Archive for June 2024

The Forgot-To-Add Edition Sunday, June 30, 2024

Do A Firmware Update For Your AirPods – Now, by Jonas Dreßler

Authentication and enabling encryption is a step that is supposed to happen after the initial Fast Connect message. Of course iOS and macOS do that perfectly fine, but if an attacker decides to skip that step when connecting, the AirPods will happily continue on with the Fast Connect. This authentication step is somewhat implicit if you connect the AirPods without Fast Connect (ie. the way all non-Apple Bluetooth devices would connect), and that’s probably the reason why they forgot to add an explicit check for that in the Fast Connect code paths.


Once connected, an attacker can do everything a legitimate device can do, listen to the microphone, play music, see and pause the music that is currently playing from another connected device, or do various things the AAP protocol can do (like changing settings, crashing the AirPods by sending badly formatted messages, and a lot more things I haven’t looked into).

Old Man Yells At iCloud, by Joe Rosensteel, Unauthoritative Pronouncements

Apple seemingly has tasked multiple groups inside of the company with coming up with solutions to the problems presented by files, which has led to a weird patchwork of policies, services, and OS-level features that differ on each of their platforms and each of their apps.


Fortnite And Epic Game Store Submitted To Apple For Launch In The EU, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The company says it is has submitted both the game Fortnite, and the Epic Games Store, to Apple for notarization, as they near a launch.

How Apple Is Borrowing From Its 1980s Playbook When It Comes To AI, by Emily Bary, MarketWatch

“We see many parallels between Apple Intelligence and an Apple product from 40 years ago,” Yang wrote in a note to clients. “Apple is setting a new standard for hardware and software experience for a technology implementation that can appear confusing, intimidating, and jarring for an average consumer.”

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The initial success of abstracting the file system away in iLife apps -- iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto -- did not translate to any resemblance of success with the a general approach in iPhone and iPad. On hindsight, this is quite a difficult thing to do when the whole world is living with files and folders.

Yes, I also understand the need to add file extensions to Mac OS X, but I am still not happy about it.


Thanks for reading.

The Off-Label Edition Saturday, June 29, 2024

Apple Watch Is Becoming Doctors’ Favorite Medical Device, by Christopher Mims, Wall Street Journal

Doctors are using the Apple Watch as part of how they diagnose and help their patients manage disease—whether or not it’s been specifically approved for such applications by the Food and Drug Administration or other regulatory bodies.


So many off-label uses for the Apple Watch are already possible because the device continuously gathers activity and heart-rate data. It can perform an electrocardiogram when a user initiates that process. All this data can then be exported and analyzed without Apple or anyone else intervening.

Compared with previous methods of studying patients, the continuous monitoring made possible by the Apple Watch generates an avalanche of potentially useful data, says Dr. Corinna Zygourakis, a neurosurgeon who is conducting a study in how the watch can be used to monitor people after spinal surgery.


Lightroom Classic 13.4, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Adobe has issued Lightroom Classic 13.4, updating the desktop-focused photo cataloging and editing app with support for new cameras and lenses (including the front and back cameras of the recently released iPad Air and iPad Pro).

This App Lets You Make Custom Apple Music Playlist Covers, by Pranay Parab, Lifehacker

When you make playlists in Apple Music, the service lets you use a custom cover. You can either choose a photo from your library or pick one of the covers it generates. I tend to pick the latter, but over the past few months, I've become bored with Apple's playlist cover options—choosing from the same six templates gets boring after a certain point. That's when I discovered Denim, an app that lets you make custom Apple Music playlist covers.


Highlighting The Latest Apple Developer Academy Graduating Class, by Michigan State University

The Michigan State University Apple Developer Academy in Detroit celebrated its third graduating cohort after students completed a 10-month program where they received app development training, critical business skills and preparation for careers in the growing app economy.


Microsoft’s AI Boss Thinks It’s Perfectly OK To Steal Content If It’s On The Open Web, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

Microsoft AI boss Mustafa Suleyman incorrectly believes that the moment you publish anything on the open web, it becomes “freeware” that anyone can freely copy and use.

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I find it... well, interesting, that proponents of EU's DMA are quick to label Apple as anti-competitive, when the whole idea of the DMA is to limit the types of mobile phones one can exist in the EU.


Thanks for reading.

The Spatial-Experiences Edition Friday, June 28, 2024

Apple Vision Pro Arrives In China Mainland, Hong Kong, Japan, And Singapore, by Apple

Today, Apple Vision Pro arrived in Apple Store locations across China mainland, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore. Vision Pro seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world to deliver powerful spatial experiences that transform the way people work, collaborate, connect, relive memories, enjoy entertainment, and much more.

Apple’s First Retail Location In Malaysia Opens To The Public, by Foster + Partners

Designed as a glazed dome, the 87 x 87-foot (26.5 x 26.5 meter) roof transitions seamlessly between square and round geometries from the base to the top. Responding to Malaysia’s tropical climate, it is shaded by a series of fins that are carefully angled to control solar radiation. The roof appears to be solid at the lower levels, becoming more permeable as visitors rise through the store. The lowest fin spans outward to shield the glass façade and create a shaded walkway around the edge of the store. A central glazed oculus, with 30% ceramic frit, brings soft daylight into the interior and incorporates a dynamic lighting feature.

HBCU Students Chart Their Career Paths In America’s Music City, by Apple

Empathy and storytelling. Motivational and strategic leadership. These are just a handful of the qualities participants in this year’s PROPEL Center Arts & Entertainment Industry Accelerator identified in their “What’s Your Superpower?” course, designed to empower students to uncover and embrace their authentic selves throughout their careers.


Python Grapples With Apple App Store Rejections, by Joe Brockmeier,

The problem at hand is that Apple's macOS App Store is automatically rejecting apps that contain the string "itms-services". That is the URL scheme for apps that want to ask Apple's iTunes Store to install another app. Software distributed via Apple's macOS store is sandboxed, and sandboxed apps are prohibited from using URLs with the itms-services scheme. That string is in the urllib parser in Python's standard library, though an application may never actually use the itms-services handler.


It is frustrating that free-software projects like Python have to waste time finding ways around opaque review processes just so developers can write software for non-free platforms.


Apple’s Vision Platform Needs To Do More Than Get Cheaper, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

But price isn’t the platform’s only challenge. The lack of software and content is also huge.

Apple Set To Pay Away Batterygate And Audio Defect Lawsuits, by Thomas Claburn, The Register

Apple is preparing to settle two lawsuits next month over alleged iPhone flaws, provided the respective judges agree to the terms of the deals.

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No, I did not buy a Vision Pro. Nor did I see any demos at any of the Apple Stores. My wallet is not that fat.

(I've decided going to an Apple Store is not an activity that I enjoy anymore. But that's a story for another day.)


Thanks for reading.

The Repairability-and-Longevity Edition Thursday, June 27, 2024

Longevity, By Design, by Apple

The ability to repair a device and access repair services are important considerations when designing long-lasting products. However optimizing for repairability alone may not yield the best outcome for our customers or the environment. Apple strives to improve the longevity of devices by following a set of design principles that help resolve tensions between repairability and other important factors — including impact to the environment; expanding access to repair services; preserving the safety, security, and privacy of our customers; and enabling transparency in repair. This also requires careful analysis of anonymized historical data and predictions of future customer usage so that priority is given to those product modules that will potentially have the highest frequency of needing repair.

Note: This is a PDF document.

Apple Expands Self Service Repair Diagnostics Support To Europe, by Apple

Apple Diagnostics for Self Service Repair — a software tool that enables users to troubleshoot issues — is now available in 32 European countries, including the U.K., France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Launched in the U.S. in December 2023, Diagnostics gives users the same ability as Apple Authorized Service Providers and Independent Repair Providers to test products for optimal parts functionality and performance, and it helps identify which parts may need repair. With this expansion, Apple Diagnostics for Self Service Repair now supports iPhone, Mac, and Studio Display models in 33 countries and 24 languages.

Apple Says iPhones Will Better Support Third-Party Displays And Batteries Later This Year, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple today published a lengthy whitepaper that highlights the company's approach to device repairability and longevity. In the document, Apple revealed that iPhones will better support third-party displays and batteries later in 2024.

Apple Shares New Stats On Product Longevity; Touts iPhone's Resale Value Vs Android, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Alongside expanding its latest changes to the Self Service Repair program to Europe, Apple today has shared a new whitepaper, “Longevity, by Design.” The paper focuses on Apple’s approach to longevity, its principles on repairability, and “the truth about parts pairing.”


Lil Wayne & LeBron James Turn Up To "A Milli" In Beats Pill AD, by Bernard "Beanz" Smalls, HipHopWired

The now Apple-owned company announced the return of the device with a new ad featuring the NBA champion/multimedia mogul and iconic Hip-Hop star.

In Your Face Provides Persistent Notifications For Events And Tasks, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

In Your Face ensures you don’t miss timed events or reminders by displaying the mother of all modal dialogs. We’re talking about a themed full-screen alert that takes over the entire screen and requires that you click the OK button to dismiss it and return to using your Mac. Buttons at the bottom of the alert also let you snooze the alert for prespecified amounts of time or until the event starts.

'DockDoor' Lets You Preview Windows On The Mac Dock, by Justin Pot, Lifehacker

Hover over any dock icon and you will see a real-time preview of what's happening in that application. If there are two windows open in that app you will see both windows, and you can click on it to open it.


Instruction Manuals: In Memoriam, by Ian Bogost, The Atlantic

Just the other day, I had to read the manual. I’d borrowed my neighbor’s hammer drill to make some holes in a masonry wall, and I didn’t know how to swap the bits. Fortunately, the drill’s carrying case came with a booklet of instructions, which I followed with great success. Many holes were thus produced. This got me thinking: I used to read the manual fairly often; now I almost never do. I own a smartphone, a handful of laptops, and a barrage of smart-home gadgets; for several days this winter, I also played around with Apple’s brand-new, ultra-high-definition VR headset. Yet not a single one of these devices, each a million times more complicated than the drill, came with any useful printed matter—usually just a “Quick Start” booklet and, if I was lucky, a QR code that linked to further help online.

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We have always talk about the tradeoffs between security and convenience. Now, Apple is introducing (not for the first time) the tradeoffs between repairability and longevity, with a dash of security and privacy thrown in.

Of course, not everyone will fully buy into Apple's story (even me), but I think the white paper is well written, intelligent, and clear.

A lot of the arguments that Apple is facing -- be it EU and DMA, DOJ's lawsuit, or any other host of issues -- or complex and multifaceted. Don't just shout that Apple is simply evil and spiteful and intentionally breaks laws for profits and controls, without acknowledging the complications and complexities involved. (I've heard from quite a lot from such folks from podcasts and web sites.)


Thanks for reading.

The Still-Outstanding Edition Wednesday, June 26, 2024

California Apple Manufacturing Facility Has 19 ‘Potential Violations’ Of EPA Regulations, by Jules Roscoe, 404 Media

An Apple manufacturing facility in Santa Clara, California is misclassifying its hazardous waste and has more than a dozen other “potential violations” of environmental regulations, according to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency. The report, released Friday, found that the site was also improperly treating corrosive chemicals and filtering airborne compounds.

The report, which the EPA said is part of an ongoing investigation of the facility, comes after two inspection visits to Apple’s Santa Clara manufacturing plant in August of 2023 and one follow-up visit in January, based on a “Tip and Complaint from the public.” It details 19 “potential violations” of EPA hazardous waste regulations, five of which Apple resolved in early September, and many of which are “still outstanding” as of the end of April, when the report was issued. The EPA published the documents on its website last week.

Beats Pill

Beats Pill Bluetooth Speaker Makes A Comeback With Improved Sound, Water Resistance, And A Lower Price Tag, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

After several months of teasing, Beats is officially announcing the return of the Beats Pill today with a host of upgrades and a lower price point of $149.99. The new Pill features a completely redesigned speaker system consisting of a single tweeter and a single racetrack woofer, a removable lanyard, USB-C and Bluetooth connectivity, 24 hours of battery life, and IP67 water and sweat resistance.

Beats Pill Review: Much Easier To Swallow This Time, by Chris Welch, The Verge

There’s really not much to dislike about the remastered Beats Pill if you can get past its mono output — and I think many people will have no trouble doing so. It works well and can withstand any outdoor adventures you bring it along for. The battery lasts a long time, and you get plenty of bonus features beyond Bluetooth playback.

The Beats Pill Is Back And Better Than Ever, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The Beats Pill gets almost everything right for a revival of an abandoned, fan-favorite product. It stays true to its iconic roots while also making several notable improvements. That includes better sound quality, improved battery life, improved connectivity, and USB-C.


Apple Confirms What’s New With Latest AirPods Software Update, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In a new update posted to its website, Apple says that this new firmware updates addresses a Bluetooth vulnerability that could’ve allowed an attacker to gain access to your AirPods or Beats.

Tap To Pay On iPhone Now Available In Germany, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today announced that Tap to Pay on iPhone is available in Germany, providing a way for independent sellers, small businesses, and larger merchants in the country to use an ‌iPhone‌ as a contactless payment terminal.

Roboform Review: Password Manager With Plenty Of Features For A Reasonable Price, by Martyn Casserly, Macworld

A solid password manager with a good selection of features and reliable security protection. The interface isn’t as modern feeling as some competitors, but that shouldn’t detract from a service that will deliver all that most people need.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT For Mac Is Now Available To All Users, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

The ChatGPT Mac app mostly acts as a desktop window version of the web app, allowing you to carry on back-and-forth prompt-and-response conversations. You can select between the GPT-3.5, GPT-4, and GPT-4o models. It also supports the more specialized GPTs available in the web version, including the DALL-E image generator and custom GPTs.


Microsoft Edge Has An ‘Enhanced Security’ Mode That Disables The JIT, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

You might think it would be just fine for iOS to work just like MacOS, where you can install whatever software you want. But Apple, expressly, does not. iOS is designed to be significantly more secure than MacOS.

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Can we also get some batteries for the HomePod minis?

(Okay, I have never used a HomePod before, but I assume they are too big to be portable?)

(Also, can HomePods work outside of their usual Wi-fi connections?)


Thanks for reading.

The Not-the-Status-Quo Edition Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Preparing For The Era Of Orchestrated Apps, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

While it’s easy to say that apps and the App Store helped make Apple what it is, and therefore, the company will always be inclined to maintain the status quo… the fact is that if Apple thinks the best way for it to survive and flourish is to atomize app functionality into App Intents and drive it all with a user-driven AI assistant, it’ll do that. And it won’t think twice about it, no matter the consequences for app developers.

Apple Spurned Idea Of iPhone AI Partnership With Meta Months Ago, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple decided not to move forward with formal Meta discussions in part because it doesn’t see that company’s privacy practices as stringent enough, according to the people. Apple has spent years criticizing Meta’s technology, and integrating Llama into the iPhone would have been a stark about-face.


Apple Announces First Premium Podcast, Available To Listen Early Access With Apple TV+ Subscription, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple’s new podcast series, ‘My Divo’, will be released first behind a paywall, accessible via the Apple Podcasts app when the user connects their Apple TV+ subscription. For non-subscribers, the episodes will be released on a weekly basis.

Experiencing Art Immersion With The Vision Pro, by Michael E. Cohen, TidBITS

What does the casual visitor see? Big, uncluttered rooms with masterpieces hanging on the walls. You don’t have to navigate around other people or feel watched by guards—you always have the place to yourself. The museum is, as advertised, immersive: while you may be sitting on your sofa in the real world, in the virtual world, you’re standing in the museum surrounded by artwork. You can approach any artwork using simple eye and hand gestures or physically walk up to one.


How I Built One Of The Biggest BIN Lookup Sites In The World, And How It Was Killed, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

This is a big one, and this would be something I would be less lighthearted about if this was how I paid rent and put food on the table. But pinning your business to someone else is pretty risky, especially when it's something that is, there's no contract involved, there's no relationship, there's no any sort of guarantees that anything will be around forever.


Apple Disables WebKit’s JIT In Lockdown Mode, Offering A Hint Why BrowserEngineKit Is Complex And Restricted, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Apple has permitted third-party browsers on iOS for over a decade, but requires all browsers to use the system’s WebKit rendering engine. One take on Apple’s longstanding prohibition against third-party rendering engines is that they’re protecting their own interests with Safari. More or less that they’re just being dicks about it. But there really is a security angle to it. JavaScript engines run much faster with JIT compilation, but JITs inherently pose security challenges. There’s a whole section in the BrowserEngineKit docs specifically about JIT compilation.

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I hope app developers not only pay attention to actions that can be performed by App Intents, but they also provide App Intents that return data.

For example, the last time I tried out a lot of the existing podcast players, I found that a lot of them does provide shortcuts that allow me to, say, resume playing podcasts in a particular playlist. None of them, as far as I can tell, provided any shortcuts to query the number and duration of podcast episodes in any particular playlist.


Thanks for reading.

The In-Breach Edition Monday, June 24, 2024

EU Says Apple Anti-steering Rules In Breach Of DMA, Officially Investigating Core Technology Fee Terms, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The European Commission has formally announced today its preliminary view that Apple is in breach of the Digital Markets Act, surrounding App Store anti-steering rules.

Additionally, the commission is also officially investigating Apple’s ‘alternative business terms’ that allow app developers to release apps outside of the App Store. This includes whether the Core Technology Fee per-install payment structure, and how many steps it takes to allow and install an app marketplace, are in compliance with the DMA rules.

Coming Soon?

How Apple Plans To Turn The Vision Pro Into A Multiproduct Business, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

This cheaper device, codenamed N107, is now the focus of Apple’s Vision Products Group. The company hopes to bring that product to market as early as the end of 2025 — a plan that’s been in place since before the Vision Pro was first unveiled last year.

The problem: Apple is struggling to get the cost down while retaining critical features. It’s dealing with some difficult trade-offs.


The New Final Cut Pro Hooked Me On iPad Video Editing, by Vjeran Pavic, The Verge

Apple calls this a “touch-first” app, and I finally understand what that means. Once you’re past the learning curve and once you get a hang of the controls and once you’re aware of its limitations, you start to actually enjoy it and have fun. Apple isn’t trying to replicate the Final Cut desktop experience — it’s building toward a new one. And you can see in the way you interact with the jog wheel and the way that the sidebar comes in so you can edit with your left hand.

I found that using the Final Cut Pro with my hands is by far the most immersive way to edit. It’s all right there at your fingertips, literally. There is something about this more tangible approach that I’m starting to find charming, even if it’s not as efficient as a mouse and keyboard.


The Unbearable Sorrow Of Apple Weather, by Dr. Drang, And Now It's All This

So what’s going on with the colored temperature bars? How do you decide where they start and stop when the slots in which they run vary from day to day?

This Is The iPhone Ringtone That Makes People Cringe, by Krystal Hur, CNN

There are musical elements to “By the Seaside” that make it difficult to listen to, says Rodriguez. There’s no discernible key. The song doesn’t end on a downbeat, so there’s no feeling of resolution when it briefly pauses before repeating.

But a bigger factor of users’ emotional responses is the “uncanny valley” element to the tune, says Rodriguez.

Apple Unfairly Sacked ‘Genius’ Over Covid Joke At Chinese Colleague, by Matthew Field, The Telegraph

The sacked worker successfully argued that what Apple referred to as racial “banter” was common at the London shop where he worked and the iPhone-maker was wrong to claim there was a zero tolerance policy in place.

Judge Graham Hodgsen found there were “significant deficiencies” in Apple’s investigation into the incident and said the tech giant failed to properly enforce its bullying and harassment rules.

The Eternal Truth Of Markdown, by Scott Gilbertson, Wired

It looked at the world as it actually was and built on the informal conventions people were using. Markdown took common quirks of writing plaintext emails or message-board posts—like wrapping a word in asterisks to *emphasize* it—and extended those formatting customs. It did not come in and declare an entirely new syntax and ask people to adopt it.

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I am in a place that is almost at the equator, and the temperature doesn't change from day to day. So, I've never really care and notice about the temperature in Apple's weather app. (Or any weather apps for that matter.)

What I care most is whether it will rain soon, and should I bring along my big umbrella if I am going out. Sadly, the will-it-rain-in-the-next-hour feature that was in Dark Sky which Apple purchased never made it to all these other parts of the world.


However, with climate change and global warming and heat waves and heat domes, I may need to pay attention to the temperatures soon.


Thanks for reading.

The Selling-Through-Apple-Intelligence Edition Sunday, June 23, 2024

Apple, Meta Have Discussed An AI Partnership, by Salvador Rodriguez, Aaron Tilley and Miles Kruppa, Wall Street Journal

Facebook’s parent has held discussions with Apple about integrating Meta Platforms’ generative AI model into Apple Intelligence, the recently announced AI system for iPhones and other devices, according to people familiar with the matter.


In its talks with other AI companies, Apple hasn’t sought for either party to pay the other, the people said. Instead, the AI companies can sell premium subscriptions to their services through Apple Intelligence. As it does on its app store, the iPhone maker would keep a cut of subscription revenue from its devices.

AI Is Already Wreaking Havoc On Global Power Systems, by Bloomberg

The almost overnight surge in electricity demand from data centers is now outstripping the available power supply in many parts of the world, according to interviews with data center operators, energy providers and tech executives. That dynamic is leading to years-long waits for businesses to access the grid as well as growing concerns of outages and price increases for those living in the densest data center markets.

The dramatic increase in power demands from Silicon Valley’s growth-at-all-costs approach to AI also threatens to upend the energy transition plans of entire nations and the clean energy goals of trillion-dollar tech companies. In some countries, including Saudi Arabia, Ireland and Malaysia, the energy required to run all the data centers they plan to build at full capacity exceeds the available supply of renewable energy, according to a Bloomberg analysis of the latest available data.

Inside Netflix’s Bet On Advanced Video Encoding, by Janko Roettgers, The Verge

Aaron has spent the past 13 years optimizing the way Netflix encodes its movies and TV shows. The work she and her team have done allows the company to deliver better-looking streams over slower connections and has resulted in 50 percent bandwidth savings for 4K streams alone, according to Aaron. Netflix’s encoding team has also contributed to industrywide efforts to improve streaming, including the development of the AV1 video codec and its eventual successor.

Now, Aaron is getting ready to tackle what’s next for Netflix: Not content with just being a service for binge-watching, the company ventured into cloud gaming and livestreaming last year. So far, Netflix has primarily dabbled in one-off live events like the SAG Awards. But starting next year, the company will stream WWE RAW live every Monday. The streamer nabbed the wrestling franchise from Comcast’s USA Network, where it has long been the No. 1 rated show, regularly drawing audiences of around 1.7 million viewers. Satisfying that audience week after week poses some very novel challenges.

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If OpenAI is willing to 'give away' their AI chat bot to Apple, it seems quite likely that there will be others that will follow.

Will there be any EU AI companies that is willing to come on board with Apple too? If one is to trust Apple at its words, there seems to be quite a bit of uncertainty when Apple will launch integrations with AI chat bots in EU, and also perhaps quite a bit of uncertainty whether EU is okay with Apple's integration approach.

And if the EU is okay with this approach, will we also see Apple slowly moving the App Store in EU to a negotiate-behind-closed-doors approach?

(Five years ago, Apple may well have gone with a Siri App Store, I imagine.)


Thanks for reading.

The Regulatory-Issues Edition Saturday, June 22, 2024

Apple Intelligence Features Not Coming To European Union At Launch Due To DMA, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today said that European customers will not get access to the Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring, and SharePlay Screen Sharing features that are coming to the ‌iPhone‌, iPad, and Mac this September due to regulatory issues related to the Digital Markets Act.

In a statement to Financial Times, Apple said that there will be a delay as it works to figure out how to make the new functionality compatible with the European Union's competition rules.

Apple Delays Launch Of AI-powered Features In Europe, Blaming EU Rules, by Blake Montgomery, The Guardian

In a statement to Bloomberg, the European Commission said Apple would be welcome in the EU provided it followed the laws there.

The EU Is Reaping What It Sows With The DMA: Uncertainty, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Under repeated threats of fines up to $40–80 billion dollars (10–20 percent of worldwide revenue), it would be recklessly irresponsible for Apple, or any other designated “gatekeeper”, to launch any new services or integrated features in the EU without absolutely certainty that those features are compliant with the DMA. And the nature of the European Commission is that they do not issue such assurances in advance. This is not spite. Spite would be saying these features will never come to the EU while the DMA remains in place. But a delayed rollout is the only rational response to the DMA: extreme caution in the face of the law’s by-design uncertainty and severe penalties.

Apple Says It Will Prevent E.U. Users From Accessing Select New Features, Including Apple Intelligence, Until It Has Achieved DMA Compliance, by Nick Heer, Pixel Envy

It seems like even the possibility of lawbreaking has made Apple cautious — and I am not sure why that is seen as an inherently bad thing. This is one of the world’s most powerful corporations, and the products and services it rolls out impact a billion-something people. That position deserves significant legal scrutiny.

EU Users Won’t Get Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring, Or The New SharePlay Screen Sharing Features This Year, Thanks To The DMA, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

The EU’s self-induced slide into a technological backwater continues.

Apple Says iOS 18 Beta 2 Will Be Released On Monday With Two New Features, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has confirmed that iOS 18 beta 2 will be available next Monday. That’s exactly two weeks after iOS 18 was announced at WWDC 2024. Notably, Apple has confirmed that there are two new features that will be available in iOS 18 beta 2: iPhone Mirroring and SharePlay screen sharing.

Apple Intelligence

Apple Intelligence, by Benjamin Mayo

However, what makes it profound is the intentionality of the design, and the way in which these features are being realised. The marketing is straightforward and easy for people to understand, and the features are integrated naturally into the operating system surfaces that people already use.

Training Large Language Models On The Public Web, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

The best argument against Apple’s use of public web pages for model training is that they trained first, but only after announcing Apple Intelligence last week issued the instructions for blocking Applebot for AI training purposes. Apple should clarify whether they plan to re-index the public data they used for training before Apple Intelligence ships in beta this summer. Clearly, a website that bans Applebot-Extended shouldn’t have its data in Apple’s training corpus simply because Applebot crawled it before Apple Intelligence was even announced.


Vision Pro Bug Fixed; Websites Can No Longer Fill Your Room With Bats, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple has fixed a Vision Pro bug which would have allowed a website to fill your room with an unlimited number of virtual 3D objects. Those objects – flying bats in the proof of concept – would then persist even after you quit Safari.

Logitech MX Master 3S For Mac Review: Seven-button Wonder Mouse, by Cliff Joseph and Simon Jary, Macworld

With seven highly customizable buttons, smooth intuitive vertical and horizontal scroll wheels, Mac-friendly app, and a great grip for right-handed people, the Logitech MX Master 3S for Mac is one of our most favored Mac mice and a true competitor to Apple’s more basic Magic Mouse.

This App Is Like Screen Time On Steroids, Making You Follow Your iPhone Limits, by Ryan Christoffel, 9to5Mac

I love what Roots offers users: the data to see how device use could be more fruitfully repurposed, and the tools to actually help you follow your technology use goals.


Apple The Exchange TRX Now Open In Kuala Lumpur, by Apple

Apple’s first retail location in Malaysia opened today in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s new Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) central business district.

Typing To AI Assistants Might Be The Way To Go, by Victoria Song, The Verge

Maybe one day, it won’t feel weird to talk to a chatbot out loud while walking down the street. For most people, that day isn’t today. And until such a time comes, I’ll happily type to Siri instead.

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"If your app is rejected, we have a Review Board that you can appeal to. If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps."

You folks need to stop arguing in the press. Go get a room and argue in private. This is getting embarrassing.


Thanks for reading.

The Production-Studio Edition Friday, June 21, 2024

New Versions Of Final Cut Pro For iPad And Mac Available Today, by Apple

Today, Apple released Final Cut Pro for iPad 2, transforming iPad into an even more powerful production studio, and Final Cut Pro for Mac 10.8 with important artificial intelligence-driven organizational updates that make workflows more efficient.

Apple TV App Adds New 'Catch Up' Feature For Live Streaming Sports In MLS Season Pass, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

When joining a live stream for a game in progress, viewers can catch up on the action by watching a series of clips of highlights that have already happened during the game.


1Password Launches Recovery Codes And Simplified Sign-In Process, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

1Password is improving the sign-in process on new devices and adding the ability to recover an account when a master password and secret key are lost.

Proton Drive Now Includes Its Secure And Private Photo Backup On iOS, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Its end-to-end encrypted Proton Drive app for iPhone now offers automatic photo and video backup to securely store and protect your most important memories.

Habo Is A Simple (And Free) Habit Tracking App, by Justin Pot, Lifehacker

What I really appreciate about this app is its simplicity—and the fact that it's completely free. Too many productivity tools become needlessly complicated as they pursue monetization. Habo does what you need it to do and nothing else.

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I have quite a few television shows that I stopped watching halfway. (Yes, some of these shows are from Apple TV+.) The completist in me is now asking Apple: can I also catch up on the season by watching a series of clips?

(I assume these clips are AI-generated? I see the hype has caught up with me.)


Thanks for reading.

The Domestic-Partner Edition Thursday, June 20, 2024

A Marathon, Not A Sprint: Apple's AI Push Faces Big Challenges In China, by Arjun Kharpal, CNBC

Under Chinese rules, Apple would likely need to get its AI model approved by authorities.

Secondly, one of the biggest announcements this month was that Apple's voice assistant Siri can tap into OpenAI's ChatGPT for certain requests — but ChatGPT is banned in China, meaning Apple would have to find an equivalent domestic partner.

Adobe Says It Won't Train AI Using Artists' Work. Creatives Aren't Convinced, by Tiffany Ng, Wired

Caught in the crossfire of intellectual property lawsuits, the ambiguous language used to previously update the terms shed light on a climate of acute skepticism among artists, many of whom over rely on Adobe for their work. “They already broke our trust,” says Jon Lam, a senior storyboard artist at Riot Games, referring to how award-winning artist Brian Kesinger discovered generated images in the style of his art being sold under his name on their stock image site, without his consent. Earlier this month, the estate of late photographer Ansel Adams publicly scolded Adobe for allegedly selling generative AI imitations of his work.

Europe Scrambles For Relevance In The Age Of AI, by Peter Guest, Wired

The EU simply doesn’t have the platform companies with the scale and reach of a Microsoft or a Google. To compete in AI would mean going back a couple of generations to solve an older problem. “Marc Andreessen said in 2011, software's eating the world, software's eating traditional industries … AI is accelerating that,” Sarlin says. “Unless we ensure that we have these Big Tech, sizable software product companies in Europe, we're not going to be able to create value in Europe with AI.”

New in Malaysia

Apple The Exchange TRX Opens Saturday, June 22, In Kuala Lumpur, by Apple

“We live for moments when we can surprise and delight our customers, and we’re excited to do that in Malaysia with the opening of our first store in the country, Apple The Exchange TRX,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail.


Apple The Exchange TRX connects the mall’s central atrium to a lush rooftop park that wraps around the store’s upper level. Emitting a warm glow at night, the three-dimensional layered roof consists of horizontal glass panels and shading blades to reduce the sun’s rays. A central glazed oculus brings daylight into the interior and includes a dynamic artificial-lighting feature.


Apple Store Back To School Deal: Get Up To $150 Gift Card With Purchase Of Mac Or iPad, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Eligible students and staff can get a free gift card with the purchase of a new Mac or iPad. The gift card is in addition to the usual education discount in items sold through the Apple Store for Education.

At $5 Per Month, Is Apple’s Logic Pro 2 For iPad The Best DAW For Tablets?, by Hollin Jones, MusicTech

Combining desktop-class tools and workflows with an innovative, approachable design, additions such as new Session Player instruments and stem separation bolster its capabilities and bring it even closer to the functionality of the Mac version, with which it can exchange projects via iCloud.

Ultimately, Logic for iPad is powerful enough that you really can use it for end-to-end music production, entirely on its own.


The Short, Happy Reign Of CD-ROM, by Harry McCracken, Fast Company

As the web got faster, slicker, and more readily accessible, CD-ROMs came to look pretty mundane, and eventually faded from memory. Myst, once the best-selling PC game of all time, might be the only 1990s disc that retains a prominent spot in our shared cultural consciousness. (Full disclosure: I do have a friend who can be relied upon to fondly bring up Microsoft’s Cinemania movie guide about once a year for no apparent reason.)

Revisiting the discs that defined the mid-1990s—all of which are incompatible with modern operating systems—isn’t easy. To get some of them up and running again, I downloaded virtual CD-ROM files from the Internet Archive and used them with Windows 3.1 on my iPad Pro, courtesy of a piece of software Apple removed from the App Store in 2021. Spending time with titles such as Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia and It’s a Wonderful Life Multi-Media Edition, three decades after they last commanded my attention, was a Proustian rush.

How Sandwich Streamed The Talk Show Live In 3D On Vision Pro, by Joe Rosensteel, Six Colors

During last week’s WWDC festivities, John Gruber interviewed Apple executives on stage for The Talk Show Live, as he’s done for years. This time it was different because people at home with a Vision Pro could watch the event live from the Theater app by Sandwich Vision, streamed by SpatialGen. (The stream is still available to watch after the fact in the Theater app.)

Sandwich is Adam Lisagor’s media empire specializing in commercial production, and Sandwich Vision is the Vision Pro development arm. I had the chance to talk to Adam, Andy Roth, and Dan Sturm. Andy is the developer for Sandwich Vision’s Television and Theater apps. Dan is the visual effects supervisor for Sandwich.

Qualcomm Agrees To Pay $75 Million To End Lawsuit Linked To Apple Complaints, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

Qualcomm’s shareholders have managed to achieve something that Apple and government regulators across the globe tried to and failed to do: get Qualcomm to pay up over its aggressive licensing practices.

In a court filing on Tuesday, Qualcomm said it would agree to pay $75 million to settle a lawsuit brought by shareholders, who claim that the company misled them about how its business practices worked and artificially inflated its stock price as a result. The settlement was earlier reported by Reuters.

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There are a lot of energy put in to make Big Techs do what you want them to do, and not do what you don't want them to do. Not enough effort, however, is put into getting more Big Techs into the world. Yesterday, you are worried about dating apps, today you are worried about AI, and tomorrow, who knows what you will be worried about. With the former, but not enough of the latter, you will always be worried.


Thanks for reading.

The Turning-Into-Dust Edition Wednesday, June 19, 2024

When Convenience Becomes A Liability, by Matthew Haughey, A Whole Lotta Nothing

Shooting everything digitally made taking lots of candid snapshots of our lives cheap and easy, but maintaining decades of archives is no small feat. On top of that, photos can be so personal, so invasive, and so revealing that very few services even let you share entire libraries with anyone.

I have no idea what the long term plans are for people in my situation, where you have over 2 terabytes containing hundreds of thousands of photos and video memories that can all potentially turn to dust in an instant if I happen to unexpectedly perish anytime soon.

Apple Is Bringing A.I. To Your Personal Life, Like It Or Not, by Kyle Chayka, New Yorker

Algorithmic feeds—driven by machine learning, an earlier form of A.I.—push their consumers toward generic content and encourage creators to tailor their work toward the lowest common denominator. They prove our tendency to look in whatever direction machines point our attention. With A.I. on our phones, a similar force will exert itself on our lives even outside of social-media platforms. We will rapidly enter a world in which we don’t know whether a text message was written by the person sending it or by Apple Intelligence, a world in which our phones help shape who we’re in touch with and how we recall our own memories.

Apple Has 'Very Serious' Issues Under Sweeping EU Digital Rules, Competition Chief Says, by Arjun Kharpal, CNBC

"We have a number of Apple issues; I find them very serious. I was very surprised that we would have such suspicions of Apple being non-compliant," Vestager told CNBC's Silvia Amaro.


"[Apple] are very important because a lot of good business happens through the App Store, happens through payment mechanisms, so of course, even though you know I can say this is not what was expected of such a company, of course we will enforce exactly with the same top priority as with any other business."

Beats Solo Buds

Review: Beats Solo Buds Set A New Standard, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Beats says that Beats Solo Buds offer up to 18 hours of battery life. When I first heard this number, I thought it was too good to be true and asked Beats to confirm, which they happily did.

And to be ultra-clear: that’s 18 hours of battery life from the Beats Solo Buds themselves. There’s no marketing trickery going on here. In fact, the case included with Beats Solo Buds doesn’t feature an integrated battery. Instead, when you want to charge Solo Buds, you place them in the case, then connect the case to a USB-C cable. Beats says a 5-minute charge will get you an hour of battery life.

The Beats Solo Buds Have A Great Look And An Even Better Price, by Chris Welch, The Verge

The Solo Buds are the first true wireless earbuds from Beats to cost under $100. They omit features like noise cancellation and a battery case in favor of lengthy 18-hour playback time.


Apple Launches 'Help Me Choose' Website For Finding The Right Mac, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today debuted a new Mac website that's designed to help potential customers find the ideal Mac. The "Help Me Choose" site asks users a few questions and then suggests the Mac that will best meet the user's needs.

SuperDuper! Review, by Chris Barylick, Macworld

Shirt Pocket has always come through with solid updates, pinned down bugs when they surfaced and supported new protocols introduced by Apple. SuperDuper! is one of the very best local cloning and restoration apps available for the Mac.

Adobe’s New Terms Of Service Say It Won’t Use Your Work To Train AI, by Emma Roth, The Verge

For the past couple of weeks, Adobe has faced intense backlash over changes to its terms of service agreement — and now, it’s trying to patch things up. On Tuesday, Adobe announced a tweaked version of its terms of service agreement that makes it clear the company will not train AI on user content stored locally or in the cloud.

Habbo Launches Classic Version Of Game On Mac In Throwback To 2005, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Habbo Hotel Origins is nearly a carbon copy of the game as it existed in 2005, complete with nostalgic features like the console for messaging friends, a purse for in-game credits, and a virtual hand that holds your in-game items (aka furni).

Retro Videogame Streaming Service Antstream To Launch On The App Store Next Week, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Antstream is a retro game streaming service with a catalog of over 1,300 videogames. The service, which is available on multiple other platforms in the EU, US, and Brazil, will bring its licensed library of games to the iPhone and iPad next week on June 27th.


First Look At Malaysia’s First Apple Store At The Exchange TRX, Four Days To Its Official Launch, by Dhesegaan Bala Krishnan, Malay Mail

Lucky passersby got a sneak peek at the country’s first Apple Store at The Exchange TRX this morning, four days before it officially opens on June 22 this Saturday.

Nintendo Just Showed Why You Shouldn't Ignore Apple Arcade, by Giovanni Colantonio, Digital Trends

Apple Arcade has been one of gaming’s better values since its launch, and games like Fantasian show why. You could have played it three years ago, subscribing to the service for a handful of months for less than $30. You would have gotten access to plenty of other games during that time, including a wealth of indie and mobile classics.

Report: Apple Halts Work On Vision Pro, Aims To Release Cheaper Vision Headset Next Year, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple is reportedly working on a cheaper, cut-down version of the Apple Vision Pro, scheduled to arrive by the end of 2025, according to The Information. At the same time, the publication says development work on a second-generation high-end model of the Vision Pro has been shelved, seemingly to prioritize the cheaper hardware path.

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I find it interesting that, with all their money and clout, Apple doesn't seem to have enough people to work on both Apple Vision and Apple Vision Pro. I don't know what is the reason, or why was this rumor was leaked, or whether this rumor is true, but I am reminded again that computers and their software are some of the most complicated things that humans have ever invented.

Now, pardon me, I have to go and play Backgammon with a random person on my computer.


Thanks for reading.

The Astonishing-Levels Edition Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Examining Apple Intelligence, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

As far as I can tell, Apple Intelligence won’t be treading on anyone’s lawn. If you don’t want to use it, just ignore it, like all the other features that aren’t relevant to how you prefer to use technology. But I have talked with people who find Apple Intelligence some of the more exciting work Apple has done on the software side in years. Apple’s hardware has hit astonishing levels of performance, but the software hasn’t given most people new capabilities that are possible only because of that processing power.

Apple Just Made Your App Obsolete? You've Been 'Sherlocked.', by Bobby Allyn, NPR

When NPR reached out to several apps analysts said were Sherlocked, the app companies did not express outrage. Instead, the apps issued statements saying they welcome competition and respect Apple.

Suing Adobe

US Sues Adobe For ‘Deceiving’ Subscriptions That Are Too Hard To Cancel, by Emma Roth, The Verge

The US government is suing Adobe for allegedly hiding expensive fees and making it difficult to cancel a subscription. In the complaint filed on Monday, the Department of Justice claims Adobe “has harmed consumers by enrolling them in its default, most lucrative subscription plan without clearly disclosing important plan terms.”

The lawsuit alleges Adobe “hides” the terms of its annual, paid monthly plan in the “fine print and behind optional textboxes and hyperlinks.” In doing so, the company fails to properly disclose the early termination fee incurred upon cancellation “that can amount to hundreds of dollars,” the complaint says.


Apple Discontinuing Apple Pay Later, Ahead Of New Features Launching This Fall, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has announced that it is no longer offering Apple Pay Later, the “buy now, pay later” service that launched in the United States last year. The change goes into effect starting today, Apple says. Existing users with open Apple Pay Later loans will still be able to manage them via the Wallet app.

In its place, Apple is focusing on new features coming globally to Apple Pay later this year, including the ability to access installment loan offerings from eligible credit or debit cards, as well as Affirm.

1Password 8.10.34, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

AgileBits has issued 1Password 8.10.34, enabling you to generate recovery codes for family accounts directly in the app.

Logitech Keys-To-Go 2 Review: The Perfect Blend Of Price And Performance With A Travel-friendly Design, by Stevie Bonifield, Laptop Magazine

The second edition of Logitech’s mobile Bluetooth keyboard features a sleek redesign and stellar performance. It gets all the basics right, from the convenient row of media keys to the built-in yet stylish protective cover. The scissor-switch keys and matte keycaps create a typing experience similar to that of a compact laptop. The Keys-To-Go 2 packs that typing experience into an ultra-compact form factor that weighs less than half a pound.

Virtual Buffalo Will Walk Side-by-side With Regina Park Visitors, Thanks To New App, by Darla Ponace, CBC

Virtual buffalo will soon be roaming Regina's Māmowimīwēyitamōwin Park.

A new app called Buffalo Futurism uses augmented reality to take people on a virtual tour, telling stories about the buffalo that once roamed Saskatchewan's prairies.


Apple Offers Students AI Training At Developer Academies, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today announced plans to introduce new AI curriculum at its Apple Developer Academy locations in Brazil, Indonesia, Italy, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and the United States. Apple Developer Academy students and mentors will learn about tools and technologies that take advantage of artificial intelligence.


Apple’s Fancy New CarPlay Will Only Work Wirelessly, by Nilay Patel, The Verge

All in all, it’s a lot of info, and what feels like a lot of Apple realizing that carmakers aren’t going to just give up their interfaces — especially since they’ve already invested in designing these sorts of custom interfaces for their native systems, many of which now run on Unreal Engine with lots of fun animations, and have Google services like Maps integrated right in. Allowing automakers to punch those interfaces through CarPlay might finally speed up adoption – and it also might create a mix-and-match interface nightmare.

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How big a trouble is Apple in, when NPR is reporting on sherlocking?


Thanks for reading.

The Thinnest-and-Lightest Edition Monday, June 17, 2024

Apple’s Slow Rollout Of Intelligence Features Will Stretch Into 2025, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

This time around, Apple is telegraphing to users — via its website, online presentations and briefings with journalists — that its latest technology won’t follow a strict timeline.


I’m told that Apple is now focused on developing a significantly skinnier phone in time for the iPhone 17 line in 2025. It’s also working to make the MacBook Pro and Apple Watch thinner. The plan is for the latest iPad Pro to be the beginning of a new class of Apple devices that should be the thinnest and lightest products in their categories across the whole tech industry.

Apple Is The First Tech Giant To Get AI Right, by Linette Lopez, Business Insider

Apple's updates are an appeal for everyone to get a grip. They are a clarion call for other tech companies to be practical with what they promise consumers and to deliver AI products that make our lives incrementally easier instead of confusing us with overpromises. Apple's use of the best of AI is also the best way for normal people to develop an understanding of what it can do. This is a way to build trust. Sure, maybe one day AI will figure out how to destroy civilization or whatever, but right now it's best at finding that photo of your dog dressed as a pickle you took back in 2019. And for the vast majority of people, that's perfectly fine.

Apple Intelligence May Be Reason Why OpenAI Wants Microsoft To Work With Archrival Oracle — Azure May Be Feeling The Pinch As iOS 18 AI-focus Means Far More GPUs Are Required, by Wayne Williams, TechRadar

Oracle, Microsoft and OpenAI are joining forces to extend the Microsoft Azure AI platform to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) in a bid to meet the soaring demand for AI. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, this collaboration is likely fueled at least in part by the integration of Apple Intelligence in iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia.


ChatGPT A Mentor For Japan's 89-year-old App Developer, by AFP

So far Suzuki has developed 11 free iPhone apps to help Japan's aging population, including his latest: a slideshow of items to remember when leaving the house, from a wallet and hearing aids to patient registration cards.

He was inspired to create the app, which features his granddaughter's voice, after he realized he had forgotten his dentures as he was about to board a bullet train.

I Found An Engaging App That Has Become A Treasured Guide And Companion To The Skies, by Paul Hatton, TechRadar

The best thing about the Star Walk 2 app is the real-time interactive sky map that takes center stage in the app. By lifting up your phone to the sky and pointing it in any direction, it is possible to identify what you're looking at and locate constellations with ease. No more guessing which stars belong to which constellation.


We’ve All Gotten Pretty Loose With The Term “Sherlocked” These Days, by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

Language is fluid, and I don’t want to be a stick in the mud who refuses to recognize change, but I have to admit I feel like we’ve gotten pretty loose with the word over the years.

I Hoarded Hundreds Of Gigabytes Of RAW Photos, Until I Saw Sense And Hit Delete, by Hannah Rooke, Digital Camera World

By letting go of unnecessary RAW files, you cultivate a habit of mindful consumption and storage. This mindset shift can extend beyond your digital life, encouraging you to simplify and organize other aspects of your life. It's about valuing quality over quantity and focusing on what truly matters - something that living out of a 40L backpack for four months taught me.

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I like thinner devices, not because they are thin, but because they are light.

I have no doubt, with the M4 iPad Pro out and about, that Apple will be able to some thin and light Apple Watches and iPhones.

The challenge is for MacBooks: can Apple make something that is truly the thinnest and lightest it can possibly make?

(Hint: The iPad Pro comes with a detachable keyboard and trackpad.)


Thanks for reading.

The Looks-Like-Nothing Edition Sunday, June 16, 2024

Apple Joins The Race To Find An AI Icon That Makes Sense, by Devin Coldewey, TechCrunch

Apple Intelligence is represented by a circular shape made up of seven loops. Or is it a circle with a lopsided infinity symbol inside? No, that’s New Siri, powered by Apple Intelligence. Or is New Siri when your phone glows around the edges? Yes.

The thing is, no one knows what AI looks like, or even what it is supposed to look like. It does everything but looks like nothing. Yet it needs to be represented in user interfaces so people know they’re interacting with a machine learning model and not just plain old searching, submitting, or whatever else.

Apple Leans On Japan Partners To Promote Vision Pro: Lead Developer, by Rei Nakafuji, Nikkei Asia

Apple is working with Japanese partners to promote spatial video technology, which creates immersive 3D clips that can be played on the Vision Pro. Canon will introduce a 3D camera lens that can be used to capture these videos.

"We expect that will increase the amount of content," Rockwell said, noting that cameras designed by Apple had previously been the only option.

What Is Going On With Next-Generation Apple CarPlay?, by Joe Steel, Unauthoritative Pronouncements

The work to do these things is depicted as being easy, trivial even, but someone has to keep every vehicle setting in sync between the car’s native system and Next-Gen CarPlay. Even if the individual tasks are easy, doing all the tasks twice for everything in the vehicle and making sure they work when a component of the system (the asset package loaded from the phone) isn’t easy or trivial.


Strava Has Big Plans To Help Keep You Safe When You're Working Out – Here's What's On The Way, by Cat Ellis, Advnture

First, the app will soon offer night heatmaps, which show the most popular routes people use between sundown and sunrise. These might be very different from those used during the day, but you may not be aware of that, particularly if you are new to the area. Allen explained that her work takes her all over the world, and she often runs at night in new cities, so knowing the routes that local people take after dark is extremely helpful, allowing her to avoid areas that are popular during the day, but unlit and unwelcoming after dark.


Can We Build Conscious Machines?, by Oshan Jarow, Vox

The critical question for AI consciousness isn’t how many different tasks it can perform well, whether it passes as human to blinded observers, or whether our budding consciousness-detecting meters tell us its electrical activity is complex enough to matter. The decisive question is whether computational functionalism is true or not: Do you need meat to have a mind?

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I sure hope Apple is not planning on taking away the Today's View on my iPhone, now that there are a lot more available customization on the Control Center. I like having my widgets with a simple swipe without needing to unlock my iPhone, and my left-thumb is not able to reach the top-right corner to pull down Control Center.


Thanks for reading.

The Immersive-Accessibility Edition Saturday, June 15, 2024

Accessible And ‘A Pleasure To Read’: How Apple’s Podcast Transcriptions Came To Be, by Ari Saperstein, The Guardian

“Our goal is obviously to make podcasts more accessible, more immersive,” says Ben Cave, Apple’s global head of podcasts.

Sarah Herrlinger, who manages Apple’s accessibility policy, says the development of the transcription tool involved working with both disabled Apple employees and outside organizations. Transcription became a priority for Apple Podcasts because of increasing demand from both disabled users and podcast creators, she said.

Apple Intelligence

No Matter How You Package It, Apple Intelligence Is AI, by Steven Levy, Wired

Apple Intelligence might prove to be a disruptive and scary force no matter how benignly it’s packaged. If Apple does pull off its vision for Siri—something where a single command might allow a computer to knock off tasks that otherwise would take hours or days to complete—an avalanche of unintended consequences might ensue. Even knowing your preferences, how will Siri make its choices? Will it put you in a middle seat when it books a flight for you because it’s figured out you’re frugal–even though you’d gladly pay an extra $11 to sit on the aisle? When you ask it to catch up on headlines, will it cater to your biases? No matter what Apple calls it, AI is going to change the way we do things. At WWDC this week, Apple promised to be part of the transformation.

Even Apple Cannot Explain Why We Need AI In Our Lives, by Richard Waters, Financial Times

While this idea sounds deceptively simple, pulling it off will be hard. AI systems are probabilistic, meaning they make their best guess at returning the right answer. Apple has yet to show how well the new Siri works.

This raises broader questions about the future of technology. If Siri becomes the on-ramp to everything you do on an iPhone, reducing the need to open apps, what does that do to the many developers whose businesses depend on building direct relationships with Apple’s users?

Context, Consent, And Control: The Three C’s Of Data Participation In The Age Of AI, by Eryk Salvaggio,

The tech industry is not respecting copyright in the ways that it trains these models, and it will not respect copyright in the way that it distributes the outcomes of these models. Too much of the conversation about AI remains focused on outputs that resemble direct copies of images, music, or text. What is lost is that the data is itself copied into the training model. Regardless of the legal status of that movement from “image” into “data,” it leaves many feeling deeply uncomfortable. Rather than dismiss this discomfort, it merits understanding the source. If case law on copyright cannot support a popular consensus around data rights, perhaps policy changes are needed.

Being Watson

Did Apple Just Sherlock Our Favorite Password Managers?, by Jay Peters, The Verge

But the big advantage of third-party password managers has been compatibility with a wide range of platforms. They are also generally more robust than first-party offerings. Although those additional features often come at a cost, paying for a widely accessible password manager is usually worth the price.

Presenting Apple

What Are All These Apple Executives Doing With Their Legs?, by Shira Ovide, Washington Post

During Apple’s showcase this week for new artificial intelligence and other software, one company employee after another strode into view and assumed the position: standing with legs spread and toes pointing out.

This Apple Stance — as it was dubbed by a group chat on X, according to one participant — looked awkward when everyone did it. People have noticed the same Apple position at other company product demonstrations, too.

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Now that WWDC week is over, and the operating systems have been previewed, and the beta released, it is time for everyone to compile their wishlists and make known to Apple.

Don't wait until May of 2025 to publish your wishlist -- it's too late by then.


Thanks for reading.

The Real-Benefits Edition Friday, June 14, 2024

'Generative AI Was Never Off The Table. It Was Always About Pursuing It In A Thoughtful Kind Of Way': Tim Cook Candidly Tells MKBHD About Apple's AI Philosophy, by Stevie Bonifield, Laptop

To hear Cook tell it, appears the timing of Apple's plunge into generative AI wasn't about getting in on the AI hype but making sure Apple's approach focused on real benefits. This goal wasn't lost on commentators and journalists who observed that WWDC's Apple Intelligence segment focused on user outcomes and not just rushing out the technology for the sake of it. Cook mentioned this in his interview when discussing AI features on the Apple Watch, saying:

"We always talk about the benefit to the user and so the benefit to the user is crash detection and fall detection, not the technology behind the feature."

OK, Fine, Here’s Apple Intelligence, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

The conventional wisdom going into WWDC was that Apple was the company that was flailing and desperate, trying to catch up to the giants of artificial intelligence and retain some level of relevance. What we saw this week, however, was a company that seems surprisingly confident in its own AI prowess, and one that continues to largely follow its own playbook rather than compromising its ideals.

The hottest company in tech, OpenAI, just gave its crown jewels to Apple for free, and Apple responded by introducing its integration as optional and tagged with numerous warning labels. So, who’s behind and flailing, exactly?

Excluding Your Website From Apple’s AI Crawler, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

Setting aside feelings on that issue for just a moment, it’s worth looking at the mechanics behind this. Apple also said during its announcement that it’s providing a way for publishers to exclude their sites from being used for training its AI models, via a long established system built originally for search engines: robots.txt.

Coming This Fall

Finally, The Apple Watch Will Let You Rest, by Victoria Song, The Verge

When you’re trying to do hard things — and improving your health is a hard thing — it helps immensely when you’re given the grace to be imperfect. And you are going to be imperfect. It’s not a matter of if you’ll get sick or life breaks your streaks. It’s a matter of when. When I broke my longest Move streak to date, it was because something traumatic happened in my life. After a day of ugly crying, I woke up the next morning to a broken streak. I knew it was trivial in the grand scheme of things. Nevertheless, it felt like getting kicked while I was down. It took me two months to get my head back in the game.

Apple ID To Be Renamed To Apple Account, Disrupting Independent Documentation, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Most users who already understand what an Apple ID is probably won’t be confused by the change—the words are sufficiently similar.


AllTrails Sees Apple Maps Update, Comes Out Swinging With Suite Of New Features – Here Are The 3 We're Most Excited About, by Julia Clarke, Advnture

Got your hiking boots at the ready? AllTrails has rolled out a suite of new updates to its popular navigation app to help its 60 million users across the globe make better decisions about where to hike, and what they'll need to do it.

Nike Run Club Is A Slick, Fun App For Casual And Intermediate Runners, by Beth Skwarecki, Lifehacker

I’ve always been a sucker for Nike’s aesthetics (go ahead, roast me) and this is an app I’ve come back to again and again. It has guided runs, training plans, and an incredibly good companion app for the Apple Watch.

Artifact’s DNA Lives On In Yahoo’s Revamped AI-Powered News App, by Boone Ashworth, Wired

This new Yahoo News app, which is available as a free download now, is powered by the underlying code of the well-received yet short-lived app Artifact. And of course, the new app is infused with AI capabilities to surface the news articles that might interest you most.


Swift The Best Choice To Succeed C++, Apple Says, by Paul Krill, Infoworld

“Swift 6 eliminates these kinds of bugs by diagnosing them at compile time,” Kremenek said. A new language mode in Swift 6 language mode will enable compile-time data race safety. Because data race safety may require changes to code, the new Swift 6 language mode is opt-in. Apple previously highlighted data race safety in Swift 5.10 in March, advising that the opt-in mode planned for Swift 6 enforces full data isolation by default.

Also planned for Swift 6 is expanded Linux support, covering the Debian and Fedora Linux distributions, and improved support for Windows. Generics also are eyed for improvement in Swift 6, with a new subset planned for targeting constrained environments such as OS kernels and microcontrollers. Apple also is investing in Swift support in Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code editor and other editors that leverage the Language Server Protocol.


Jon Stewart On Breakdown Of His Apple TV Show: 'Our Aims Don't Align In Any Way', by Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone

Jon Stewart weighed in on the abrupt end of his Apple TV series The Problem With Jon Stewart this week, further detailing the disagreements he and Apple had on the content he wanted to produce for the platform.

“They didn’t censor me, it wasn’t free speech,” Stewart told Puck journalist Matt Belloni on the latest episode of his podcast The Town. “When you work for a corporate entity, that’s part of the deal, even at Comedy Central. The deal is I get to do what I want until it’s going to hurt their beer sales or whatever it is they want to sell. And that’s the deal we all make.”

Apple Accused In Lawsuit Of Underpaying Female Workers In California, by Daniel Wiessner, Reuters

The lawsuit filed in state court in San Francisco by two women who have worked at Apple for more than a decade claims the company systematically underpays female workers in its engineering, marketing, and AppleCare divisions.

Apple bases workers' starting pay on their salaries at previous jobs or on their "pay expectations," which results in lower pay rates for women, according to the complaint. The lawsuit also claims that Apple's performance evaluation system, which it uses to set raises and bonuses, is biased against women.

Apple Adds BNPL Offerings From Rivals, by James Pothen, Payments Dive

Apple, which offers buy now, pay later financing through its payment service, will bring rival installment plans onto the service later this year, the company said Tuesday in a press release.

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How serious is Apple about Apple Intelligence? Is it a Pro-only feature, or is it destined for every Apple devices?

Certainly, going forward, I'd be surprised if any new Macs cannot run Apple Intelligence. But things are still murky on other devices, like the iPhone SE, the Apple Watch, and Apple TV.

I guess we will get a hint soon, when Apple unveils the non-Pro iPhone, and iPad mini.


Thanks for reading.

The Ultimate-Tool-for-Low-Vision Edition Thursday, June 13, 2024

I Know What The Apple Vision Pro Is For, by Andrew Leland, New York Magazine

The first time I wore an AVP, I was astonished by how intuitive it was to use — within a minute or two, I was opening and closing and resizing windows, dialing down my surroundings and turning up a Joshua Tree landscape. A college student I met on InSpaze, a spatial chatroom where AVP users hang out, told me that the first time he let his older brother, who has Down syndrome, use his AVP, his brother independently played video games on it for two hours. But this native intuitiveness can fall away the further a disabled person might stray from the typical, mainstream user. I don’t doubt that Castor is able to fluidly use her AVP entirely with audible feedback, but she’s also a lifelong screen-reader user with a B.S. in computer science, not to mention a full-time engineer at Apple. Users with less expertise can struggle to figure it out. It’s also worth noting that within the chronically underemployed and impoverished disabled population, these users represent a rarefied subset who can drop a few thousand dollars — often with professional interest — on this class of first-gen tech toy.

Still, my brief experience with the AVP allowed me to imagine a future version where, for instance, the price comes down, Apple opens up the front-facing cameras to developers, and what is already a powerful low-vision device could become the ultimate tool for blind and low-vision people. When I play the complicated tabletop games my son adores, and press a game’s card to my nose to read it, I often find myself wishing I could tap on the blocks of indecipherable text the way I can with a paragraph of text on my iPhone and hear it read aloud. It’s easy to imagine a non-distant future where I could wear a fourth-gen AVP, leveraging whatever comes after GPT4o, and tap one of the game cards with my finger, and hear a readout of the text printed there, along with a description of whatever illustration is on the card, too. If I preferred to use my residual vision, I might casually use two fingers to zoom in on the card (or my son’s face) the way you’d enlarge a photo on your iPhone.

Apple Intelligence

AI Is Coming To Your Apple Devices. Will It Be Secure?, by Kari Paul, The Guardian

Apple says the ChatGPT partnership will only be used with explicit consent for isolated tasks like email composition and other writing tools. But security professionals will be watching closely to see how this, and other concerns, will play out.

“Apple is saying a lot of the right things,” said Cliff Steinhauer, director of information security and engagement at the National Cybersecurity Alliance. “But it remains to be seen how it’s implemented.”

Apple Details Its AI Foundation Models And Applebot Web Scraping, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

As a creator and website owner, I guess that these things will never sit right with me. Why should we accept that certain data sets require a licensing fee but anything that is found “on the open web” can be mindlessly scraped, parsed, and regurgitated by an AI? [...] It’s disappointing to see Apple muddy an otherwise compelling set of features (some of which I really want to try) with practices that are no better than the rest of the industry.

Apple Just Took AI And Cleverly Rebranded It As Its Own, by Rob Walker, Fast Company

Apple simply hijacking the abbreviation AI for itself, and replacing the generic “artificial intelligence” with the branded “Apple Intelligence,” is not a substantial gesture. But as a branding maneuver to distinguish itself in the noisy marketplace of AI dreams and promises, pulling the term Apple Intelligence out of thin air and pretending it represents a considered point of view is not a bad move. It simultaneously suggests Apple is above the sometimes-dubious AI fray, and yet somehow owns the entire space. It may not really be all that intelligent, but it’s a remarkable mix of caution and chutzpah that may turn out to be a solid example of Apple Cunning.

Apple To ‘Pay’ OpenAI For ChatGPT Through Distribution, Not Cash, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple isn’t paying OpenAI as part of the partnership, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deal terms are private. Instead, Apple believes pushing OpenAI’s brand and technology to hundreds of millions of its devices is of equal or greater value than monetary payments, these people said.


Vision Pro Demos At Apple Stores In UK, Canada, And More Begin July 12, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple Vision Pro launches in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the U.K. on Friday, July 12, and you will be able to try out the spatial computer at your local Apple Store in those countries starting on the same day next month.


iOS 18 Will Let You Activate Third-Party Camera From iPhone's Lock Screen Or Action Button, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

With the specific LockedCameraCapture framework, the third-party camera app will be able to be opened into camera mode while an iPhone is locked, mimicking the functionality that's available with the standard Camera app.

Dark Mode App Icons, by Louie Mantia

Designing a proper dark mode app icon is important for you and your users, because if it’s too bright amongst the rest, it will stand out (in a bad way). A likely result is your app being removed from home screens.


Google, Apple Among Firms Fined For Allegedly Violating Location Data Law, by The Korea Times

Apple's Korean unit was also ordered to pay a fine of 210 million won for allegedly collecting location data without consent, violating the clause on disclosing its policy on location data and others, the commission said.

Japan Enacts Law To Curb Apple, Google's App Dominance, by Kyodo News

Japan's parliament enacted Wednesday a law to promote competition in smartphone app stores by restricting tech giants Apple Inc. and Google LLC from limiting third-party companies from selling and operating apps on their platforms.

The law will prohibit the providers of Apple's iOS and Google's Android smartphone operating systems, app stores and payment platforms from preventing the sale of apps and services that directly compete with the native platforms' own.

Audiobook Inclusion Is A Spotify Scam, Say Music Labels, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Including audiobooks in the premium tier is nothing more than a Spotify scam, say music publishers, intended to cheat consumers and music labels alike.

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I have been so busy with so many things that I haven't watched any of videos from WWDC sessions yet.

I have a three-day weekend coming up soon, and I'll need to fix that omission.


Thanks for reading.

The Entirely-Different-Bar Edition Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Apple's Top Software Engineer On AI: "We Wanted To Establish An Entirely Different Bar", by Michael Grothaus, Fast Company

“We wanted to establish an entirely different bar,” Federighi says. “So we viewed it as foundational, and as a prerequisite to how we offered personal intelligence, that your personal information remained entirely yours and under your control. And no one, not even Apple, would have any visibility onto that information, even if our data center was processing your request.”


I ask Federighi if he ever thinks there will be a day when computer processors get so powerful, that a server-based technology like PCC won’t even be needed.

“I couldn’t rule it out,” he says, “…but even in that world, I think that you would expect that at times your device is going to, in servicing your request, reach out at least to knowledge stores that are outside the device.” For example, you’ll want to know if a restaurant’s opening times have changed—information the on-device LLM might not have. “So even in that future, I think there’s going to be a role for contacting external services.”

Private Cloud Compute: A New Frontier For AI Privacy In The Cloud, by Apple

For the first time ever, Private Cloud Compute extends the industry-leading security and privacy of Apple devices into the cloud, making sure that personal user data sent to PCC isn’t accessible to anyone other than the user — not even to Apple. Built with custom Apple silicon and a hardened operating system designed for privacy, we believe PCC is the most advanced security architecture ever deployed for cloud AI compute at scale.

‘I Would Never Claim That It’s 100 Percent’: Tim Cook On Apple’s New AI, by Josh Tyrangiel, Washington Post

Tyrangiel: What’s your confidence that Apple Intelligence will not hallucinate?

Cook: It’s not 100 percent. But I think we have done everything that we know to do, including thinking very deeply about the readiness of the technology in the areas that we’re using it in. So I am confident it will be very high quality. But I’d say in all honesty that’s short of 100 percent. I would never claim that it’s 100 percent.

Apple’s Convincing Case That AI Doesn’t Have To Be Scary, by Adam Clark Estes, Vox

If it succeeds, Apple might actually convince its millions of devoted customers that Apple Intelligence will make their lives better and their jobs easier, without all the very scary risks we keep hearing about. That would also mean millions of those customers will have to buy new Apple devices in order to access Apple Intelligence. And why wouldn’t they? It’s not big, scary AI. It’s just fun and friendly Apple Intelligence.

Apple Just Unveiled The First Rational Theory Of AI For The Masses, by Josh Tyrangiel, Washington Post

For Apple, that path appears set. It’s going to use AI to be the life hacker that improves emails and saves time and makes little generative delights that take users ever deeper into their Apple devices. It’ll be safe, profitable, inevitable — so inevitable that all friction will be removed. It won’t even be called artificial intelligence. In a sublime act of marketing hubris, Apple has decided to market this new frontier of products as something else: Apple Intelligence. Killer dad joke.

Apple’s AI Moment Arrives, by Casey Newton, Platformer

But it’s in Federighi’s final principal — that AI should be personalized around what it knows about you — that Apple’s real advantage is apparent. It’s how the company distinguishes itself from (friendly) rivals like OpenAI or Anthropic, which at the moment offer you only a box to type into, and have limited memory of how you have used their chatbots. Apple can pull from your email, your message, your contacts, and countless other surfaces throughout the operating system, and — in theory — can draw from them to help you more easily navigate the world.


Blackmagic Design Unveils Spatial Video Camera For Shooting Apple Vision Pro Content, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

The URSA Cine Immersive camera features a custom stereoscopic 3D lens system with dual 8K sensors, capable of capturing a 180-degree field of view with spatial audio support. It is designed to capture content with a resolution of 8,160 x 7,200 per eye and offers 16 stops of dynamic range to ensure detail and color accuracy in every frame, with the ability to shoot stereoscopic 3D immersive cinema content at 90 frames per second.


Apple Quietly Improves Mac Virtualization In macOS 15 Sequoia, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

As long as your host operating system is macOS 15 or newer and your guest operating system is macOS 15 or newer, VMs will now be able to sign into and use iCloud and other Apple ID-related services just as they would when running directly on the hardware.

Adobe To Update Vague AI Terms After Users Threaten To Cancel Subscriptions, by Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica

Adobe has promised to update its terms of service to make it "abundantly clear" that the company will "never" train generative AI on creators' content after days of customer backlash, with some saying they would cancel Adobe subscriptions over its vague terms.

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The most magical Apple ecosystem thing that I use almost every day: copy something on one device, paste that thing on another device. Magic!

(Every time I need to do a 2FA code on my Windows machine, I wish I am on a Mac.)

The new iPhone mirroring + notification thing may well be yet another magical thing in Apple's ecosystem. I can't wait for this fall to try it out.


Biggest disappointment for me: why isn't Snoopy on my iPhone lock screen?


Thanks for reading.

The Rapid-Fire Edition Tuesday, June 11, 2024

14 Compelling Features Coming To Apple’s Operating Systems In 2024, by Adam Engst

Apple’s WWDC 2024 keynote was even more rapid-fire than usual, so much so that an Assassin’s Creed game demo was the most relaxing part after the initial 90-second skydiving gag. It’s tough—Apple presentations typically focus on a hardware product or three, but because WWDC is all about software, the company has to figure out which of the many new features merit a mention or demo. All too often, the presenter would introduce a feature, talk about it for a few seconds, and then switch gears entirely, just as I expected more detail or another feature in the same app.

In part, Apple’s hurry came from trying to get through six different platforms before devoting a hefty chunk of time to Apple Intelligence, the company’s name for a collection of AI features that will be rolling out over the next year. Apple said Apple Intelligence features would start being available “this summer,” which probably means during the public betas of the operating systems starting in July, and would be broadly available in beta “this fall,” or likely mid-September. However, Apple’s footnotes acknowledged that “some features, software platforms, and additional languages will come over the course of the next year,” probably well into 2025. Apple Intelligence will also require recent Apple silicon—it will run only on the iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, and iPads and Macs with M1 or later chips. Apologies to our international friends, but Apple Intelligence will require Siri and the device language to be set to US English in the early releases.

AI Is Apple's Best Shot At Getting You To Upgrade Your iPhone, by Lauren Goode, Wired

The company hasn’t said exactly why it is limiting its Apple Intelligence features to the newest, and most expensive, hardware, though industry experts surmise that less-powerful chips would possibly create a less-performant AI and that Apple would draw the line at a lackluster tool. But whether this limitation is a technical requirement or a product-differentiation strategy, it might be Apple’s best shot at convincing customers to upgrade to newer iPhones this fall.

Apple Intelligence

Apple Intelligence: The MacStories Overview, by Devon Dundee, MacStories

It’s clear from today’s presentation that Apple is positioning itself as taking a different approach to AI than the rest of the industry. The company is putting generative models at the core of its devices while seeking to stay true to its principles. And that starts with privacy.

Apple Intelligence Brings Generative AI To Photo Editing, by Lisa Marie Segarra, PetaPixel

As presented in the keynote, Image Playground feeds off the context it is surrounded by. In Messages, Apple highlighted that this could mean an animation-style image of a friend surrounded by balloons and a cake when you wish them a happy birthday. Image Playground can also take what it knows about how the people in your life look and depict artsy versions of them in various settings, with different accessories, or amid new locations.

iOS 18 Will Let You Record Calls — And Tells Everyone For Their Privacy, by Emma Roth, The Verge

Apple will let you record and transcribe phone calls in iOS 18. The company announced the feature during its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday and says it will automatically tell call participants that they’re being recorded.

Meet Genmoji, Apple’s AI-powered Emoji Generation Feature In iOS 18, by Ryan Christoffel, 9to5Mac

Genmoji is an Apple Intelligence-powered feature that enables you to have new emoji created for your use. All you have to do is type in what you’re looking for, and iOS 18 will present you with a newly-created emoji for your use.

Apple Integrates ChatGPT Deeply Into iOS 18, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The ChatGPT integration extends the free Apple Intelligence functionality built into the OS. For example, if you ask Siri a question that it can’t answer, it could hand off to ChatGPT instead to respond to the query.

Users can take advantage of the usual free quotas for ChatGPT usage, or connect their paid subscriptions to use their ChatGPT Plus benefits instead.

Apple’s AI Promise: “Your Data Is Never Stored Or Made Accessible By Apple”, by Kyle Orland, Ars Technica

In its WWDC keynote today, Apple stressed that the new "Apple Intelligence" system it's integrating into its products will use a new "Private Cloud Compute" to ensure any data processed on its cloud servers is protected in a transparent and verifiable way.

The iPhone Is Now An AI Trojan Horse, by Matteo Wong and Charlie Warzel, The Atlantic

The move could well strengthen the Apple ecosystem—but if the technology exhibits even some of the failures typical of nearly every major rollout over the past two years, it could also be another sort of Trojan horse, bringing down the walled garden from within.

WWDC 2024 Keynote, by Joe Steel, Unauthoritative Pronouncements

Unsurprisingly, my negativity is nearly all focused at generative image slop. The examples they showed were akin to the results of image generators from four years ago. The appeal, that these models would personally understand us, and our relationships, made it all the more alienating when applied to generative AI, and not schedules, or directions.

Craig Federighi Says Apple Hopes To Add Google Gemini And Other AI Models To iOS 18, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

During the interview, Federighi specifically referenced Apple’s hopes to eventually let users choose between different models to use with Apple Intelligence. While ChatGPT from OpenAI is the only option right now, Federighi suggested that Google Gemini could come as an option down the line.

iOS and iPadOS

iOS And iPadOS 18: The MacStories Overview, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

But AI-related improvements aren’t the only new features Apple announced today. From a renewed focus on Home Screen customization and redesigned Control Center to a new design for tab bars on iPad and expanded Tapbacks in Messages, Apple has showed that, while they can follow the rest of the tech industry in rethinking how AI can enhance how we use our devices, they can continue shipping other functionalities for iPhone and iPad, too. Or, at the very least, they certainly can for the iPhone and iOS.

Apple Revamps Its Photos App For iOS 18, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The company says the new design will lead to less time searching for photos as it puts everything you need within easy reach. One major change involves how the app has been unified into a single view with the photo grid at the top and the library, organized by theme, below.

The iPad's New Calculator Actually Might Have Been Worth The 14-year Wait, by Mahmoud Itani, Macworld

But Apple isn’t just stretching the iPhone’s Calculator to fill the large canvas. Instead, it’s also bringing some advanced capabilities to it, which will turn it into an invaluable asset for students and other users. These include powerful features, most notably the all-new Math Notes features that supercharge the Apple Pencil with advanced capabilities.

Developers Can Now Create Toggles For Control Center In iOS 18, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

It was already possible to add or remove specific toggles in the Control Center. However, with iOS 18, users can better reorganize these toggles and even change their size. But the biggest news here is the new Controls API, which lets developers create Control Center toggles for third-party apps. These toggles will let users control in-app actions without having to open them.

Interestingly, the same API also works for the Lock Screen, so you can replace the default flashlight and camera buttons with actions of your choice.

Customizing iPhone And iPad Home Screen Just Got Much Easier, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

During the announcement Monday during the WWDC keynote, Craig Federighi, SVP President of Software Engineering, demonstrated the new feature by positioning the icons around a dog’s face in the wallpaper image.


And that’s not the end of the Home screen personalization options. iOS and iPadOS let users tint all the app icons so they either match the wallpaper or contrast the color. Or pick a hue you like.

iOS 18 Lets You Lock And Hide Your Apps For Added Privacy, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

If someone is using your phone and you've locked an app, when they try to open that app, they'll see a popup that says it can't be accessed without secondary authentication. Locking an app can be done by long pressing on it and selecting the Require ‌Face ID‌ option (or Touch ID on the iPhone SE).

Tap To Cash In iOS 18 Lets You Pay By Touching iPhones, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

As the name suggests, Tap to Cash lets users pay for things simply by tapping two iPhones together.

Don’t Have A Connection? iOS 18 Lets You Send Messages With Your iPhone Over Satellite, by Ryan Christoffel, 9to5Mac

Available only on the iPhone 14 or later, this feature will do exactly what it sounds like: enable sending messages over a satellite connection.

Apple Will Support RCS With iOS 18, Improving Messaging Experience Between iPhone And Android, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

RCS will give your green bubble chats many of the best of features of iMessage, like high-resolution image and video attachments, typing indicators, read receipts and more.

macOS Sequoia

macOS Sequoia: The MacStories Overview, by Niléane, MacStories

The new features include enhancements across multiple native apps, an impressive new iPhone mirroring integration, and even some overdue window management features for the Mac.

The Next macOS Is Coming This Fall, by Nathan Edwards, The Verge

One of the first features coming to the OS is iPhone mirroring, which lets you control your phone from your Mac. You’ll get phone notifications on the Mac as well as audio passthrough. Finally, a non-touchscreen interface for your phone!


Apple also updated Safari with a bunch of new features, including highlights — which use machine learning to detect interesting things on the page, and additions to Reader mode, including summaries and tables of contents, presumably also generated with machine learning. It also has Viewer mode for on-page video content.


Apple Introduces Standalone 'Passwords' App, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

The Passwords app replaces iCloud Keychain, which is currently only accessible via a menu in Settings. Now, passwords are available directly via a standalone app for markedly quicker access, bringing it more in line with rival services.


Passwords is also compatible with Windows via the ‌iCloud‌ for Windows app, extending its utility to users who operate across different platforms.

iOS 18 And macOS Sequoia Let Websites And Apps Automatically Update Existing Logins To Passkeys, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

With the new Passwords app in iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, there's a feature that is designed to allow websites and apps to upgrade existing accounts to passkeys automatically.

Why Passwords Still Matter In The Age Of AI, by Alex Hern, The Guardian

But breaking the service out into its own app is still an important act. Because the problem Apple is trying to solve isn’t really about passwords at all – it’s about identity.

Last week I sat down with Steve Won, the chief product officer of 1Password, a password manager app with a long pedigree on Apple’s platforms. “The way that we manage digital identity is just screwed up,” Won said. “Effectively, I don’t have an identity at all: there are just random databases all across the world with my information. My credit card information, my bank information, my university probably still has my information, and so forth.”


watchOS 11: The MacStories Overview, by Jonathan Reed, MacStories

While there is nothing major in this new release of watchOS, there are several welcome touches that will be notable to users. Suggesting widgets based on current conditions like the weather is a nice addition, as are Live Activities. However, the really interesting progress lies with fitness additions such as the Vitals app and training load, which are, in some ways, pro training features.

watchOS 11 Announced With Activity Rest Days And Custom Daily Goals, Vitals App, And More, by Ryan Christoffel, 9to5Mac

watchOS 11 will finally enable taking a rest day with your Activity rings without losing track of an important streak. In the past, even if you had to take a day off because of an illness or some other factor outside your control, you would lose your Activity ring completion streak.

You can now also set custom activity ring goals for different days of the week. So you can push for higher goals on days you know you’ll be able to do more, and set more realistic goals for others.


Apple’s New Vision Pro Software Offers An Ultrawide Virtual Mac Monitor, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Vision Pro users hoping for multiple virtual Mac monitors will be disappointed that's not planned this time around, but Apple plans to add the next-best thing: Users will be able to take advantage of a larger and higher-resolution single virtual display, including a huge, wraparound ultrawide monitor mode that Apple says is equivalent to two 4K monitors.

VisionOS 2 Will Let You Turn Any Flat Photo Into A Spatial One, by Mahmoud Itani, Macworld

One of the most notable upgrades coming to visionOS 2 is the ability to transform regular, 2D images into spatial ones. Similar to the existing Spatial Video feature, this would detect subjects and add a 3D effect to them—making the viewing experience more realistic when using a Vision Pro.


Apple Announces tvOS 18: InSight, Auto Subtitles, New Screensavers, More, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

With the new version of tvOS, subtitles will also be enabled automatically at relevant moments, like when the volume of the movie is muted or you skip back ten seconds to replay the scene.

tvOS 18 will also feature an upgraded set of screensavers, including a new animated Snoopy screensaver, and an option that features scenes from Apple TV+ shows.

Apple Adds New InSight Feature To Apple TV Plus, by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, The Verge

A new InSight feature for Apple TV Plus will show details about the actors as well as the show’s soundtrack, so you can add tracks to Apple Music right from the remote. The feature will also work with the iPhone as a TV remote. However, InSight is limited to Apple TV Plus original shows and movies.


Apple’s AirPods Are Being Upgraded With Powerful Accessibility Features, by Umar Shakir, The Verge

You can soon use your AirPods to control Siri in new ways, including shaking your head yes or no to respond without needing to use your voice.

Voice isolation is coming to the AirPods Pro. It removes the background noise around you to improve call quality. There’s also new personalized spatial audio that now supports games.


A Look At Code Completion And Swift Assist Coming In Xcode 16, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Earlier today, I got the very first live demo of Swift Assist, one of the many developer tools introduced today by Apple. I also saw code completion in action. It was an impressive demo, and although the tools seem like magic and will undoubtedly be valuable to developers, they do have their limitations, which are worth exploring.


Next Apple Watch Activity Challenge To Recognize International Day Of Yoga On June 21, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

International Day of Yoga is set to take place on Friday, June 21, and Apple is celebrating with an Activity Challenge that will let Apple Watch users earn a yoga badge and a set of animated yoga stickers.

Sandwich Launches Theater For Vision Pro With The Talk Show Live Immersive Video, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Theater will let you experience the theatrical cinema release feeling (even if the original Star Wars film isn’t showing at your local movie chain). Want to watch a movie at the same time with friends or family who can’t be together in person? Spatial FaceTime makes that possible in Theater.


Apple Will Stop Issuing Software Updates To These Devices, by Pranay Parab, Lifehacker

Apple has a great track record of supporting its devices with software updates for many, many years after their release. It's not uncommon for Apple to supply iPhones, iPads, and Macs with updates for well over five years. However, as the years go by, some devices end up being too old to be supported and Apple drops them from the software update cycle.

When it comes to updates for the 2024 iterations of iOS, watchOS, macOS, and iPadOS, it's a bit of a mixed bag.

The Ineffable Importance Of Corporate Communications, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

It feels like we’re descending into a morass of miscommunication, with examples from companies large and small, including Slack, Bartender, and Adobe.

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Out of the four Apple devices that I am using regularly, only one of them will qualify for Apple Intelligence. The way I see it, I don't need Apple Intelligence for now. Maybe I will change my mind later, but it is a nice-to-have thing that doesn't really help too much on the things I do.

Also, out of the four Apple devices that I am using regularly, one of them will not qualify for this round of OS updates: the 10.5-inch iPad Pro from 2017. I have used this iPad for many things over the years, but currently, it is really for me to watch television and play Arcade games. So, I am probably not in a hurry to buy a new iPad anytime soon.

My next buying decision, I guess, will be when new iPhones or new iPad minis are announced. (I am guessing new iPhones will arrive earlier.) Unless something bad happens to my existing devices -- touch wood.


After I've written the above paragraphs, I went on to watch snippets of the keynote video again to check on some other things, and I happened to rewatch the iPadOS handwriting stuff, and I started to think maybe I should get one of those new iPads...

And then I remember how I can't remember the last time I wrote anything using my handwriting.


I will be moving all my app icons on my iPhone to the bottom of the screen. I am unsure what I will do to the widgets on my iPhone's homescreen yet. The two widgets, currently at the top of the screen, is purely read-only. I don't even tap on them at all, so there is no need to move them downwards for easier tapping with my thumb.


It feels wrong to write about Apple's AI. Whether you meant Apple's Apple Intelligence, or Apple's artificial intelligence.


Thanks for reading.

The Surprise-Welcome Edition Monday, June 10, 2024

Apple Surprises Swift Student Challenge Winners With Exclusive Tim Cook Demo Op, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in Cupertino kicks off tomorrow, and for a select group of Swift Student Challenge winners, the surprises have already begun.

This year Apple invited 50 Distinguished Swift Student Challenge winners to WWDC, and Tim Cook gave a surprise welcome to this special group of developers.

Apple Blocks PC Emulator From Being Available In iOS App Store And Third-party App Stores, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

App Review has rejected a submission from the developers of UTM, a generic PC system emulator for iPhone and iPad.

The open source app was submitted to the store, given the recent rule change that allows retro game console emulators, like Delta or Folium. App Review rejected UTM, deciding that a “PC is not a console”. What is more surprising, is the fact that UTM says that Apple is also blocking the app from being listed in third-party app stores in the EU.


These 5 Email Apps Let You Create Extra Addresses For Privacy, by Adaeze Uche, MakeUseOf

If you'd love to sign up for that newsletter or blog but would rather keep your personal email address safe from spam and potential security risks, you're not alone. Many websites want to collect our email addresses, and we never quite know where that information might end up.

Luckily, several email apps now allow you to create "disposable" or "throwaway" addresses, also called "hide-my-email aliases," with which you can sign up for things. These extra addresses then act as a shield, forwarding messages to your main inbox while keeping your real address hidden.

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By the time you read this, the WWDC keynote has probably started, and you already know all the upcoming details and all the amazing intelligence and all the new emojis in the operating systems. While I am sleeping.

So, no predictions from me. No wishlists from me either -- it's too late, unless these are wishlists for next year. (But then, nobody reads this.)

Happy keynote day. Good night, and thanks for reading.

The Inner-Peace Edition Sunday, June 9, 2024

Is Apple About To Finally Launch The Real Siri?, by David Pierce, The Verge

But if Apple has cracked something here, this could be the first time we ever get to see the real Siri — the Siri we were promised all those years ago. Maybe in the next commercial, Deschanel’s tomato soup will just magically appear at her house, and the Headspace app will fire up to bring Malkovich some inner peace. Maybe, finally, we’re going to get the Siri Apple always wanted to make.

I Want Apple's AI Features At WWDC To Be Boringly Awesome. Here's Why You Should, Too, by Kerry Wan, ZDNet

Instead, perhaps the right way -- and the best way -- to introduce AI into people's lives has always been to meet them where they already are, from the apps they use every day to the gestures they're familiar with, like prompting Siri. Apple's new AI features don't need to be flashy or futuristic; they just need to be boringly awesome.

Building AI Products, by Benedict Evans

This of course is proposing a paradox, that I’ve talked about before: here we have a general-purpose technology, and yet the way to deploy is to unbundle it into single-purpose tools and experiences. But this might just be misplacing the right level of abstraction. Electric motors are a general-purpose technology, but you don’t buy a box of electric motors from Home Depot - you buy a drill, a washing machine and a blender. The technology is instantiated into use cases. PCs and smartphones are general-purpose tools that replaced single-purpose tools - typewriters, calculators, voice recorders and music players - but each of those functions is achieved through a piece of single-purpose software: most people don’t use Excel as a word processor. One reason that some people are so excited about LLMs is the they might not follow that pattern: they might move up through all of those levels of abstraction to the top. That would leave no room for ‘thin GPT wrappers’. Yet I don’t think they can really do that yet, and so everything I’ve just written is really just wondering what you can build to change the world even if that never happens.

Stick The Landing

The iPad Pro Needs Software Worthy Of The Name, by Nathan Edwards, The Verge

At last month’s iPad Pro M4 launch, Tim Cook said it was “the biggest day for iPad since its introduction.” That was pretty clearly not the case: it was a day of really nice incremental hardware updates to a tablet that already had more power than most people know what to do with.

But Cook’s proclamation could still be true, at least in retrospect. Apple just needs to stick the landing and use WWDC to show us a powerful operating system that’s worthy of the new iPad Pro’s powerful hardware.

Apple (Et Cetera) in EU

The EU Is Taking On Big Tech. It May Be Outmatched, by Luca Zorloni, translated by John Newton, Wired

On one hand, the message appears to be that no one will escape the reach of Brussels. On the other, the European Commission, led by President Ursula von der Leyen, has to demonstrate that the many digital laws and regulations that are in place actually produce positive results.


Smartphones May Affect Sleep—but Not Because Of Blue Light, by Simon Hill, Wired

“A much greater issue is likely to be the content viewed,” says Peirson. “Reading work emails relating to impending deadlines is clearly going to cause anxiety, and anxiety is strongly related to insomnia.”

We also know that doomscrolling on social media can have negative effects, including less and poorer quality sleep. Getting too engrossed in anything on your phone makes it all too easy to stay up later than you should.

What Does It Feel Like To Read RSS Feeds?, by Juha-Matti Santala

RSS feels like social media used to be. I choose which blogs I read and there’s no algorithm in between deciding what I should be shown and what not.

Bottom of the Page

How many of these new AI features will be made available on my little iPhone 12 mini? And how many of these will I care?

(No, I don't think I will be using AI emojis. I don't even use the regular emojis that often. My go-tos are emoticons.)



Thanks for reading.

The Justifiable-Discontent Edition Saturday, June 8, 2024

Don’t Let Mistrust Of Tech Companies Blind You To The Power Of AI, by Steven Levy, Wired

Some things do seem clear to me, and I think that these will eventually become apparent to all—even those pitching spitballs at me on X. AI will get more powerful. People will find ways to use it to make their jobs and personal lives easier. Also, many folks are going to lose their jobs, and entire companies will be disrupted. It will be small consolation that new jobs and firms might emerge from an AI boom, because some of the displaced people will still be stuck in unemployment lines or cashiering at Walmart. In the meantime, everyone in the AI world—including columnists like me—would do well to understand why people are so enraged, and respect their justifiable discontent.

Siri’s Biggest Gains Might Be Found At The Edges, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

But it strikes me that Apple’s biggest opportunity might actually be at the edges of our lives, where traditional interfaces are harder or even impossible to use. A useful Siri instantly makes the Apple Watch, AirPods, CarPlay, and HomePod better—and could facilitate even more interesting products to come.

But first thing’s first: Siri needs to get vastly better. I hope that we get the first sign of that on Monday.

Trust Issues

Adobe’s TOS “Update” Isn’t The Problem — It’s Trust, by Jess Weatherbed, The Verge

While this viral drama surrounding Adobe’s TOS “update” may blow over, hoards of creatives are watching the company like a hawk. Adobe will have to find an effective way to address those trust issues if it wants independent creators, who have come to expect the worst from the company, to see it as the friend it claims to be rather than a foe.

Creatives Are Right To Be Fed Up With Adobe And Every Other Tech Company Right Now, by Jesus Diaz, Fast Company

You can draw your own conclusions, but it’s time for tech companies to stop screwing around for their own benefit, listen to the users who pay them, and act in a transparent way. Their time is up.

Adobe Swears It’s Not Training Its A.I. On Your Photoshops, by Scott Nover, Slate

Despite the cleanup efforts, this episode demonstrates how gun-shy everyone is about generative A.I. And perhaps there’s no population that has been more wronged here than creative professionals, many of whom feel that generative A.I. companies have illicitly trained their image-, video-, and sound-generation models on copyright works. Big Tech is splitting its loyalties between serving its existing audiences and taking advantage of self-propagating hype for generative A.I. But by doing this, it risks alienating loyal customers. No one wants to be treated like training data—even if that’s what we all are.


Apple Watch Double Tap Feature Highlighted In Latest Apple Ad, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today shared a funny new ad that focuses on the Double Tap feature available on the Apple Watch. In the spot, a man catches a giant fish and while he attempts to wrangle it, he is able to use Double Tap to trigger the Apple Watch to take a photo on a connected iPhone.

OmniFocus 4.3, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

You can now configure Focus Filters for OmniFocus to limit which folders are visible when Focus mode is enabled, enabling you to automatically filter out any OmniFocus content that is not relevant to the current Focus. With the added Set/Remove Favorite Perspective shortcut, you can change your favorite perspectives based on your device focus or by using a Siri command.

Controller For HomeKit’s Interactive Floor Plan Is The Best Way To Control Your Home Yet, by Niléane, MacStories

Now, in Controller for HomeKit, you can leverage the iPhone’s LiDAR sensor to scan your entire home and create a 3D floor plan, on top of which you can overlay your lights, scenes, and other HomeKit accessories. The result is a fun, customizable, and interactive UI that works so well and is so intuitive that it almost feels like it belongs in Apple’s own Home app for the iPhone.

Bookends 15.0.3, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Sonny Software has released Bookends 15.0.3, adding the Library of Congress as a source in Google Books for ISBN searches in Autofill From Internet and Quick Add (both text and barcode searches).

All The Best Emulators Available In Apple's App Store, by Bon Adamson, Pocket-Lint

While there is no clear “best” emulator available on the App Store, each one does have its specific advantages and disadvantages. As for which one will be best for you, that will depend on your wants out of an emulator.

Readdle Sunsets Calendars 5 To Focus On Freemium Version Of Calendars, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Readdle has announced that its popular Calendars 5 app has reached the end of the road. After more than a decade of the legacy calendar app, the developer’s free/subscription-based Calendars: Planner & Organizer will take the spotlight.


Apple Updates Developer Forums Ahead Of WWDC, Provides Insights Into Available Developer Tools, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple says that the updated forums will connect developers with more experts and with other developers for timely responses to technical questions. Apple engineers will provide code-level support, plus the forums have been reorganized into a layout of topics, subtopics, and tags to make it easier to find information.

Defensive And Skeptical, by David Smith

I have no idea if this is what Steve Jobs meant in his commencement speech. He could have simply meant it in the positive, motivational sense. But increasingly I wonder if he may have also meant it in the cautionary sense as well. He had certainly overseen tremendous success and undoubtedly had to wrestle with the tension between preserving what you have and gaining something new.

Bottom of the Page

No AI helped to assemble this little web page today.

In fact, no I was involved at all.



Thanks for reading.

The Powerful-and-Moving Edition Friday, June 7, 2024

Apple Announces Winners Of The 2024 Apple Design Awards, by Apple

“It’s inspiring to see how developers are using our technology to create exceptional apps and games that enhance the lives of users,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. “This year’s winners have demonstrated how apps can create powerful and moving experiences — and we’re excited to celebrate their hard work and ingenuity at WWDC this year.”

Seven different categories recognize one app and game each for delight and fun, inclusivity, innovation, interaction, social impact, visuals and graphics, and a new spatial computing category. Winners were chosen from 42 finalists.

Countdown to WWDC

Here’s Everything Apple Plans To Show At Its AI-Focused WWDC Event, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The company’s new AI system will be called Apple Intelligence, and it will come to new versions of the iPhone, iPad and Mac operating systems, according to people familiar with the plans. There also will be a partnership with OpenAI that powers a ChatGPT-like chatbot. And the tech giant is preparing to show new software for the Vision Pro headset, Apple Watch and TV platforms.

Apple’s approach to AI will involve integrating the technology into as many of its apps as possible, in ways that ideally ease the daily lives of customers. The company is less focused on whiz-bang technology — like image and video generation — and instead concentrating on features with broad appeal. The new capabilities will be opt-in, meaning Apple won’t make users adopt them if they don’t want to. The company will also position them as a beta version. The processing requirements of AI will mean that users need an iPhone 15 Pro or one of the models coming out this year. If they’re using iPads or Macs, they’ll need models with an M1 chip at least.

Apple To Debut Passwords App In Challenge To 1Password, LastPass, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. will introduce a new homegrown app next week called Passwords, aiming to make it easier for customers to log in to websites and software, according to people with knowledge of the matter.


The new app is powered by the iCloud Keychain, a long-existing Apple service that can sync passwords and account information between different devices. This capability was previously hidden inside the company’s settings app or presented when a user logs in to a website.

Gurman Reports Apple Is (Finally) Breaking Passwords Into A Standalone App For The Mac And iOS, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Password management is so important, and Apple’s own system is so good, that it deserves more prominence. Making Passwords its own app won’t just make it more discoverable, it will (correctly) set the perception that Apple Passwords is a serious personal security management tool that users should considering adopting.

Some Cheap Wired Headphones Are Actually Using Bluetooth, by Boone Ashworth, Wired

OK, this all likely seems very complicated and roundabout, so you might well ask: “Why bother? Why not just make them Bluetooth earbuds to begin with?” Well, aside from keeping that annoying unsupported accessory message from popping up constantly, it’s cheaper to make wired earbuds than to fit a tiny battery into each wireless bud. Bluetooth is an open standard, meaning just about anybody can develop with it, while accessing Apple’s Lightning ports requires a presumably pricey certification process that would get passed down to the customer. And boy, people sure love cheap earbuds.


Leica’s New App Lets Your iPhone Mimic Its Cameras And Classic Lenses, by Antonio G. Di Benedetto, The Verge

Leica Lux is a new camera app available on the App Store loaded with 11 color profiles (dubbed “Leica Looks”) designed to match current Leica cameras and classic film-inspired aesthetics. The Lux app can be used in a fully automatic mode like Apple’s own camera app, but it also has an “Aperture mode” using software to mimic the style and bokeh of multi-thousand-dollar lenses like the Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH and classic Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.2 ASPH of 1966.

Adobe Terms Clarified: Will Never Own Your Work, Or Use It To Train AI, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

The highlighted changes reflect the fact that Adobe now uses manual as well as automated scanning. Specifically, automated flagging will then be escalated for human review.

They go on to specify that this review is for CSAM, as well as app usage which breaks the company’s terms of use – such as for spamming, or hosting adult content outside of the area designated for this.


'Ted Lasso' Ended A Year Ago And Fans Are Still Waiting For Spinoff News, by Nicole Gallucci, Decider

Six months after Ted Lasso‘s Season 3 finale, Decider checked in on the status of the series, its stars, and any key show-related developments that had unfolded. So to mark the one-year anniversary of the colossal (yet confusing) finale, we’re back again with the latest info on the future of Ted Lasso.

Apple Hosting HBCU Arts And Entertainment Accelerator Program For 50 Students, by Todd Spangler, Variety

Apple is hosting 50 students from 19 historically Black colleges and universities for an immersive two-week experience as part of the Propel Center‘s arts and entertainment industry accelerator.

Apple and Southern Company are the founding partners of Propel Center, launched in 2011 as a hub designed to support and advance the work of HBCUs. The organization’s 2024 Arts & Entertainment Industry Accelerator program is a year-long experience launched exclusively for HBCU students, designed to create greater diversity in the arts and entertainment industry.

Digital Cameras Revolutionized Astronomy. Then They Found Their Way Into Your Pocket, by Phil Plait, Scientific American

And remarkably, this awesome power to casually capture breathtaking celestial snapshots—or selfies, for that matter—with a camera that fits in your pocket traces back, in part, to the work of astronomers using giant telescopes on the ground and in space. Both share a common legacy. Astronomers, it turns out, were among the first to develop and realize the power of digital cameras. Next time you upload a snapshot to social media, don’t forget to thank us. And you’re welcome!

Bottom of the Page

Yes, as part of my switch of podcast players, and now that the podcast player has a more reliable method of automatically removing older episodes of podcasts that I didn't get to listen (think: news podcasts that are no longer 'useful' after a day or two), I have followed too many podcasts.

So, today is podcast trimming day.


Thanks for reading.

The Track-Record Edition Thursday, June 6, 2024

Apple’s iPhone Security Update Guarantee Outdone By Samsung, by Ryan Christoffel, 9to5Mac

It is peculiar that Apple wouldn’t commit to matching the seven-year guarantees of Samsung and Google, but iPhone users shouldn’t worry about their devices losing security updates at the five-year mark. Apple’s track record shows that it’s better than that.

iPhone And Apple Watch Single Hairline Display Cracks No Longer Covered Under Standard Warranty, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has made a notable change to its repair and standard warranty policies for iPhone and Apple Watch this month. According to multiple sources, Apple is no longer covering “single hairline cracks” under the standard warranty for the iPhone and Apple Watch. Instead, these repairs are now being processed as “accidental damage” claims, and users are required to pay.

Apple Promises To Fix Long-Ignored Parental Control Bug After Media Spotlight, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Security researchers that spoke to Stern said the bug was first reported to Apple in March of 2021, after it was found that inputting a string of characters would get around website restrictions implemented by parents and web blacklists on company devices. The hack worked to bypass restrictions on iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Apple told the researchers that it was not a security issue, and instead directed them to submit a report using the Feedback tool. After the report was submitted, there was no word back from Apple. Attempting to resubmit the bug to Apple was met with no response.


Apple And Major League Baseball Announce July “Friday Night Baseball” Schedule, by Apple

Apple and Major League Baseball (MLB) today announced the July game schedule for “Friday Night Baseball,” a weekly doubleheader available to Apple TV+ subscribers on Fridays throughout the 2024 regular season. Fans in 60 countries and regions can enjoy two marquee matchups over 26 weeks with no local broadcast restrictions.

Proton Pass Multi-Platform Password Manager Launches On macOS, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Proton Pass features end-to-end encryption for all stored data, and includes a built-in two-factor authentication system, passkey support, and secure password sharing, as well as a Hide-My-Email feature to protect against spam and phishing.

Test: Belkin iPhone Stand Follows You Wherever You Go, by Petter Ahrnstedt, Macworld

The Belkin Auto Tracking Stand Pro with DockKit follows you wherever you go (at least as long as you’re in the same room)–it keeps your face in focus. It works perfectly, from the smooth installation to the actual use.

We Tested Aptoide, The First Free iPhone App Store Alternative, by Callum Booth, The Verge

Aptoide is the first third-party marketplace to use an Apple-approved in-app purchases system. For users, this means all the games will be free-to-play, but some will include in-app purchases. How this differs from the App Store is that Aptoide will give “bonuses” to people who regularly spend in-app, something that will work out to be a 5 to 10 percent discount on each purchase.

Bartender 5 - A New Chapter For Bartender, by Ben Surtees

I want to assure you that Applause is dedicated to maintaining the integrity and quality of Bartender. Their team is already hard at work on exciting updates and enhancements. I have full confidence in their ability to support and grow the app while staying true to its original mission.


Change To Adobe Terms & Conditions Outrages Many Professionals, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

A change to Adobe terms & conditions for apps like Photoshop has outraged many professional users, concerned that the company is claiming the right to access their content, use it freely, and even sub-licence it to others.

There’s A Secret Smart Home Radio In Your New Mac, by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, The Verge

While the company doesn’t list Thread on the specs of any of these products, FCC reports indicate that many of Apple’s latest devices have had Thread radios tested for compliance. Generally, you don’t test a radio that’s not there.


Apple has used Thread for several years to connect devices to its smart home platform. The radio has been in the HomePod Mini since it launched in 2020 and is in the HomePod 2 and several Apple TV models. But the company has not yet announced the presence of a Thread radio in any of its Macs or iPads.

Apple Alerted Amazon About A Potential Cloud Security Risk, Prompting A Change In AWS's Data-deletion Process, by Eugene Kim, Business Insider

In early 2023, Apple spotted unusual activity around the data and contents associated with its terminated cloud accounts on AWS. By April 2023, Apple escalated concerns to AWS's security team, and asked the cloud giant to investigate whether the data and contents were deleted from roughly 2,200 of its AWS accounts that had been closed for more than 90 days. AWS customers expect their data to be permanently deleted 90 days after accounts are shut.

Bottom of the Page

Okay, I am satisfied that my trial went well, and have pulled the trigger. I've 'fully' switched over to Pocket Casts for all my podcast. I've also deleted all the podcast follows from the previous player.

Hopefully, podcast player apps continue to be thriving, and there will be more podcast players available in the future. I prioritize on features that manage podcasts and episodes, and that's what I value in a podcast player. But surely, different people have different priorities -- from audio quality to simplicity to customization -- that many players can exist.

Here's to the future.


Thanks for reading.

The Edition Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Apple Says M2 iPad Air Performance Claims Are Accurate Despite GPU Mix-up, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Over the weekend, we reported that Apple had updated its website to say the new iPad Air’s M2 chip features a 9-core GPU, despite originally advertising it as a 10-core GPU. An Apple spokesperson has now confirmed this change to 9to5Mac, while also saying that all performance claims remain accurate and were based on a 9-core GPU.

Apple To Fix Screen Time Bug That Allowed Users To Circumvent Web Browser Content Restrictions, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Apple will be fixing yet another one of these bugs in the next iOS software update. Security researchers had reported this particular bug to Apple multiple times over the last three years, but Apple had rebuffed or ignored them until now.


However, the fact that Apple has left this escape hatch unaddressed for so long reinforces concerns that Apple does not take Screen Time seriously. For many parents, the features of Screen Time are simply too unreliable to trust in them.

Things The Guys Who Stole My Phone Have Texted Me To Try To Get Me To Unlock It, by Veronica de Souza, Gothamist

I, sadly, did not get a message from a teenage YouTuber earnestly offering to return my stolen phone. Instead I received a series of texts from someone cycling through a number of different strategies for engaging, convincing, tricking or scaring me into unlocking the phone for them.

Rather than being engaged, convinced, tricked or scared, however, I was delighted. The experience managed to combine the internet's promises of international communion and international crime.

Silent Bartender

PSA: Bartender Mac App Under New Ownership, But Lack Of Transparency Raises Concerns, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Popular Mac app Bartender appears to have been quietly sold approximately two months ago, with neither the prior owner nor the current owner providing customers or potential customers with information on the sale.

Bartender Has A New Owner, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Software companies don’t owe their users complete transparency, and it’s possible that there were extenuating circumstances in the transaction (from either side) that led to the lack of communication. But the inverse is also true: customers don’t owe software companies their loyalty.

On Security

Is It Safer To Use An App Or A Website On Your Phone?, by Shira Ovide, Washington Post

Well-designed apps generally do a great job protecting your security and privacy, but you can’t always tell the good apps from the ick ones.

Compared to apps, websites “cannot spy or track you as easily nor access confidential information without permission,” said Chester Wisniewski, a digital security specialist with Sophos.

Talking and Dealing

Apple Held Talks To Launch Apple TV+ In China, Would Become The Only US Streaming Service To Be Available In The Region, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple reportedly held talks with telecoms giant China Mobile, with a view to launch Apple TV+ in China, according to The Information. If a deal is struck, Apple TV+ would be the only US streaming service to have a presence in China.

Apple Made Once-unlikely Deal With Sam Altman To Catch Up In AI, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The deal gives OpenAI access to hundreds of millions of Apple users, including ones that might have been hesitant to try ChatGPT otherwise. For Apple, the arrangement brings the company the hottest technology of the AI era — a chatbot with eerily powerful abilities — that it can pair with its own services.


The OpenAI partnership is likely a “short- to medium-term relationship” for Apple, said Dag Kittlaus, a tech veteran who co-founded and ran the Siri business before it was acquired by Apple. “But you can bet that they will be working hard building out their own competencies here.”


Apple Books Becomes Official Audiobook Home For Reese’s Book Club, by Apple

Readers can easily discover Reese’s Book Club through a beautiful and immersive experience in the Apple Books app, and learn more about the latest selection as recommended by its founder, Reese Witherspoon.

Apple Vision Pro Demo Coming To Lowe’s Home Improvement Retail Locations, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Lowe’s is testing Apple Vision Pro demos for customers in select locations this month. The experience will focus on the Lowe’s Style Studio app on Apple Vision Pro, giving customers hands-on experience with the headset.

Ulysses Writing App For Mac, iPad, And iPhone Gets Internal Linking, History Navigation, More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Popular markdown-based writing app Ulysses has received a valuable update today that brings internal links for headings, history navigation, dark mode for WordPress publishing preview, and more.

Bottom of the Page

I do not like to meddle with the podcast player. I do not want to manually sort and rearrange episodes in the playlist queue. I do not want to have to update playlist settings whenever I try out or follow new podcasts. Whenever I follow a new podcast, I just want to fill up the settings for this new podcast once, and everything should continue to work fine.

Every day, all I need to do is press the big Play button, and the podcast player should know what to play immediately, and what else to continue to play for the rest of the day.

Which is why smartness is very important to me. Which is also why I haven't find a podcast player that cater to my exact fussy requirements.


Thanks for reading.

The A-Lot-Less-Pretty Edition Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Inside Apple’s Efforts To Build A Better Recycling Robot, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

The stark difference in cycle times between Liam 1.0 and Daisy is due, in part, to a fundamental rethink of the separation process. Whereas the first robot gingerly unscrewed the various components, newer versions take a kind of brute force approach. The robots “punch out” the component now. Turns out it’s significantly faster to effectively rip a phone apart, and while the result is a lot less pretty, no one cares what discarded phones look like. It’s not being refurbished, after all; it’s being melted down.

M4 iPad Pro Has A New Security Feature Apple Hasn’t Told Us About, by Ryan Christoffel, 9to5Mac

While those indicators historically have been tied to software triggers, the new Secure Indicator Light of the M4 iPad Pro appears to make the system even more secure by tying its control to hardware components.

Rambo first uncovered the existence of a new ‘Secure Exclave’ as part of the M4 chip a couple weeks ago, but until today it was unclear what all this security component made possible. Now, it seems, one function at least is to prevent any tampering from happening with the microphone and camera indicator lights. Thus ensuring they work as intended and no malicious apps can circumvent them.


Apple Releases Revised iPadOS 17.5.1 Update For iPad 10, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today released a new version of iPadOS 17.5.1, specifically for the 10th-generation low-cost iPad. The update is a second version of iPadOS 17.5.1, with a version number of 21F91, up from the original 21F90 version.

Apple Touts Mac Battery Life And Performance In New Videos: 'There's Nothing Like Mac', by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple is out with three new YouTube videos today, touting the Mac and the “power of Apple silicon.” The 30-second ads take a dramatic approach toward highlighting MacBook battery life and multitasking capabilities.

You Can Finally Play 3DS Games On Your iPhone With This App, by Jake Peterson, Lifehacker

Folium is the first emulator to hit Apple's App Store that supports playing 3DS games. Plus, it plays DS and Game Boy Advance games, so it's kind of perfect for anyone solely interested in Nintendo's final three eras of dedicated handhelds.

Aptoide Is Coming To iOS As An EU-only Game Store, by Jess Weatherbed, The Verge

Aptoide, the popular Google Play alternative for Android devices, is launching a third-party iOS app store in the European Union — the first focused entirely on gaming since the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) rules came into effect.

Netflix To End Support For 2nd And 3rd Generation Apple TV, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Both models run on an early variant of iOS that precedes tvOS and lacks an App Store. The devices are classed as obsolete by Apple and no longer receive updates.


Apple Prepares For WWDC 2024 With Updated Developer App, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

With the refreshed Developer app, Apple has added related videos and an option to quickly view full-screen videos on the iPhone when it's held in landscape mode, along with bug fixes.


The Remake Of Riven, The Sequel To The Remake Of Myst, Is Coming Out Later This Month, by Andy Chalk, PC Gamer

Cyan Worlds announced today that the remake of Riven, the sequel to the remake of Myst, is set to launch on PC, Mac, and VR platforms on June 25. The updated version of the famed puzzle-adventure promises not just a technological do-over of the original game, but a "from the ground up" remake with new characters, "refreshed" puzzles, and an expanded storyline.

TSMC Says It Has Discussed Moving Fabs Out Of Taiwan But Such A Move Impossible, by Faith Hung, Max A. Cherney and Ben Blanchard, Reuters

Taiwanese contract chipmaker TSMC, opens new tab, whose major clients include Nvidia and Apple, said on Tuesday it had held talks with some customers about moving its chip plants off the island as tensions mounted with China but such a move would be impossible.

Bottom of the Page

So far, my migration of podcast player seems to be working fine, and I can listen to my usual corp of podcasts, as well as some new podcasts, just fine. Everything downloaded and added to the one single playlist just as expected.

The next part of this trial is to see if the automatic removal of older unplayed episodes is what I expect the app to do.


Thanks for reading.

The Auto-Enable Edition Monday, June 3, 2024

Apple’s New iPad Pro Is Missing Only One Thing: A Bigger Screen, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The company is overhauling the digital assistant with its own large language models, an underlying technology behind generative AI. The new system will allow Siri to control individual features within applications for the first time. This won’t require any setup by the user or from developers, differentiating from existing features like Siri Shortcuts and App Intents. Instead, the iPhone’s AI will analyze what a person is doing and auto-enable Siri to help.

For instance, users could ask Siri to delete or forward an email. Or they could have Siri edit a photo, summarize a meeting or move a note to a different folder — all within the apps themselves. Today, Siri mostly lives outside of the app universe, controlling more general items like smart home appliances, music and system settings. Over time, this new feature will expand to allow multiple commands at once. For example, you could tell your iPad to write an email and send it to your spouse.

Siri’s AI Era Arriving Soon, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

This movement is more than a flash in the pan, and Apple should have a plan for incorporating it across its operating systems. However, I think Apple has to move more carefully here than the likes of Microsoft and Google. The way Apple sees — and talks about — itself may hang in the balance.

WWDC Brings Another Huge Gamble For Apple, by David Price, Macworld

Whichever path it takes, this will be a risky year for Apple, and the outcome of its experiments with augmented reality and AI could go a long way to determining its long-term success… or failure. I can’t imagine Tim Cook is enjoying the uncertainty. But it’s a lot more fun than just releasing slightly different versions of existing products.

Business of Streaming

Spotify Has One Big Advantage On Every Other Streaming Service, by Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg

Audio is Spotify’s entire business, and the company continues to increase its advantage with customers. The same logic applies in video, by the way, where Netflix is the clear leader. Spotify and Netflix both had first-mover advantage, and, after a brief moment of concern about competition, they are now extending their leads.

The Problem Apple Had With The Problem With Jon Stewart, by M.G. Siegler, Spyglass

Rolling out on Android will undoubtedly help. But will Apple follow Netflix, Amazon, and Disney down the ad-supported lane? A few years ago, I would have said "no way". But this is a different time for Apple with Services now the lone revenue growth bright spot for the company. Plus, their move into more sporting events makes a push deeper into ads inevitable.

Apple Music Becoming Integral To Release Strategies In India, by Amit Gurbaxani, Music Ally

Since its launch in India in 2015, Apple Music has been considered a niche streaming service, used mostly by international music fans in big cities. That reputation is slowly but surely changing, with the DSP now forming an integral part of the release strategies of both major and independent labels in the country.


Adobe Scolded For Hosting ‘Ansel Adams-style’ Images Generated By AI, by Jess Weatherbed, The Verge

Adobe found itself in hot water this weekend after the Ansel Adams estate publicly scolded the company for selling generative AI imitations of the late photographer’s work. On Friday, Adams’ estate posted a screenshot to Threads showing AI-generated images available on Adobe Stock that were labeled as “Ansel Adams-style,” telling Adobe it was “officially on our last nerve with this behavior.”

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The lesson of Google Reader is to not trust any Google services anymore… No, that's not the lesson to takeaway from the demise of Google Reader. (By the way, that's eleven years ago. Time flies.)

No, the other lesson is to not use a centralized service when a decentralized alternative is good enough. After the shut-down of Google Reader, I've switched to a different centralized service. But soon, as apps mature, I've switched to Reeder with its iCloud syncing for all my RSS needs. (NetNewsWire is also another good candidate, but I am not using that since I do enjoy using Reeder.)

This is also why I grew more and more uneasy with my choice of podcast player app. When I first started listening to podcast, I was using iTunes + iPod -- a truly decentralized service. When iPhone came along, I used Downcast, another decentralized app. But soon along, lured by all the more advanced features provided by centralized service, I've started using podcast players that will simply not work if the server-side component cease to exist.

Finally, this year, I've gotten more serious in looking for a different alternative. I've re-looked Downcast, which unfortunately remained more or less the same as I last left it, and it doesn't seem long for this world. I've re-looked Apple's Podcast, which doesn't seem power-user enough for my requirements.

But, I am sad to report, I didn't find a decentralized podcast player that I want to use. But maybe because of this search process, I'm noticing a lot of little bugs and frustrations that I am having with the podcast player that I am using. Death by a thousand cuts, they say.

And that's the story of why I have switched podcast player and trying out Pocket Casts for the week. So far, so good. If things continue to do well for the rest of the week, I'll be permanently switching over. (Where by permanently, I mean until I get tired of this centralized app and start to look for alternatives all over again.)


Thanks for reading.

The Nine-Core Edition Sunday, June 2, 2024

Apple Downgrades New M2 iPad Air, Now Says It Features A 9-core GPU Instead Of 10-core, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has made a quiet update to the tech specs of the M2 iPad Air, which first launched last month. Despite originally touting the iPad Air’s M2 chip as featuring a 10-core GPU, the company now says it features a 9-core GPU.

Apple Says It's Prioritizing iPhones That ‘Never Fail’ Over ‘Super-easy To Repair’ Handsets – But It’s Not That Simple, by Becky Scarrott, TechRadar

Yes, an iPhone that never fails sounds like a very good idea. But if by 'never fail' the company means 'totally waterproof but hard to get into when your battery dies', it's a double-edged sword – and a line the Cupertino giant may struggle to justify further down the line.

If Your Plants Have Stories To Tell, This App Offers The Perfect Platform To Tell Them, by Paul Hatton, TechRadar

The thing I love most about this whole experience is that customers get easy access to not just plant sellers but also plant experts. When you’re in a shop, you could always ask to speak to someone and ask them all your questions but you can’t guarantee that you’ll end up speaking to someone who knows what they’re talking about. Palmstreet connects you with people who are passionate about plants. Period.

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This past weekend, I tried out a couple of podcast players on my iPhone, and decided to switch over to PocketCast for a trial run during the upcoming week.

I have been trying out different podcast players on-and-off over the past few months, and I am sad to report that none of them matches what I wanted exactly.


Thanks for reading.

The Piece-of-Mind Edition Saturday, June 1, 2024

Reacting To Unsolicited Two-Factor Authentication Codes, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Regardless of the cause, if you ever receive an unsolicited 2FA code for a site where you have an account, change the password immediately. It’s easy to do, particularly if you use a password manager, and the extra piece of mind is worth the effort.

What Is Post-quantum Encryption? Everything To Know About The High-tech Security Feature Adopted By Apple, Meta, And Zoom, by Michael Grothaus, Fast Company

In short, understand this: post-quantum encryption is the next phase in data encryption. If your app or device offers it today, you may not think it’s a big deal. But thirty years from now, your data might thank you.

Apple Vision Pro International Launch Likely Scheduled For July, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

A source familiar with the matter told MacRumors that the Apple Vision Pro is now scheduled to launch internationally in July. Separately, MacRumors is aware that some Apple Stores in the UK recently received large deliveries on pallets, believed to be couches designed for Vision Pro demos, that staff are not yet allowed to open. Apple Retail Managers in the UK have been told to begin the process of planning to transition the Avenues to facilitate Vision Pro accessories. Further refreshes of in-store visuals are also planned for July.

This Walking App Let Me Whack My Co-workers With A Baseball Bat, by Victoria Song, The Verge

Violence is never the answer. That said, it was fun when I opened a walking app and whacked a Verge editor with a baseball bat and made another slip on a banana peel. After, I continued on my peaceful commute home. A bit later, one of my fellow writers walloped me not once but twice with their own baseball bat. I wasn’t actually mad, but it did prompt me to go on a walk around the block so I could hit them back.

That, in a nutshell, is the appeal of Stompers — an iOS app that encourages you to whack, trick, and out-walk your friends (or colleagues) in a Looney Tunes-like race.

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I don't like to use Control Center on my iPhone, because it is in the wrong place. I use my phone with my left hand, and reaching my little thumb all the way to the top-right corner of the screen to pull down Control Center is really a stretch. Even on the tiny iPhone mini.

That's why I have shortcuts to change the volume (one to 100%, another to zero), and to change audio destination (headphones or speakers or HomePod).

I miss the days when I can pull up the Control Center from the bottom of the screen.

(I also miss the days when I can change the volume directly from the lock screen.)


Thanks for reading.