Apple: ‘A Hiss or Whine Coming From An iPhone Is Unacceptable’ →

September 30, 2016 · 10:32

Stephen Hackett:

Some sites reported that the sound was completely normal, and that all devices make it. While coil whine — the probable cause of the noise I heard — is something I have come across before, I’ve never heard it on the many, many iOS devices I’ve handled over the years.

Others suggested I was exaggerating or fabricating the story entirely.

This writing didn’t line up with the experience I had when I called AppleCare after publishing my post. My call was quickly escalated to a supervisor, who sent me to my local Apple Store to replace the phone. They agreed that hearing a whine or hiss from an iPhone sitting on a desk was unusual and unacceptable.

While I’m glad that Apple got him sorted, I feel sorry for the feedback Stephen received and had to go through.

Rob Janoff Talks About His Apple Logo Design →

September 28, 2016 · 11:59

Touraj Saberivand:

While working in their garage in 1977, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak asked Rob Janoff, who had studied design, to create a logo for their first Apple products. When Janoff went to Jobs with final sketches, everything went very smoothly, and the bitten apple has been the symbol of the brand ever since.

The whole piece is worth a read — lots of great tidbits; much too many to quote here.

iPhone 7 scores 86 in DxOMark, behind HTC 10 and Galaxy S7 →

September 28, 2016 · 11:09

DxOMark:

The iPhone 7 achieves an overall DxOMark Mobile Score of 86. That’s better than Apple’s previous best score of 84 for the iPhone 6s Plus and 82 for the iPhone 6s. Its improved Texture performance is likely related to the new lens design, while its lower noise score shows the effect of its faster lens and improved image processing chip (ISP). Artifacts are also greatly reduced, thanks no doubt to the upgraded ISP.

It still loses out to the HTC 10 and Samsung Galaxy S7 in DxOMark’s ranking, but it does have a smaller sensor behind the wide-angle lens. In real-world use the different is negligible however, especially if shooting RAW. If anything, from my own tests, the iPhone 7 has ever so slightly less shadow noise than the SGS7. JPGs are another matter entirely, with Apple’s ISP being subjectively superior in my tests — the Samsung images are much punchier and have a higher contrast, which results in detail loss, especially in the shadows, while the more natural iPhone shots allow for more post-processing, including going for that high-contrast look that so many people prefer.

Lightroom CC 2015.7 Adds iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Support →

September 21, 2016 · 11:17

Sharad Mangalick:

Lightroom CC (2015.7) and Lightroom 6.7 are now available. The goal of this release is to provide additional camera raw support and lens profile support, and to address bugs that were introduced in previous releases of Lightroom.

Please note that this version of Lightroom contains compatibility fixes for macOS 10.12 (Sierra) and also requires macOS 10.10 and greater.

This update also adds full support for the new iPhones, including lens profiles.

Jason Snell on the New iCloud Features →

September 21, 2016 · 11:16

Jason Snell:

Now, I may not be the perfect user for this feature, but I wanted to give it to try. And I definitely saw it in action, but I can’t call it a success. It was, in fact, the single most frustrating moment I spent with macOS Sierra.

Here’s what happened: I was editing a podcast in Apple’s Logic Pro X, and my project was stored on the Desktop. All of a sudden, the voice of one of my podcast panelists simply vanished from the mix. I quit and re-launched Logic, only to be told that the file in question was missing. Sure enough, a visit to Finder revealed that Sierra had “optimized” my storage and removed that file from my local drive. I’ll grant you, the file was a couple of weeks old, and very large as most audio files are. But I was also actively using it within a Logic project. Apparently that didn’t count for anything?

So that’s bad. That’s enough for me to turn off that feature and never use it again—or at the very least, never keep my project files on the Desktop or in the Documents folder.

To add insult to injury, at the time my files were deleted, my hard drive had approximately 80GB of free space. Why were the files deleted? I have no idea, but I suspect a bug in how Sierra was viewing the stock internal SSD of my iMac, because it’s also warned me that it didn’t have enough space to back up a 64GB iPhone with more than 100GB free, and gave me a “you’re about to run out of disk space” warning with 60GB free. So not only did Sierra remove files that I was using, it did so without any necessity.

At this point I downloaded all my files from iCloud, copied them to a file server just in case, and turned off both the Manage Storage feature and iCloud syncing of my Documents and Desktop folder. It’s a nice idea, but I’m not willing to have the place on my Mac where I keep key projects and documents to be a place I can’t count on. Think twice before enabling this feature.

I use BitTorrent Sync Pro to synchronise my Desktop and Downloads folders between my Macs. I can’t see myself moving away from this solution in the near future and switching to iCloud.

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macOS Sierra Is Available to Download on the Mac App Store

September 20, 2016 · 19:11

The new macOS Sierra 10.12 is ready to download and install from the Mac App Store. Before you do the latter, please remember to backup your drive — I suggest two backups at the least. Personally, I always make sure my Time Machine has a fresh backup and I also clone my system drive with Carbon Copy Cloner. Better safe than sorry.

macOS Sierra

P.S. The Dev GM 2 and final build numbers are the same — both are 16A323. The public beta GM is an older build.

iPhone 7 Display: Outstanding →

September 20, 2016 · 10:11

Dr. Raymond M. Soneira:

An Outstanding Smartphone Display

The display on the iPhone 7 is a Truly Impressive Top Performing Display and a major upgrade and enhancement to the display on the iPhone 6. It is by far the best performing mobile LCD display that we have ever tested, and it breaks many display performance records.

I have always had reservations about Dr. Soneira’s subjective comments and while I truly believe his enthusiasm is authentic, I’ll be on the lookout for tests from others.

Variable Fonts, a New Kind of Font for Flexible Design →

September 19, 2016 · 09:47

Tim Brown:

Just minutes ago, at the ATypI conference in Warsaw, the world was introduced to a new kind of font: a variable font. Jointly developed by Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Adobe, a variable font is, as John Hudson put it, “a single font file that behaves like multiple fonts”. Imagine a single font file gaining an infinite flexibility of weight, width, and other attributes without also gaining file size — and imagine what this means for design.

This will be awesome!

Why the iPhone 7 Plus Telephoto Won’t Shoot in Low-Light Situations →

September 17, 2016 · 21:29

Serenity Caldwell:

And yes, let’s be straight: It’s designed to be a system, working in tandem with the Camera app to minimize shortcomings or aberrations that come from taking a photo with a smartphone camera one-fifth the size of a DSLR or pro mirrorless camera. Those two photos of Rene, above, were both taken using the Camera app’s “2x” setting — but only one of them actually used the telephoto lens. (The one on the right.)

That’s because the telephoto lens on the iPhone 7 Plus isn’t really designed to be a stand-alone shooter, no matter Apple’s “Shoot at 2x!” marketing: It shines, appropriately, when in bright light and adding detail. If you don’t find yourself taking lots of sunlit images with the Camera app, however, you may not actually be looking through that telephoto lens when framing pictures as often as you might think.

This is fascinating. Can’t wait to dive into my own tests. Please remember that you will be able to choose which camera you want to use via third-party apps, such as Obscura — the feature should be added soon. I’m pretty sure other apps will adopt this soon enough

rdar://28350774 – Cannot Copy Text From PDF in Mail.app and Paste to Messages.app

September 17, 2016 · 13:10

I filed a bug today about PDFs, Mail, and Messages:

Text copied from PDFs attached to mail messages cannot be pasted into Messages (both SMS and iMessage).

1. Open Mail.
2. Download & open PDF attached to email.
3. Select & copy text from PDF.
4. Try to paste text into new or existing Message (iMessage or SMS) — no paste prompt after tapping the text field.

After tapping the text field, a “paste” popup should appear.

Nothing happens after tapping the empty text field.

If you’re reading this and know someone who could push this forward, I’d be very grateful.


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iPhone 7 or 7 Plus — Which One Should You Choose?

September 17, 2016 · 12:23

This question seems to of concern to a lot of people each year. The same question was asked when the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus debuted, and again a year later, during the 6S and 6S Plus launch. This year things are a bit different though — the specs of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are much closer to each other in two important regards. So which one should you choose?

Continue reading →


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Apple’s iPhone 7 Tribute to the iMac G3

September 16, 2016 · 17:40

As soon as I saw the new iPhone 7 promotional wallpapers, I knew I’d seen those colours somewhere before. I love that they did this.

P.S. I compiled the image above myself a few days after the keynote.

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App Store Deals — 15/09/2016

September 15, 2016 · 13:06

Apart from the surprising amount of deals on Mac games, there are a few good iOS apps available for a lower price too. I especially like the Kingdom Rush series — played through them all (Frontiers is pretty hard in comparison to the regular one).

Big Action Mega Fight! – iOS – Games – €2.99 > €0.00
Civilization: Beyond Earth – Mac – Games – €39.99 > €19.99
Civilization IV – Mac – Games – €19.99 > €9.99
Civilization V: Campaign Edition – Mac – Games – €29.99 > €14.99
Command & Conquer: Generals Deluxe – Mac – Games – €19.99 > €9.99
Evel Knievel – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.00
Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller – iOS – Games – €2.99 > €0.99
Kingdom Rush Frontiers HD – iPad – Games – €3.99 > €2.99
Kingdom Rush Frontiers – iPhone – Games – €2.99 > €1.99
Kingdom Rush HD – iPad – Games – €2.99 > €0.00
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North – Mac – Games – €19.99 > €4.99
The Secret of Monkey Island: SE – Mac – Games – €9.99 > €4.99
Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Colonization – Mac – Games – €19.99 > €9.99
SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition – Mac – Games – €19.99 > €9.99
SimCity: Complete Edition – Mac – Games – €29.99 > €14.99
Star Wars: Empire At War – Mac – Games – €19.99 > €9.99
Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast – Mac – Games – €9.99 > €4.99
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy – Mac – Games – €9.99 > €4.99
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy – Mac – Games – €9.99 > €4.99
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – Mac – Games – €9.99 > €4.99
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – Mac – Games – €9.99 > €4.99
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – Mac – Games – €19.99 > €9.99
Symmetrica – Minimalistic arcade game – iOS – Games – €0.99 > €0.00
The Sims 2: Castaway Stories – Mac – Games – €19.99 > €9.99
The Sims 2: Life Stories – Mac – Games – €19.99 > €9.99
The Sims 2: Pet Stories – Mac – Games – €19.99 > €9.99
The Sims 2: Super Collection – Mac – Games – €29.99 > €14.99

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Austin Mann’s iPhone 7 Plus Camera Review — Shot in Rwanda →

September 15, 2016 · 12:44

Austin Mann:

As many of you know, in the past I’ve created this review in Iceland (twice), Patagonia, and Switzerland, but this year I wanted to really change things up. With indicators pointing toward possibilities of optical zoom, I asked myself: Where’s the best place in the world to test optical zoom? Africa, of course.

So this year, in collaboration with Nat Geo Travel + Nat Geo Adventure and the amazing team at Ker & Downey operating our tour, we’ve set out to get you the answers. I’m writing from deep in the Nyungwe rain forest in southwest Rwanda. We’ve been tracking gorillas in the north, boating Lake Kivu in the west, and running through tea plantations in the south — all with the iPhone 7 Plus in hand.

I’m captivated by his time-lapses. If that camera can indeed deliver those kinds of seemless exposure adjustments, this will be one awesome upgrade.

Image credit: Austin Mann

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Austin Mann in Rwanda with the iPhone 7 Plus on National Geopgrahic →

September 15, 2016 · 12:37

Austin Mann:

I’m travel photographer Austin Mann, and every year I take the new iPhone on an adventure to answer two questions: What are the new features of the iPhone camera, and how do they make my pictures better?

This year I’ve been working with and testing the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in Rwanda. I trekked to a volcano and photographed mountain gorillas, putting the iPhone to work. I used the new optical zoom, put the stabilizer to the test while flying over the rain forest, and wished it would rain so I could try out the new water-resistant feature!

It’s been a whirlwind, and the iPhone 7 has been a beast of a camera, keeping up every step of the way. Here are my top tips from my adventure.

I love his work — make sure to read the whole piece and don’t forget to look at the photos.

Image credit: Austin Mann

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iOS 10, watchOS 3 and tvOS 10 Is Out

September 13, 2016 · 19:19

Apple released iOS 10, watchOS 3 and tvOS 10 about 20 minutes ago or so. The build is the same as the dev and public GM so if you’re on either of those, you do not need to (or can) update.

Please remember to do a full iTunes backup before updating though — add a password so that you also backup your Health data, as well as your passwords and remembered Wi-Fi networks.

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App Store Deals — 13/09/2016

September 13, 2016 · 17:36

There’s quite a bit of cool software that has come down in price today — Acorn is a great image editor for people who don’t need the power of Photoshop, while Drafts is probably the most robust note-taking app for iOS. Blek, Lara Croft GO and Hitman GO are all Apple Award winners if I remember correctly, while PDFpen Scan+ is one of the most popular apps in its category. And if you’re looking for a manual camera for iOS, take a peek at Pro Camera.

Acorn 5 – The Image Editor for Humans – Mac – Graphics & Design – €29.99 > €14.99
Blek – iOS – Games – €2.99 > €0.00
Currencier – Currency Converter Widget – Mac – Finance – €2.99 > €0.00
Drafts – Quickly Capture Notes – iOS – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Hitman GO – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
Lara Croft GO – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
PDFpen Scan+ – iOS – Business – €6.99 > €1.99
Pro Camera – iPhone – Photography – €4.99 > €0.00

P.S. iOS 10 should be officially out in about 90 minutes or so.

The iPhone 7 Plus Dual Cameras Work Together During Every Shot →

September 13, 2016 · 14:22

Matthew Panzarino:

Every time you take a picture with the iPhone 7, both the wide angle and telephoto fire off. Yes, two 12 megapixel pictures for every shot. This could be a prime driver behind the increase of the iPhone 7 Plus’ memory to 3GB.

Both images are needed due to an Apple technique it is calling “fusion” internally. Fusion takes data from both sensors and merges them into the best possible picture for every condition. If, for instance, there is a low-light scene that has some dark areas, the image-processing chip could choose to pick up some image data (pixels or other stuff like luminance) from the brighter f1.8 wide angle and mix it in with the data from the f2.8 telephoto, creating a composite image on the fly without any input from the user. This fusion technique is available to every shot coming from the camera, which means that the iPhone 7 Plus is mixing and matching data every time that trigger is tapped.
This technique is made possible because the optics, coatings, sensors, perspectives and color balances of the two cameras are perfectly matched.

The fusion technique also comes in handy when using the new zoom functions of the iPhone 7 Plus.

This is extremely intruiging if true — I know this technique was used on the previous iPhones but thought it impossible to do with two different focal lenghts. I would love a more detailed exaplanation of what the ISP does exactly.

John Gruber’s ‘The iPhones 7’ →

September 13, 2016 · 13:26

John Gruber:

After just five days — more than half of which I’ve spent using the matte black iPhone 7 Plus — this jet black iPhone 7 has a few “micro abrasions”, to use Apple’s own term. I can only see them when I’m looking for them, and only when I reflect light off the surface at the perfect angle, but they’re there. This is after two days of careful use, and never putting it in a pocket that contains anything else. The back surface of this phone shows more wear after (effectively) two days of use than my space gray 6S does after nearly a year.

I don’t mind the scratches as much as constant finger and face prints on the black front.

There is a rumor, rampant on Twitter, that the wide angle camera sensor on the 7 Plus is smaller than that of the 7. I checked with Apple and they were adamant that there is no truth to this. Optically, the wide angle camera on the Plus is identical to that of the 7. The only differences between the cameras are their internal connectors. The sensors and lenses are the same.

Good to have confirmation from an official source.

The telephoto second camera has a few limitations. It does not have OIS, for one thing. Second, it has an f/2.8 aperture; the wide angle lens has an f/1.8. The smaller the f-stop number, the larger the aperture is. You know how the corneas of your eyes open wide when it’s dark, to let more light into your eyes? That’s exactly the purpose of the aperture on a camera. A smaller f-stop lets in more light. (The cameras on the iPhone 6S and 6S plus had apertures of f/2.2.)

Thus, in my opinion, the second camera on the 7 Plus is mostly useful with well-lit-room-or-better lighting. In low-light situations, you’re going to want to shoot at 1x with the wide angle lens. But when you do have good lightning, especially outdoors, the image quality from the telephoto lens is terrific.

Too bad about lack of OIS, but then again, I never really needed it, apart from days when I shoot video. Nice to hear that the quality is up there though.

Even with high-end DSLR cameras and lenses that produce a shallow depth of field naturally, the photographer doesn’t see it before they take the shot.

This part is wrong. On every camera with a TTL viewfinder1, the photographer sees exactly what the lens does, including the DoF. You can however stop down a DSLR lens to preview the set aperture, if it’s not set to wide open, to judge the DoF before taking the shot. The small viewfinder makes this harder to see than on a large LCD screen. DoF preview is not possible through the OVF of cameras such as a Fuji X100 or Leica rangefinder, unless you use the EVF.

Apart from that small error above, I urge you to read John’s insightful take on the new iPhones.

  1. Through-the-lens.

Sports Illustrated Uses iPhone 7 Plus to Photograph Titans-Vikings Game →

September 12, 2016 · 07:46

Sports Illustrated:

On Wednesday, Apple unveiled the brand new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, both of which feature an entirely new camera system. Now some of the first photos taken by the new iPhone 7 Plus camera are being unveiled exclusively on SI.com. On Sunday, Sports Illustrated photographer David E. Klutho took photos with the new iPhone 7 Plus camera at the Titans-Vikings game. The iPhone 7 Plus has a 12–megapixel telephoto camera that offers new zooming capabilities. Each new model also features a wider aperture and a lens that allows the camera to capture brighter and more vibrant colors in photos and videos. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in stores in 25 countries on Friday, Sept. 16.

I wonder if these were shot in RAW (DNG) and post processed or if they’re straight from the camera. Obviously the new ‘portrait’ mode wasn’t used or wasn’t available to SI.

Technical Details on Ceramics and the New Apple Watch Edition →

September 10, 2016 · 17:39

Liz Stinson:

Watchmakers use a ceramic material with very fine pores. It’s called zirconia (zirconium oxide, for the chemists reading), and it’s simultaneously hard and resistant to cracking. It also resists changes in temperature and moisture, which is why surgeons often use it in hip-replacement prosthetics. To bolster its strength (and achieve that bright, white color) Apple added alumina, another ceramic. The result is a material that’s pretty much un-scratchable, and, under most circumstances, unbreakable.

Is it impossible to break? No. “But you’ll probably never experience forces that are high enough to cause fracture,” Greer says. That may be true, but at $1,250 it’s best to not test that theory.

I want a white ceramic iPhone, which a white front — Stormtrooper White, if you will.

The Magic of AirPods →

September 10, 2016 · 17:32

Jason Snell:

Apple’s attention to detail, and to how people use their headphones, extends to the way that the sensors on the AirPods and the software on the iPhone work together. If you’ve got audio playing on an iPhone and then you pop an AirPod into one ear, the iPhone automatically switches the audio input to that AirPod—in mono mode, no less. Put an AirPod in the other ear and now you’re hearing everything in stereo.

Without a cable, there’s no clicker to play or pause your music, but if you pull one of the AirPods out of your ear, the iPhone pauses automatically—a cue that you’re removing an earbud because you want to hear something in the real world, or are talking to someone. Pop the AirPod back in and the audio begins to play. Take both of the AirPods out and the iPhone switches its audio output back to its own speakers. On my current pair of Bluetooth earbuds, when I’m done with a run I need to take the earbuds out and then mash on a button for a few seconds until it finally turns itself off and disconnects from my iPhone. This is better!

When I first saw the demo, I couldn’t believe this was Bluetooth or built on top of it, but it’s indeed the latter. These are some of the things which people don’t get until they try them once. But once they do, it’s hard to go back.

Shifting From Apple Car to CarOS with Accessories? →

September 10, 2016 · 17:27

Daisuke Wakabayashi and Brian X. Chen:

In a retrenchment of one of its most ambitious initiatives, Apple has shuttered parts of its self-driving car project and laid off dozens of employees, according to three people briefed on the move who were not allowed to speak about it publicly.

The job cuts are the latest sign of trouble with Apple’s car initiative. The company has added resources to the project — code-named Titan — over the last two years, but it has struggled to make progress. And in July, the company brought in Bob Mansfield, a highly regarded Apple veteran, to take over the effort.

Overcast Trying Ads →

September 10, 2016 · 10:07

Marco Arment:

A lot of indie developers struggle to make sustainable income in the App Store. I’ve experimented with many models over the years, and I’ll be happy to share the results of this change to hopefully be useful to other developers.

I honestly don’t know if this will work long-term, but I think it probably will. If it does, it will solve a lot of problems and let me do quite a bit more, better and faster than before, and truly make the best app for everyone, rather than only 3% of my customers.

It honestly makes me sad that developers are having a harder and harder time supporting themselves from good software. Take Tweetbot as an example — an app I use a few hours every single day — it’s really cheap right now but the value it gives me in return is immense. I would gladly pay much more, but at the same time I realise most wouldn’t.

App Store Name Lengths →

September 10, 2016 · 10:06

David Smith:

Starting tomorrow Apple will start enforcing a new rule limiting the length of an app’s name to 50 characters. Additionally, they will start disallowing apps from including “terms or descriptions that are not the name of the app”.

The latter of these rules is probably the most actually impactful and important in terms of cleaning up the App Store. As the length of the names hasn’t really been the problem, it is keyword spamming at the end of the name.

But the 50 character limit is still interesting to consider, so I dug through my App Store metadata cache to see just how many apps would be affected. It looks like only around 9% of apps currently have names that are longer than 50 characters (around 200k).