Google Will Pay $3 Billion to Remain Top Search Provider on iOS →

August 16, 2017 · 15:11

Luke Dormehl, writing for Cult of Mac:

Google could pay Apple as much as $3 billion this year in order to remain the default search engine on iOS devices, a new report claims.

The claim comes from Bernstein analyst A.M. Sacconaghi Jr. If true, it would represent a sizable increase from the $1 billion that Apple was paid by Google for the same reason back in 2014.

While this is (or would be) a good business decision on Apple’s part, they really should just set DuckDuckGo as the default search engine. The good of the users should come first and DDG is easily good enough for most.


Removing “Send to Watch” from Overcast →

August 12, 2017 · 14:48

Marco Arment:

I’ve spent many months of development on Overcast’s Apple Watch app, especially implementing standalone “Send to Watch” playback. Unfortunately, I now need to remove the “Send to Watch” feature.

I tried it once, soon after it debuted in Overcast. The transfer of a single podcast episode was so slow, that I never bothered again. Apple needs to fix the Watch’s biggest bottleneck.


Celebrating 30 Years of HyperCard →

August 12, 2017 · 14:44

Jason Scott:

On August 11, 1987, Bill Atkinson announced a new product from Apple for the Macintosh; a multimedia, easily programmed system called HyperCard. HyperCard brought into one sharp package the ability for a Macintosh to do interactive documents with calculation, sound, music and graphics. It was a popular package, and thousands of HyperCard “stacks” were created using the software.

In an alternative universe, my other self’s dad bought a Mac instead of an IBM PC XT. Instead of being quite adept at navigating folders in Norton Commander by the age of six or seven, I would have taught myself HyperCard.


One Other Thought on Ulysses’ Subscription Model →

August 12, 2017 · 08:59

From Ulysses’ FAQ:

What happens after my subscription or trial ends? Can I still access my texts?

Definitely. Ulysses is in read-only mode, meaning you can still access all your sheets and export them using any export format.

I strongly believe that to alleviate concerns over “renting software” instead of owning a copy, Ulysses (in this example) should still be fully functional when a user ceases paying their subscription, but it would stop receiving updates and new features. If a developer was feeling extra generous, they could support new OS versions and security updates.


August 10, 2017 · 09:34

The 2017 Amazon Echo Show looks like what people thought the future would look like in 1980. In 2007, the iPhone was the future.


August 9, 2017 · 23:35

I listen to so many podcasts, that I’d prefer some of them to be daily shows. @ATPfm and @TheTalkShow come to mind first. At the same time, I probably should publish our podcast more often…


So, About this Googler’s Manifesto →

August 7, 2017 · 10:07

Yonatan Zunger:

I’m writing this here, in this message, because I’m no longer at the company and can say this sort of thing openly. But I want to make it very clear: if you were in my reporting chain, all of part (3) would have been replaced with a short “this is not acceptable” and maybe that last paragraph above. You would have heard part (3) in a much smaller meeting, including you, me, your manager, your HRBP, and someone from legal. And it would have ended with you being escorted from the building by security and told that your personal items will be mailed to you. And the fact that you think this was “all in the name of open discussion,” and don’t realize any of these deeper consequences, makes this worse, not better.


Embrace the Notch! →

August 3, 2017 · 10:00

Max Rudberg:

Beforehand I was fond of the idea of blending the statusbar with the hardware, but seeing the mockups like this, I’m not so sure. Blending the statusbar with the hardware makes the screen seem smaller than it is and the result is less striking. I’m now leaning towards that Apple will embrace the notch.

I’m voting for embracing the notch, because it could play well into Apple showcasing how large the screen’s area really is. Then again, they could be conservative, so as not to alienate those who hate that look.

 

Photo credit: Max Rudberg


How Apple Is Putting Voices in Users’ Heads →

August 3, 2017 · 08:57

Steven Levy:

My conversation with Mathias Bahnmueller started as pretty much all my phone interviews do. “Can you hear me?” he asked, and I replied affirmatively. Then I asked him the same question. His answer was yes—he could hear me very clearly. And this was a tiny miracle.

That’s because Bahnmueller suffers from hearing loss so severe that a year ago he underwent surgery to install a cochlear implant—an electronic device in the inner ear that replaces the usual hearing mechanism. Around a million patients have undergone this increasingly mainstream form of treatment, and that’s just a fraction of those who could benefit from it. (Of the 360 million people worldwide with hearing loss, about 10 percent would qualify for the surgery.) “For those who reach a point where hearing aids no longer help, this is the only solution,” says Allison Biever, an audiologist in Englewood, CO who works with implant patients. “It’s like restoring a signal in a radio station.”

Cochlear implants bypass the usual hearing process by embedding a device in the inner ear and connecting it via electrodes to the nerve that sends audio signals to the brain. The implant gets sound from an external microphone and sound processor that usually sits behind the ear. Until now, users have had to deal with balky remote controls to adjust the settings. And dealing with smartphones has required a separate piece of equipment that vexes communication thanks to its low quality and annoying lags. But Bahnmueller, a 49-year-old executive in automotive safety, has recently been testing a new solution. The reason I was coming through so clearly is that his over-the-ear device linked to the implant was streaming directly from his iPhone—essentially putting the conversation in his head.

Technology can do so much for those less fortunate, but so rarely seems to. This is amazing.


Apple Financial Results — FY Q3 2017 →

August 2, 2017 · 08:45

Apple PR:

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2017 third quarter ended July 1, 2017. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $45.4 billion and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.67. These results compare to revenue of $42.4 billion and earnings per diluted share of $1.42 in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 61 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Apple sold:

  • 41 million iPhones (40.4 million in FY Q3 2016)
  • 11.4 million iPads (10.0 million in FY Q3 2016)
  • 4.3 million Macs (4.3 million in FY Q3 2016)

Apple Should Leave the Chinese Market →

August 1, 2017 · 23:20

John Gruber:

First, let’s dispose of the notion that Apple could have chosen to defy the Chinese government and keep the VPN apps in the App Store. Technically, Apple could have done that. But if they had, there would have been consequences. My guess is that the Chinese government would move to block all access to the App Store in China, or even block access to all Apple servers, period. This would effectively render all iOS devices mostly useless. iPhones have been sagging in popularity in China for a few years now — with no access to apps, their popularity would drop to zero. And Apple would have a lot of angry iPhone-owning users in China on its hands.

When I first saw how hard Apple was pushing into China, to expand its potential market, my only thought was, that they were in it for the money. Quite frankly, I believe they should leave China. What’s more, they should never have entered it. If they choose to remain there, then they should stand by their beliefs — today it’s VPNs, tomorrow it will be asking for access to iMessages or some other nonsense. At this point all Apple can do is “pray they don’t alter the deal further.”

While this is obviously a much deeper subject, Apple being in China with the iPhone always felt wrong to me.


Defying E.U. Court, Poland Is Cutting Trees in an Ancient Forest →

August 1, 2017 · 09:18

Joanna Berendt, writing for the New York Times:

Defying an order from the European Union’s highest court, the Polish government said on Monday that it would continue logging in Bialowieza Forest, the last primeval forest in Europe and a habitat for hundreds of bison.

The decision is the latest challenge by Poland to the legal authority of the European Union, which Poland joined in 2004, and could result in financial penalties. The arch-conservative and nationalist government that took power in Poland in 2015 has been chastised by the authorities in Brussels; last week, it was formally warned that its efforts to consolidate power over the judiciary in Poland threatened the rule of law.

The Bialowieza Forest, a Unesco World Heritage site, is a relic of ancient woodlands in the middle of the European lowlands, at the border of Poland and Belarus.

Poland is so fucked right now. Soon, the EU will impose sanctions our country. Who will pay? Us of course, not the government, which has already set us back at least a decade. Another decade.


iPhone 8 Code Name and Image Found in Homepod Firmware

July 31, 2017 · 08:39

Steven did a little sleuthing over the weekend, poking around the HomePod firmware…

Pearl ID and BiometricKit found, but still no word whether the iPhone 8/Pro (or whatever else Apple will call it) will have Touch ID along facial recognition.

Guilherme Rambo‏ also found an image representing the new iPhone, which Steven confirmed, along with its D22 code name.


Someone at Apple is going to have an angry phone call today…


Tesla Model 3 Doesn’t Have a Key →

July 29, 2017 · 09:59

Tamara Warren, writing for The Verge:

And the best part: when I pulled into park, I asked about the key. The car doesn’t haven’t one. You control the car through the Tesla app on your phone. Tesla has succeed in making a car for gadgeteers, and for forgetful people like me that sometimes leave their phones behind. (It does have a small credit card key to hand off to valets, for people that will stunt in their 3.)

I can imagine a few scenarios where that’s a bad idea. They should add one of those rubber band Fitbit-like devices, which you can put on your wrist. I think Range Rover or Volvo does them.


Tesla Model 3 Photos and Specs

July 29, 2017 · 09:43

The Model 3, according to what Elon Musk said, will come in two variants. The standard model will cost $35,000, accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 5.6 seconds , and have a range of 220 miles (352 km). The long range model will be more expensive at $44,000, accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, and have a range of 310 miles (496 km). Still no word on the “D” models, with AWD.

Continue reading →


CEO Says iRobot Will Never Sell Your Data →

July 29, 2017 · 09:13

David Gewirtz, for ZDnet:

First things first, iRobot will never sell your data. Our mission is to help you keep a cleaner home and, in time, to help the smart home and the devices in it work better.

iRobot further clarified:

This was a misinterpretation. Angle never said that iRobot would look to sell customer maps or data to other companies. iRobot has not had any conversations with other companies about data transactions, and iRobot will not sell customer data.

This is in response to Reuter’s report from a few days ago.


Is it “iPod shuffles” or “iPods shuffle”? →

July 27, 2017 · 22:50

Peter Rojas, writing for Engadget on 19 January 2005:

It took us a few days of harrassing Apple’s PR department, but we were finally able to answer one of the most burning questions of the past seven days: Is it “iPod shuffles” or “iPods shuffle?” Here’s a transcript of our conversation…

If Phil Schiller answered, he’d probably troll Peter with “iPod Shuffle devices.”


July 27, 2017 · 22:41

I’m so tempted to move away from WordPress to Ghost or Nanoc. Both are enticing, but then I remember that many things come for free with WP…


iPod Nano and Shuffle Removed from Apple.com

July 27, 2017 · 22:23

Sadly, the iPod Nano and Shuffle were both removed from Apple.com. The iPod brand still lives on, in the form of the iPod touch in 32 GB and 128 GB flavours. I kept hoping Apple would release an iPod Nano with Apple Music support in some form, even if it didn’t have a modem — it appears that those dreams won’t come true.


Roomba Wants to Sell Maps of Homes Its Robots Clean →

July 25, 2017 · 10:38

Jan Wolfe, reporting for Reuters:

Angle told Reuters that iRobot, which made Roomba compatible with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant in March, could reach a deal to sell its maps to one or more of the Big Three in the next couple of years.

I was recently considering buying a Roomba or one of the copycats on the market but I have now changed my mind. I will gladly pay more for a product that does not make me the… product.


Poland — Basically A Dictatorship →

July 20, 2017 · 16:04

Rick Lyman, writing for the New York Times:

An enraged Jaroslaw Kaczynski — the former president’s twin brother and, as leader of Law and Justice, the most powerful political figure in Poland — seized the lectern and fired back: “Do not wipe your traitorous mugs with the name of my late brother. You are scoundrels.”

Law and Justice has long maintained that the 2010 crash was an assassination, perhaps involving Russia and members of the political opposition.

“You murdered him,” Mr. Kaczynski shouted.

Ewa Kopacz, the prime minister under the previous center-right government, declared herself flabbergasted. “This man is crazy with hate,” she said of Mr. Kaczynski. “He cannot control his emotions.”

When Trump won, I thought USA was worse off than Poland.

I was wrong.


Censoring Porn in the UK →

July 18, 2017 · 08:52

Kelly Fiveash, writing for Ars Technica:

Under the yet-to-be-implemented measures, free and fee-based porn operators—many of which are based abroad—will be required to insert age checkers on their sites in the UK, forcing users to dish up their credit card details to prove that they are 18 or over before being granted access to smut.

Hackers are dry-washing their hands right now.