadiums. However, the vast majority of 5G coverage in the US is carried over sub-6 GHz.

New iPad Pro Lacks mmWave 5G And Ultra-Wide Camera, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The 10-megapixel Ultra Wide rear camera on the last three iPad Pro generations is also absent on the latest models, which only have a 12-megapixel Wide rear camera.

Apple's New Cellular iPad Air And iPad Pro Models Are eSIM Only, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

On the previous generation models, the cellular versions of both the ‌iPad Air‌ and the ‌iPad Pro‌ included a physical SIM card slot. In the new devices, that's no longer the case. All cellular models now support eSIM only.

Apple Launches New Smart Folio Cases For M4 iPad Pro And M2 iPad Air, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

Apple is selling a new Smart Folio for the 11-inch iPad Pro in Denim, Black, and White. There's also a Smart Folio for the 13-inch iPad Pro in the same color options.

iPad Air

Apple Adds A 13-inch iPad Air To The Mix, by Wes Davis, The Verge

Apple has unveiled its 2024 iPad Air, now in two sizes for the first time thanks to a new 13-inch option. The company also updated the 11-inch iPad Air. Both tablets are outfitted with Apple’s M2 chip and will be in blue, purple, starlight, and space gray colors.


Apple Reduces iPad 10 Price To $349, Discontinues iPad 9 With Home Button, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Today’s price drop of $100 reflects the price that the tablet actually sold for at many retailers outside of Apple.

Apple Has Tragically Killed Off Its Last Device That Still Had A Headphone Jack, by Michael Simon, Macworld

Apple will push entry-level buyers to the 10th-gen model, which is clearly a superior machine.

Pro Apps

New Versions Of Final Cut And Logic Pro For iPad Take Advantage Of The Power Of The M4 Chip, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Final Cut Pro for iPad will now support external projects, allowing users to keep their media on external connected storage without using up the limited internal storage of the iPad itself. Final Cut Pro 2 will also include new Color-grading presets, new titles, soundtracks and dynamic backgrounds.

Logic Pro 2 updates include a new ‘stem splitter’ feature that splits input audio into separate tracks for the different instruments, allowing for easier edits.

Apple Launches Final Cut Camera App To Support Multicam Productions, by Umar Shakir, The Verge

Apple is releasing a new Final Cut Camera app for iPhone and iPad that can take video and stream it live back to an iPad for a Multicam shoot, as well as provide more controls for filmmakers. The company’s new pro-level app provides “precise manual controls” and can be used as a plain standalone camera app.

Coming Soon

iOS 17.5 News App Brings Offline Today And News+ Browsing, by Ryan Christoffel, 9to5Mac

But now, you’ll be able to have a full-fledged news reading experience without an Internet connection. No planning ahead required.


PSA: New iPads Won’t Include Stickers In The Box Due To Apple’s Environmental Goals, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In a memo distributed to Apple Store teams on Tuesday and viewed by 9to5Mac, Apple explained that Apple stickers will not be included in the box for the new iPad Pro and iPad Air. The company says that this is part of its environmental goals, as it strives to ensure its packaging is completely plastic-free.

Apple Stores, however, are receiving shipments with a limited quantity of Apple logo stickers that can be distributed to customers who buy a new iPad Pro or iPad Air, but only upon request. So, if you buy an iPad Pro or iPad Air from an Apple Store, you can request an Apple sticker at the time of purchase.

How Apple Made The Most Audacious Multiverse Epic Of The Decade, by Inverse

You don’t have to be a fan of science fiction to wonder about the road not taken. Pretty much the only thing about human existence that everyone can agree on is that our choices define us. But the new Apple TV+ sci-fi show Dark Matter asks whether our choices may not be the only thing about selfhood that truly matters. In one of the most mind-bending series of the year, Dark Matter asks big questions, but smartly, puts those questions into relatable packages.

Apple Plans Apple Watch Activity Challenge For World Meditation Day On May 21, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

To complete the challenge, Apple Watch owners will need to record five or more mindful minutes using the Mindfulness app or any app that adds mindful minutes to Health app.

Bottom of the Page

So, why didn't iPad mini get updates, or get cheaper, or removed from store, this week? I can think of a few possibilities.

Maybe, yes, Apple is no longer interested in iPad mini, but it remained in the store because sales are still good enough?

Or maybe, they just couldn't get the Apple Pencil Pro to work just right yet on a smaller iPad, but Apple is sure working hard on this right now?

Or maybe, just maybe, we are getting a foldable iPhone + iPad mini this fall, or why bother doing anything this week?


Thanks for reading.

The All-Worthwhile Edition Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Going All In On MagSafe For The iPhone In The Office, Bedroom, And Car, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

The improved video quality from using Continuity Camera, the enjoyment of seeing photos at my desk, the convenience of StandBy at night, and the improved usability of better positioning in the car are all worthwhile, especially when bolstered by less worry about running out of power.

You Can Use Apple Apps On Windows. Here's How, by David Nield, Gizmodo

Whatever your scenario—maybe you’re having to use Microsoft’s operating system temporarily or wondering how buying a Windows laptop might limit what you can do with your existing Apple services—here’s the state of play right now.

Google, Meta 'Break' Apple's Device Fingerprinting Rules, by Thomas Claburn, The Register

According to developers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk, several major app makers are simply ignoring Apple's requirements, and using tracker-happy APIs without sticking to the rules. Big Tech players like Google, Meta, and Spotify - the duo claim - are providing reasons for this API usage, collecting that data, and then not abiding by the requirement to keep that information on the device.


Apple Unveils 2024 Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop Band And Watch Face, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

The band features a fluorescent design inspired by multiple pride flags with a laser-etched lug that reads "PRIDE 2024." Black, Hispanic, and Latin communities, as well as those impacted by HIV/AIDS, are represented on the band by the black and brown colors, while transgender and non-binary individuals and represented by the pink, light blue, and white colors.

Five New Games, Including Ubisoft’s Rabbids: Legends Of The Multiverse, Arrive On Apple Arcade, by Apple

Five new games join Apple Arcade in the next month — Rabbids: Legends of the Multiverse, Return to Monkey Island+, Tomb of the Mask+, Fabulous - Wedding Disaster+, and Apple Vision Pro spatial title Where Cards Fall. The service introduces players to their next favorite titles while providing new experiences for their go-to games that they enjoy daily, with no ads or in-app purchases.

Screens 5.2 Adds Support For The Vision Pro And Other Features, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Screens by Edovia is a screen-sharing app that lets you control your computer from another device, and today, version 5.2 is out with an excellent set of updates that improve the app’s performance and usability. However, the biggest change is that Screens now works on the Vision Pro, which is a big deal for anyone managing computers remotely.


A Unique Apple Marketing Campaign For iPhone That You've Probably Never Seen, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

That’s because it ran in a single market at the time: Japan.

It turns out Apple relied on whimsical puppetry to convince Android users to switch to iPhone for a few years.

Novel Attack Against Virtually All VPN Apps Neuters Their Entire Purpose, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

TunnelVision, as the researchers have named their attack, largely negates the entire purpose and selling point of VPNs, which is to encapsulate incoming and outgoing Internet traffic in an encrypted tunnel and to cloak the user’s IP address. The researchers believe it affects all VPN applications when they’re connected to a hostile network and that there are no ways to prevent such attacks except when the user VPN runs on Linux or Android.

Bottom of the Page

I am getting ready to watch the iPad event 'live': dinner is already in my tummy, and I've showered and changed into my jammies. Thanks for reading, and see you tomorrow.

The Good-Siri Edition Monday, May 6, 2024

Better Siri Is Coming: What Apple’s Research Says About Its AI Plans, by David Pierce, The Verge

In general, Apple is pushing to solve a core tension in the model world: the bigger a model gets, the better and more useful it can be, but also the more unwieldy, power-hungry, and slow it can become. Like so many others, the company is trying to find the right balance between all those things while also looking for a way to have it all.

A lot of what we talk about when we talk about AI products is virtual assistants — assistants that know things, that can remind us of things, that can answer questions, and get stuff done on our behalf. So it’s not exactly shocking that a lot of Apple’s AI research boils down to a single question: what if Siri was really, really, really good?

Translation Tech Is Amazing, Except When It’s Not, by Blake Snow, Wired

As computers get smarter, however, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and others hope to fully remove the language barrier Andre and I shared that day. But it’ll take faster neural machine learning for that to happen, which “might be a few years out,” one developer I spoke to admitted.

Not that the wait matters. In fact, many consumers are surprised to learn just how good today’s translation apps already are.

AI-Voiced Audiobooks Top 40,000 Titles On Audible, by Ashley Carman, Bloomberg

For authors who can’t afford to produce their own audiobooks, it’s easy to understand why virtual voices appeal to them. But for listeners who want options, or at least the ability to support only human-created works, the filtering and labeling systems have to improve.

On Security

Apple’s iPhone Spyware Problem Is Getting Worse. Here’s What You Should Know, by Kate O'Flaherty, Wired

If you are faced with a zero-click exploit delivering spyware, experts say there is very little you can do to protect yourself or restore security to your devices. “The best thing to do if you are targeted is to entirely abandon both the hardware and any associated accounts,” says Aaron Engel, chief information security officer at ExpressVPN. “Get a new computer, get a new phone number, and create completely new accounts linked to the device.”

Detecting spyware can be challenging, but unusual behavior such as your battery draining quickly, unexpected shutdowns, or high data usage could be indicative of an infection, says Javvad Malik, lead security awareness advocate at security training organization KnowBe4. While specific apps claim to spot spyware, their effectiveness can vary, and professional assistance is often necessary for reliable detection, he says.


Every Day, Look Forward To A Really Good Sandwich, by Elana Spivack, Slate

But truly anything can be the sandwich. Grabbing coffee. Having tea and a cookie every night before bed. Sometimes, I’ll just go through what I already have planned and think about what good things I have coming up that I can focus on.


Apple Homepage Adds Interactive 'Eraser' Teaser Ahead Of Tomorrow's iPad Event, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The new teaser at the top of the page cycles between the various illustrations of Apple logo, with a twist that you can erase the art with your mouse pointer on Mac, or finger on your iPhone’s touchscreen. When the logo is fully erased, a new variant animates in.

Bottom of the Page

I just noticed that Audible app now supports Shortcuts, including a nice shortcut that plays the current audiobook that works even when my iPhone is locked.

This makes me very happy: I have now the complete set of shortcuts that plays the three most important (to me) audio entertainment: audiobooks, podcasts, and music. And I can trigger these shortcuts without unlocking my phone. Granted, this was more important four years ago when I was all masked up and I cannot easily unlock my phone. But this ability is still great.


I looked forward to my egg-and-rice dinner tonight. For tomorrow, I will be looking forward to the iPad event, even though I know I will not be buying anything. My iPad Pro back from 2017 is still working fine, and iPad is no longer a priority for me. (Got to prepare for my eventual retirement when I will have much less income.) And, because of the new timing, I am able to watch the event 'live' at 10pm local time. And, because of the rumored less-than-40-minutes run-time, bedtime will probably not be affected.


And I am probably starting too many sentences with the word 'and'.


Thanks for reading.

The Hide-From-My-Phone Edition Sunday, May 5, 2024

The Hidden-Pregnancy Experiment, by Jia Tolentino, New Yorker

Shortly after I became pregnant with my second child, in the fall of 2022, I decided to try a modest experiment. I wanted to see whether I could hide my pregnancy from my phone. After spending my twenties eagerly surveilling and sharing the details of my life online, I had already begun trying to erect some walls of technological privacy: I’d deleted most apps on my phone and turned off camera, location, and microphone access for nearly all of the ones that I did have; I had disabled Siri—I just found it annoying—and I didn’t have any smart devices. For the experiment, I would abide by some additional restrictions. I wouldn’t Google anything about pregnancy nor shop for baby stuff either online or using a credit card, and neither would my husband, because our I.P. addresses—and thus the vast, matrixed fatbergs of personal data assembled by unseen corporations to pinpoint our consumer and political identities—were linked. I wouldn’t look at pregnancy accounts on Instagram or pregnancy forums on Reddit. I wouldn’t update my period tracker or use a pregnancy app.


I had felt little satisfaction hiding from the ad trackers—if anything, I’d only become more conscious of how much surveillance I was engaged in, as both subject and object, and how much more insidious the problem was becoming.


The Best Services, Or Mini-apps, To Add To Your Mac, by Justin Pot, Lifehacker

One of the most under-appreciated Mac features is the services menu, which you can find by right-clicking just about anything—highlighted text, say, or any image. Hover over the "Services" section and you'll see a bunch of quick actions.

How To Make The Most Of Apple Notes, by David Nield, The Verge

Apple Notes is one of those apps you can turn to on a daily basis without ever really making full use of all the different features and functions it’s got to offer. That’s where this particular guide comes in. The idea is to point you to some of the lesser known but very useful tricks that Apple Notes can do.

This Amazing App Is A Game-Changer For Nervous Flyers Who Hate Turbulence, by Maddie Brown, Islands

The Flying Calmly app uses weather data to keep passengers informed about in-flight turbulence trends. To access this information, you'll just need to enter your flight date and number.


Warren Buffett Still Key Apple Investor After Selling Shares Due To iPhone Slump, by Callum Jones, The Guardian

The billionaire investment tycoon Warren Buffett has stressed his empire will remain a key investor in Apple after it sold billions of dollars’ worth of shares in the iPhone maker.

North Yorkshire Council To Phase Out Apostrophe Use On Street Signs, by Naj Modak, BBC

North Yorkshire Council is to ditch the problematic punctuation point as it says it can affect geographical databases.

The council said all new street signs would be produced without one, regardless of previous use.

Residents spoken to by the BBC urged the authority to retain apostrophes or risk "everything going downhill".

Bottom of the Page

My phone just alerted me that, over the past week, I've taken less steps than usual. I think the phone is worried that I may not have noticed I was not out and about at all.

But, no, I did notice. I didn't go out at all the entire week because, well, I've had Covid. Again.


Thanks for reading.

The May-the-Fourth Edition Saturday, May 4, 2024

Apple Releases May The 4th ‘Star Wars’ Ad Starring 172 Real-Life Fans, by James Hibberd, Hollywood Reporter

Lucasfilm said they received more than 300 submissions for the spot, with a total of 172 fans becoming involved with the production. Lucasfilm said it’s the largest number of fans they’ve ever had in a project sanctioned by the company.

Everything Apple Plans To Show At May 7 ‘Let Loose’ iPad Event, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The star of the event will be a new iPad Pro with an updated design and crisper screen. It will be the first iPad to get an OLED display — organic light-emitting diode — the technology used in the iPhone since 2017. In addition to improving the image quality, OLEDs allow for thinner devices, and Apple is expected to slim down the Pro tablet accordingly. The new iPads are poised to come in 11-inch and 12.9-inch screen sizes and may also include Apple’s first M4 processors. Those chips will help power artificial intelligence tasks — part of a broader push into AI that Apple will explain further in June.

Apple Sends Congratulatory Letters To 2024 Swift Student Challenge Winners, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Some Swift Student Challenge winners today began receiving congratulatory certificates from Apple, with one Distinguished Winner sharing a images of the letter he received from Apple.


Apple Maps Cycling Routes Come To Bicycle-friendly Netherlands, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Starting today, Apple Maps users in the Netherlands can access cycling route data on iPhone and Apple Watch.

5 Apps For Splitting Bills So You Don't Have To Do Math At Dinner, by Kate Fann, Popsugar

Whether splitting rent among roommates, divvying up grocery costs, or sharing the burden of household utilities, learn about the best apps to split bills.

Standalone MIDI Controller For Apple Watch, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

MidiWrist Unleashed “turns your Apple Watch into a standalone MIDI controller that directly connects to any advertised Bluetooth LE MIDI device,” and it’s completely independent from the iPhone.


Parsing Apple’s Quarterly Statements, From AI To India, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

It’s interesting that Cook calls out generative AI, which is basically the sort of stuff that Apple hasn’t spent the last few years rolling out inside its various products. He acknowledges that they’ve been investing in this technology and once again touts that Apple will share things soon. That could be Tuesday, at its video event, but it’s more likely to be at WWDC in June.

Apple Remains Buffett's Biggest Public Stock Holding, But His Thesis About Its Moat Faces Questions, by Kif Leswing, CNBC

But with Apple's business having declined in size in five of the past six quarters and with the company expecting just low single-digit growth in the current quarter, Buffett may face questions this weekend at the shareholder meeting about whether he still sees the same power in the moat, particularly with regulatory pressures building around tech's mega-cap companies.

Bottom of the Page

The first time I remember watching Star Wars, it was on a local free-to-air television channel. And, if I also remember correctly, there wasn't regulation on the number of advertisement per hour back then. So, this Star Wars was so full of commercials that I gave up halfway.

The first Star Wars movie that I watched in cinema was The Phantom Menace.


Thanks for reading.

The One-Installation Edition Friday, May 3, 2024

Apple Confirms iPadOS Will Get Same EU App Changes As iOS This Fall, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Earlier this week, the European Commission said that iPadOS is also a gatekeeper platform under the Digital Markets Act. [...] With iPadOS being added to the mix, Apple has also confirmed that users who install the same app on both iOS and iPadOS in a 12-month period will only generate one first annual install for that app rather than two, which should help developers keep below the CTF threshold.

Apple Gives Small Developers More Ways Around Its Alternative App Store Tax, by Emma Roth, The Verge

Apple is exempting more developers from the Core Technology Fee (CTF) it introduced in the European Union. In an update on Thursday, Apple announced that developers of free apps without monetization won’t have to pay the new fee.


The company also says small developers with less than €10 million in global annual business revenue will receive a three-year free “on-ramp” to the CTF “to help them create innovative apps and rapidly grow their business.”

Business Update

Apple Q2 2024 Earnings: Analysts' Expectations Exceeded But iPhone Sales Down, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

iPhone sales, which usually buoy Apple’s results, took a hit this quarter, posting $46 billion in revenue, which is a 10 percent decrease from the second quarter of 2023. Wearables, Home, and Accessories revenue was also down 10 percent. iPad sales were also down 17 percent.

Apple’s Services set a record for the quarter and saw a jump in revenue YoY of 14 percent, while Mac sales increased about 4 percent.

Tim Cook Says Apple Is Uniquely Well-positioned For AI, by Mark Sullivan, Fast Company

Cook said Apple is making significant investments in the burgeoning technology and that the company is uniquely positioned to make the most of AI because of its “seamless integration of hardware, software, and services,” including its “neural engine” AI chips, as well as its “unwavering focus on privacy.”

This Is Tim: Transcript Of Apple’s Q2 2024 Analyst Call, by Six Colors

"Looking ahead, we’re getting ready for an exciting product announcement next week that we think our customers will love, and next month, we have our Worldwide Developers Conference, which has generated enormous enthusiasm from our developers. We can’t wait to reveal what we have in store."

"We continue to feel very bullish about our opportunity in generative AI. We are making significant investments, and we’re looking forward to sharing some very exciting things with our customers soon. We believe in the transformative power and promise of AI, and we believe we have advantages that will differentiate us in this new era, including Apple’s unique combination of seamless hardware, software, and services integration, groundbreaking Apple Silicon with our industry-leading neural engines, and our unwavering focus on privacy, which underpins everything we create."


Apple Watch AFib History Feature Qualified By FDA To Evaluate Medical Devices, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple's atrial fibrillation (AFib) history feature on Apple Watch has been qualified by the FDA under its Medical Device Development Tools (MDDT) program, the first digital health technology feature of its kind to do so.

Why Loopy Pro Is The Best iPad Recording Software Around, by Pete Cottell, Wired

It’s an essential songwriting tool that encourages musicians to workshop arrangements on their own, but it really shines in a live setting when a capable musician employs a looper to conjure a towering wall of sound with minimal assistance.

TwelveSouth's Adjustable iPad Mount Is Secretly A Versatile iPhone Accessory, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

HoverBar Duo is primarily marketed as an adjustable iPad mount for using the tablet hands-free. However, the arrival of FaceTime for Apple TV 4K makes HoverBar Duo a versatile solution for positioning your iPhone camera just right.


Apple Expands Figma Support With New Set Of Design Templates, by Ryan Christoffel, 9to5Mac

Apple today has added nine new design templates to its collection of Figma resources, significantly increasing the number of resources available for Figma users.


When Notifications Pick The Wrong Time To Remind Us Of Something, by Joanna Nelius, The Verge

Notifications can intrude into every moment of our lives, fighting for our attention without tact. Yes, we can turn them off or click “unsubscribe” on emails that never made it into the junk folder, but the point is they shouldn’t be happening in the first place. Would we be okay with a stranger holding up a sign that read, “Hey! Remember when your friend died?” as they ran up to us in a cemetery? Would we accept our ex-partner shouting, “It was supposed to be me!” in the middle of our wedding ceremony? Enough intrusive thoughts go through my head on a daily basis. I don’t need an algorithm reinforcing them because it mathematically concluded I want to see what it wants to show me.

Why The Radio Is Still Better Than The Spotify Algorithm, by Justin Pot, Lifehacker

Rabbit holes can be fun, but I don't want to be in one of them all the time. Sometimes when I listen to music, I prefer to hear a blend of what's trending in the culture right alongside a bunch of old songs I already love and haven't heard in ages. Sometimes I want to hear weird music I'd never seek out and that the algorithm would never recommend to me. And yes, I like it when my music is occasionally interrupted by an actual human being who tells a corny joke or comments on the news.

Bottom of the Page

The new CTF rules that Apple updated is indeed very Apple-ly. Once again, they blanket a lot of stuff to reduce any possibilities of loopholes, they leave enough room for interpretations, and they make sure big companies do not get away with paying.


Thanks for reading.

The Family-Inspiration Edition Thursday, May 2, 2024

Meet Three Swift Student Challenge Winners Changing The Future Through Coding, by Apple

This year’s winners come from all over the globe, representing more than 35 countries and regions. Many of their app playgrounds were sparked by something personal, such as helping people in their community or a favorite hobby. For Distinguished Winners Elena Galluzzo, Dezmond Blair, and Jawaher Shaman, inspiration also came from their families — and they share the hope that one day, their apps can make an impact on others as well.

Pushing Buttons: The Emulator App Helping Gamers Replay Classics From Their Youth – For Now, by Keza MacDonald, The Guardian

Nintendo has so far said nothing whatsoever about Delta, and neither has Sega, but we can be sure these companies are preparing a response. Could this provoke a sea-change in the legal status of emulation as a whole? One thing that Delta proves is that there is a simply enormous audience of people nostalgic for older games that they have no other way of playing, save for hunting down an old cartridge on eBay. Delta’s developers have created something that’s much better at playing older games than anything available through a game company, including Nintendo’s own Switch Online service. The experience is excellent. But how much longer will people get to enjoy it?

We Can Have A Different Web, by Molly White, Citation Needed

Nothing about the web has changed that prevents us from going back. If anything, it's become a lot easier. We can return. Better, yet: we can restore the things we loved about the old web while incorporating the wonderful things that have emerged since and developing even better things as we go forward.


Apple Podcasts Adds New Wellbeing Category, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

In time for Mental Health Awareness Month, Apple Podcasts is shining light on a new category of podcasts to listen to.

Snapchat Adds Editable Chats, Emoji Reactions, New AI Features, by Ryan Christoffel, 9to5Mac

The two standout improvements center around messaging: editable messages and emoji reactions. These join a handful of service-wide enhancements that are driven by Snap’s AI efforts, such as AI reminders, creating custom Bitmoji looks, and more.

Anthropic Releases Claude AI Chatbot iOS App, by Benj Edwards, Ars Technica

Like the ChatGPT app, Claude's new mobile app serves as a gateway to chatbot interactions, and it also allows uploading photos for analysis.


Google’s Payments To Apple Reached $20 Billion In 2022, Antitrust Court Documents Show, by Leah Nylen, Bloomberg

Alphabet Inc. paid Apple Inc. $20 billion in 2022 for Google to be the default search engine in the Safari browser, according to newly unsealed court documents in the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Google.


Apple first agreed to use Google in the Safari browser in 2002 for free. But the companies later decided to share revenue made from search advertising. By May 2021, that translated to Google paying Apple more than $1 billion a month for its default status, prosecutors said in the filing.

Bottom of the Page

VR, AR, AI. I don't think I have the energy to be excited with these supposedly future of technology.

Maybe I need to find a new hobby.


Thanks for reading.

The Malicious-Marketplace Edition Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Safari Flaw Can Expose iPhone Users In The EU To Tracking, by Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk, Mysk Inc

Apple has introduced a new URI scheme in iOS 17.4 to allow EU users to download and install alternative marketplace apps from websites. Once an authorized browser invokes the special URI scheme marketplace-kit, it hands off the installation request to a MarketplaceKit process that starts communicating with the marketplace back-end servers to finally install the app. As part of the installation flow, the MarketplaceKit process sends a unique client_id identifier to the marketplace back-end. Both Safari and the MarketplaceKit process allow any website to make a call to the marketplace-kit URI scheme of a particular marketplace. As a result, multiple websites can trigger the MarketplaceKit process to send the same unique identifier client_id to the same marketplace back-end. This way a malicious marketplace can track users across different websites.

If Your iPhone Alarm Stopped Working In iOS 17.4.1, Here's A Fix, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

Apple has not stated the cause of the problem, but posters on social media and the Apple Support Community think the cause is a toggle in iOS called Attention Aware Features. With this feature on, the iPhone checks if the user is paying attention to the iPhone before “dimming the display, expanding a notification when locked, or lowering the volume of some alerts.” Turning this off seems to fix the alarm problem.

The iPhone’s Next AAA Game, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Gets A Release Date, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Apple has spent the last year trying to convince gamers that they can get a console-like, triple-A experience on the latest iPhones. The newest test of that promise will be Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Mirage, which now has a release date and pricing information.

New From Beats

Beats Solo 4 Headphones Debut With Improved Acoustics, Longer Battery Life, And More, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Apple's Beats brand today is announcing an update to its most popular line of headphones with the new Beats Solo 4. The on-ear headphones have been re-engineered inside and out to deliver upgraded performance and fit while featuring even longer battery life compared to the previous generation.

Beats Announces Solo 4 Headphones And $79.99 Solo Buds, by Chris Welch, The Verge

The Apple-owned brand is also introducing the $79.99 Solo Buds, which now serve as its entry-level wireless earbuds. They deliver “big Beats sound in the smallest case we’ve ever made,” the company said in its press release. Again, there’s no ANC to be found here — apparently, a Beats product must have “Pro” in its name for that — though Beats claims the Solo Buds provide a good amount of noise isolation to help mitigate ambient noise.

Beats Solo 4 Review: Playing Both Sides, by Chris Welch, The Verge

The omission of noise cancellation on the Solo 4 could be a real obstacle for some, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to dampen their appeal to the masses who’ve been cycling through Beats products for so many years now. Even if you’re buying largely for the cool factor, at least these on-ear headphones are now platform-agnostic, more comfortable, and more versatile since you can just plug in if you manage to run through that 50-hour battery life.

Coming Soon

iOS 17.5 Includes 'Repair State' Option That Doesn't Require Turning Off Find My For Service, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

With iOS 17.5, Apple is adding a "Repair State" feature that is designed to allow an iPhone to be sent in for service without deactivating Find My and Activation Lock. The fourth iOS 17.5 beta that came out today adds a "Remove This Device" option for all devices in ‌Find My‌, and using it with an ‌iPhone‌ puts that ‌iPhone‌ into the new Repair State.


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

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

My Favorite Apple TV Plus Show Returns This Month — And It’s Better Than Ted Lasso, by Rory Mellon, Tom's Guide

“Trying” is a simple show, and that’s arguably its biggest strength. It’s not a twisting thriller or an emotionally-taxing drama, but rather it’s a feel-good comedy without a cynical bone in its body.

Sofa 4.0: A Customizable Downtime Tracker Without Compromises, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Shawn Hickman has always pitched Sofa as a downtime organizer instead of a media tracker, which makes more sense now than ever before. It’s an app that makes it easy to decide what to watch, read, play, or listen to next.


Screenshots Suggest TikTok Is Circumventing Apple App Store Commissions, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

TikTok may be routing around the App Store to save money on commissions. According to new findings, the ByteDance-owned social video app is presenting some of its users with a link to a website for purchasing the coins used for tipping digital creators. Typically, these coins are bought via in-app purchase, which requires a 30% commission paid to Apple.

The feature may be hidden from most users, either by design or because it’s only shown to users in a specific group, like testers or high spenders. In any event, those who do have access to the new option are seeing a screen that encourages them to “recharge” — that is, buy more coins — via Although these screenshots were discovered within the iOS app by TechCrunch tipster David Tesler, it’s not clear how many TikTok users are seeing them or when or how they’re being shown.

Bottom of the Page

Wasn't there some rumors out there that the next version of AirPods (the non-pro version) will have some form of noise cancelling feature? I sure hope that is true without any significant price increase. I've grew to really love this feature on my AirPods Pro.

The other feature that I really love is the Announce Notifications. I hope Apple will also make this feature available on non-AirPods earphones -- at least, just the announcement part without the listening for replies by Siri.


Thanks for reading.