iOS 13 iPhone connected to iPod? WILL IT WORK?

[VIDEO] Another in the series. Per usual, video embedded in main Loop post. Very interesting.

No external power used, so the iPhone is charging the iPod. And this only works if the iPod is formatted as Fat32, not HFS+.

Lots of fascinating little details. Nice.

Apple plans to bankroll original podcasts to fend off rivals

Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. plans to fund original podcasts that would be exclusive to its audio service, according to people familiar with the matter, increasing its investment in the industry to keep competitors Spotify and Stitcher at bay.

Executives at the company have reached out to media companies and their representatives to discuss buying exclusive rights to podcasts, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the conversations are preliminary. Apple has yet to outline a clear strategy, but has said it plans to pursue the kind of deals it didn’t make before.

Slowly but surely, the podcast space is splintering, much like the video space.

In the video space, properties like Marvel, Pixar, Star Trek, Star Wars, The Office, Friends, etc., are all getting hidden behind walled gardens, like Disney+ and CBS Online.

Watch for podcasts to do the same over time. With funded podcasts outstripping indie podcasts that depend on withering advertising dollars, aggregating into well funded walled gardens.

To be clear, I’m not faulting anyone from going down this road. If this is true, seems a smart, competitive business move by Apple. More an observation that this particular evolution is as inevitable as the tides.

AI photo editor FaceApp goes viral again on iOS, raises questions about photo library access

The FaceApp app has gone viral over the last day or so, especially on Twitter, with people sharing pics of themselves, and others, as they’ll look when they get old.

The pics are fun, the viral nature harmless, but there are a few questions:

  • How does FaceApp gain access to your photos even if you mark access to your photo library as “Never”?
  • Does FaceApp upload those photos to their servers? And what happens to those photos after FaceApp hands you back your aged version?

Matthew Panzarino does a great job exploring and explaining these issues. Personally, I think someone at FaceApp should lay all this bare in a blog post, avoid turning all this viral exposure into a black eye.

One point Matthew makes that stands out to me:

While the app does indeed let you pick a single photo without giving it access to your photo library, this is actually 100% allowed by an Apple API introduced in iOS 11. It allows a developer to let a user pick one single photo from a system dialog to let the app work on.

An app can let you pick out a single photo, even if you mark access to photos as Never. This strikes me as a decision made long before privacy was even a consideration, left in place over the years as privacy moved to the forefront.

As Panzarino points out, maybe it’s time to reconsider that option.

Privacy respecting DuckDuckGo expands use of Apple Maps

DuckDuckGo:

In our quest to provide the best experience for local searches, earlier this year we announced that we’re now using Apple’s MapKit JS framework to power our mapping features. Since then, we’ve been continually working hard on further enhancements and we’re excited today to show you some new improvements.

Read the linked press release to learn all the details but, in a nutshell, this is a big leap forward for DuckDuckGo and mapping.

And, at least in my local area, this pushed it a little bit past Google Maps. There’s a pizza place a few blocks away that opened about a month ago. It’s on DuckDuckGo (because Apple Maps) and it is not yet on Google Maps.

Small sample size, I know, but it makes privacy respecting DuckDuckGo more of an equal browsing choice for me.

Apple offers a look at new emoji coming to iPhone this fall

Apple press release:

To celebrate World Emoji Day, Apple is previewing a selection of new emoji coming this fall, revealing the newest designs that bring even more diversity to the keyboard, alongside fun and exciting additions to popular categories of food, animals, activities and smiley faces.

My favorite:

In a major update to the Holding Hands emoji typically used to represent couples and relationships, users will now be able to select any combination of skin tone, in addition to gender, to personalize the people holding hands, opening up more than 75 possible combinations.

Representation. Normalization. This feels like a giant step forward to me. The ability to represent your relationship, to have that be seen as a normal part of the whole, is a powerful gift. Well done.

Amazing Easter egg in iOS speed test app

I don’t want to spoil this. If you’ve got an iOS device (have not yet been able to make this work on my Mac):

  • Download the linked Speed Test app from the App Store
  • Launch the app
  • You should see a big Go button

Now, before you go any further, let me put out this caveat: If you hate jump scares, even gentle ones, go no further. With that in mind:

  • Press and hold the Go button. Don’t let go

You should feel the occasional tap, occurring more and more frequently. Then a bit of a light show. Keep pressing.

Amazing to see the amount of work that must have gone into this incredibly hidden feature. Well done.

My house was burgled today. They took everything apart from my Apple gear

Reddit user:

I came home this evening to find my house had been broken into.

  • TV – Gone
  • Bluetooth Speaker – Gone
  • Wifes work Laptop (HP) – Gone
  • DSLR Camera – Gone
  • Logitech Headset – Gone
  • Computer bag – Gone

But my MacBook Pro 15″ on the other hand? They literally took it out of my computer bag and left it on my desk alongside my iPad and Apple TV.

Why not take the Apple gear? Of course, this could just be a hoax, but set that possibility aside and consider the possibility that this is real.

Is it possible that the reputation of Apple gear as trackable, the strength of iCloud locking/deactivation/tracking as a security measure is affecting the theft of Macs, iPads, and iPhones? Interesting.

Playing with the original 2001 iPod in 2019

[VIDEO] First things first, it’s amazing to me that the very first iPod debuted in October 2001.

Think about that timing for a moment. This was a bit more than a month after 9/11 and the shock was still palpable. A difficult time to command public attention and roll out a new product, to say the least.

The video embedded in the main Loop post does a nice job showing off the difficulties of working with really old gear, from port incompatibilities to replacing dead batteries on a device that was not meant to be easy to open.

I know it’s a lot to ask, but I’d really love to see a video connecting that original iPod to an iPad running iOS 13. Hey, I can dream, right?

Enjoy.

John Gruber: On Bill Gates’s ‘Greatest Mistake Ever’

John Gruber starts off with the story about Bill Gates calling out his approach to the smartphone market his greatest mistake ever. But he then moves on to thoughts on how Microsoft, more than any other factor, saved Apple at a time when Apple really needed saving.

Terrific read, great food for thought. Can’t help but wonder if Apple, with Steve Jobs and the iMac, would have still managed the improbable rise without that support from Microsoft.

Apple TV+ posts an homage to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing

[VIDEO] The Executive Producers of the coming Apple TV+ show For All Mankind pulled together this homage for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. The video is embedded in the main Loop post.

I am really looking forward to both Apple TV+ and For All Mankind in particular. Of all the shows Apple has so far revealed, For All Mankind seems like the one with the biggest potential. Fingers crossed.

Travel around the virtual world, watching random YouTube videos with zero views

A bit of a rabbit hole. Watch random videos from around the world, all uploaded to YouTube and all with very few views.

Click the headline link, then click Go, start watching. Click the button below the video to stick with it on the off chance you find something you like.

A fascinating and bizarre slice of the internet.

Amazon Prime Day is today. Here are some Apple deals worth a look

Here are a few of the deals I found. As is our policy, there are no embedded affiliate links:

Some pretty good deals here. Looks like these go through all day Tuesday.

Jony Ive’s mistakes: When beautiful design is bad design

Charles Arthur:

All of the plaudits for Jony Ive begin with how he and Steve Jobs saved Apple with the iMac. No doubt about it: that instantly recognizable shape became an icon, and led to thousands of imitations using translucent colored plastic, often in that same Bondi Blue, to show that they were part of the late-90s vibe. In a sense, the iMac was a triumph of packaging: the components inside were pretty straightforward. If Apple had put them into a beige box, the company would now be a historical footnote.

And:

The quote often attributed to Einstein is “everything must be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.” I think the trouble was that Ive often ignored the second part of that advice in the pursuit of refinement.

This is actually a fair take on Jony Ive designs that are considered by many to be mistakes, triumphs of form over function.

My favorite part is the section called “The strength of compromise”, which highlights things gone right, compromises that yielded greatness.

Terrific read, all around.

Linus tries building a Hackintosh faster than the newly announced Mac Pro

[VIDEO] Linus (of Linus Tech Tips) continues to pursue his goal of building the fastest Mac in the world (video embedded in the main Loop post). He thought he had it, releasing his mega-Hackintosh on the very day Apple announced the new Mac Pro. Unlucky that.

But he perseveres, bringing on a friend to help up the technology. Entertaining and ubergeeky.

Apple flexes its privacy muscles

Rich Mogull, TidBiTS:

This year I sat in the WWDC keynote, hearing the undertones, and realized that Apple is upping its privacy game to levels never before seen from a major technology company. That is, beyond improving privacy in its own products, the company is starting to use its market strength to extend privacy through the tendrils that touch the Apple ecosystem.

Rich does a nice job digging into Apple’s privacy moves, focusing on Sign in with Apple, Intelligent Ad Tracking Prevention, and HomeKit Secure Video.

From the end:

The global forces arrayed against personal privacy are legion. Advertising companies and marketing firms want to track your browsing and buying. Governments want to solve crimes and prevent terrorism whatever the cost. Telecommunication providers monitor all our Internet traffic and locations, just because they can. The financial services industry is sure our data is worth something.

Any list of big companies has to include Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and, of course, Apple. Daunting to think how critical your personal data is to the money-making equation for those first three.

Daunting that on this list, Apple stands alone as a guardian of your privacy.

Gregorian choir background sound generator

Hard to really explain this. Just turn on your sound, click through the headline link, and play around with the settings.

To me, the real value comes in getting a sound you like, then leaving it play. To me, perfect background music for when you really need to focus.

Then, when you’re ready for more sounds, head over to the main myNoise site page for lots more to explore.

Five of the best under-the-radar features in iOS 13

[VIDEO] Even if you know of these features, there’s no substitute for seeing them in action, especially useful if you’ve not yet made the leap into the iOS 13 beta. Jeff Benjamin does a great job showing each of these off. The video is embedded in the main Loop post.

A genius beehive-for-the-home kit

[VIDEO] Bee populations are struggling and this genius design hopes to help solve that problem and bring bees into the tiniest spaces. All you need is about 2 feet x 2 feet and some spare cash and you’ve got yourself a beehive.

As you’ll see in the video (worth watching, embedded in the main Loop post), the design means you won’t need any special gear to handle the hive and harvest honey, and it appears safe for kids, too.

This is an Indiegogo project that has already raised three times the money they needed.

How much is Apple’s spaceship headquarters worth? Now we have the answer

I’ve got some interest and experience in commercial real estate, so this article drew me in on several levels. Big picture, though, is the thought of someone, someday, buying this space. Would they tear down the building and build something denser, with no regard for the art of Apple Park’s design?

Or, will some future company move in, take the space as is? Or will Apple Park’s future be more the stuff of science fiction, with future civilizations puzzling over the perfect roundness of this long ago artifact?

Amazon now fastest-growing music service, outpacing Apple & Spotify

Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider:

According to sources familiar with the matter, Amazon has quietly outpaced subscriber additions versus its more well-known competitors. A report by the Financial Times claims that Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers have grown by about 70% in the last year.

Apple Music is said to be at a 60 million paid subscribers, Spotify at 100 million, and Amazon at about 32 million.

Spotify has done this with no hardware to leverage. Apple Music, obviously, has the iPhone and Apple Watch, with HomePod a small slice of the hardware listens.

Amazon has no phone, but Echo devices are a huge access point.

Will Apple pursue Amazon’s Echo, build out the HomePod space with more Siri access devices priced to compete with Echo?

To me, in the home, Amazon has an advantage, with low-priced Echos a Trojan horse for Amazon Music. Outside the home, on the road, Apple has the advantage, with iPhones, Apple Watch, and CarPlay all working in harmony to support the ecosystem.

Bottom line, I think it’s a matter of time until Spotify feels the squeeze from both sides.

9 year old Utah boy uses smartwatch to escape kidnapper

[VIDEO] This is an interesting story. It’s not about Apple Watch, and it’s from three years ago. Watch the video, embedded in the main Loop post.

At the heart of the story is a Gizmo smartwatch, specifically designed for kids. It sells for about $170.

What I find interesting about this watch is its incredibly simple design. It lets a child make and receive phone calls, but only to and from a specified list of phone numbers, a list that their parents set up and edit.

There’s a location tracker, presumably only available to their parents. And there’s a geofence, alerting parents when the watch leaves a specific location. So if the fence is set up to the grounds of a child’s school, the parents receive an alert if the child leaves that area.

There’s more to the Gizmo, but you get the idea. Now on to my point.

I’d like to see Apple add a mode like this to watchOS. All of the capabilities above exist already in watchOS. Imagine a starter Apple Watch with these limitations, perfect for a child, but also perfect for an elderly user, or for someone with limitations that might make it difficult to navigate the full watchOS.

And, while we’re at it, how about a similar, limited version of iPadOS? One with very large icons, and customizable. Boot it, and the only icons that show up are the ones it is set up with. And each of the icons can drive an editable shortcut. The shortcut might make a phone call to a specific person. Or send a text message. Or anything.

My mom is legally blind, and all the existing solutions in the Apple ecosystem are too complex for her to manage. She feels cutoff, but she’s smart, and eager for some solution she can manage. A limited Apple Watch or iPad would be a real blessing for her.

Woz calls in to local radio show, talks Facebook, Apple, and a lot more

[AUDIO] If you’ve never heard Apple founder Steve Wozniak speak before, this is a great listen. The audio is embedded in the main Loop post. Woz is so human, so himself, so natural. No pretense at all.

He does dig into Facebook at about 10:40 into the call, addressing the headlines that claimed he told the world to ditch Facebook.

Apple aims privacy billboard at Google’s controversial smart-city

Lisa Vaas, Sophos:

Apple has a new billboard and a far more specific target. This time, the company has erected a privacy billboard at the site of a developing “smart city” called Quayside. Some are calling the neighborhood, on Toronto’s eastern waterfront, a privacy dystopia in the making. It’s going to be sensor-thick, and it’s tangled up with the uber data-collecting Google: the developer is Sidewalk Labs, which is a subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

And:

The vision for Quayside is that of a smart city built “from the internet up”. As the Atlantic reported last November, sensor-collected data will be used “to disrupt everything:” traffic congestion, healthcare, housing, zoning regulations, and greenhouse-gas emissions.

Apple’s billboard hangs high over the city construction and reads:

We’re in the business of staying out of yours.

Here’s a link to a photo of the billboard, looming over Google’s Sidewalk Labs sign.

Apple disables Walkie Talkie app due to vulnerability that could allow iPhone eavesdropping

Matthew Panzerino, TechCrunch:

Apple has disabled the Apple Watch Walkie Talkie app due to an unspecified vulnerability that could allow a person to listen to another customer’s iPhone without consent, the company told TechCrunch this evening.

Apple’s statement:

We were just made aware of a vulnerability related to the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch and have disabled the function as we quickly fix the issue. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and will restore the functionality as soon as possible. Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability against a customer and specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit it, we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously. We concluded that disabling the app was the right course of action as this bug could allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent. We apologize again for this issue and the inconvenience.

Sounds like this is a temporary stoppage until they can get a workaround to the vulnerability.

Does anyone reading this use the Walkie-Talkie app? If so, ping me, I’m interested in the use case.

I’m a Mac. And I’m a credit union.

[VIDEO] Ran across this series of commercials the other day. They were for Apple Federal Credit Union and spoofed the old “I’m a Mac. And I’m a PC” Apple commercials. And when I say spoofed, they get it pretty right. There’s the casual shirt vs the suit and tie, the fit vs the slightly paunchy, and the whimsical piano as soundtrack.

It’s clearly intentional. And it kind of works. My favorite of the series is embedded in the main Loop post.

Oh, and the URL? TheOtherApple.org. Nice.

The fascinating bromance between Steve Jobs and Ross Perot

Ross Perot was, indeed, a fascinating character. He ran for President back in 1992 and became a bit of a legend, part of popular culture. He’s also known for funding Steve Jobs’ NeXT venture to the tune of $20 million. Of course, Apple bought NeXT and Steve came back to Apple.

Ross Perot died yesterday and the linked story, from last year, reemerged. Perot was a compelling character and this a worthwhile read.

WarnerMedia confirms its Netflix rival will be called HBO Max

So many pieces here. First, why do we need another HBO streaming service? To me, this is like having a MacBook and a MacBook Air. Confusing branding for the customer.

And consider the name HBO Max. WarnerMedia owns HBO which owns Cinemax and Cinemax is frequently shortened to Max in branding and on cable. Is this completely coincidental? I have yet to see mention of Cinemax in the marketing materials.

And the biggest piece? The new service will poach Friends from Netflix. Yet another monthly tentpole service. Want Friends? That’s going to cost you another $10 a month.

Other tentpole services include Star Trek shows from CBS Online, Star Wars/Pixar from Disney+, and The Office from NBC’s coming streaming service. Waiting for a new Seinfeld service to emerge. Not kidding.