PCalc turns 25

PCalc was my first ever application. I started writing in the summer of 1992 and it took me around six months to get it into a state where I was happy to show it to the world. Some of that code still runs today, deep at the heart of the machine.

Such an incredible run for James Thomson. Congrats!

Apple’s FileVault encryption

FileVault is Apple’s implementation of encrypting your data on macOS and Mac hardware. It will encrypt all of your data on your startup disk (although you can also encrypt your Time Machine backups as well) and once enabled, it will encrypt your data on the fly and will work seamlessly in the background.

FileVault has come a long way since I used it, but I haven’t enabled it in years.

Apple faces eight lawsuits for slowing down iPhones

Apple Inc defrauded iPhone users by slowing devices without warning to compensate for poor battery performance, according to eight lawsuits filed in various federal courts in the week since the company opened up about the year-old software change.

This is just the beginning.

Merry Christmas and thank you

Another year is almost over. I wanted to take a minute and wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a safe New Year.

I also wanted to thank Dave Mark and Shawn King for all the hard work they put into The Loop every day. The posts Dave and Shawn make on the site are some of my favorites to read on the web. The three of us try to post things you will find interesting, entertaining, and sometimes just to give you a laugh.

Most importantly, I wanted to thank you, the reader for the support you have shown us this year. I am truly humbled by all of you. Whether you’re a member, a sponsor, or a regular reader, know that we appreciate you.

Be safe this holiday season.

Jim

Apple chip expert leaves for Google

Bruno founded and managed Apple’s silicon competitive analysis group, which sought to keep the company ahead of competitors in the area of chip performance. He follows several other experienced chip engineers who have defected to Google from Apple over the past year, including Manu Gulati, Wonjae (Gregory) Choi and Tayo Fadelu.

These are highly skilled people for Apple. It would be very interesting to hear what made them leave Apple for Google.

Three Amazon Studios execs leave for Apple

Tara Sorensen, the head of Amazon kids programming, will take on a similar role at Apple as the company pushes more into developing original content. She will report to Apple’s chief content officers Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, themselves former Sony TV executives. Along with Sorensen, international development executive Carina Walker and business affairs chief Tara Pietri will also depart Amazon for Apple, with Pietri leading Apple’s legal affairs division. Walker will again be an international creative executive, reporting to fellow Amazon alum Morgan Wandell.

Apple is getting serious. It’s going to be an interesting 2018 in the video space.

Apple sued for slowing down older iPhones

Los Angeles residents Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas, represented by Wilshire Law Firm, this morning filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California accusing Apple of slowing down their older iPhone models when new models come out.

This lawsuit is complete bullshit. It shows the lawyers and people who brought the suit don’t understand what Apple is doing (not that they really care about that). They are not slowing down phones when new models come out, they are trying to optimize the battery and performance, as explained yesterday.

Facebook signs licensing deal with Universal Music

Facebook Inc and Universal Music Group on Thursday announced a global agreement that will enable users to upload videos featuring music from Universal’s library across the social media network as well as Instagram and Oculus.

Facebook has done a great job in staying ahead of the curve in recent years, offering its users enough to stay on the site. There must be a demand for this among its users, but I’m not sure how much.

CSS glitch effect

Today we’d like to show you how to create a little experimental glitch-like effect on an image. The effect will be powered by CSS animations and the clip-path property. The technique involves using several layers of images where each one will have a clip-path, a blend mode and a translation applied to it.

Very cool.

Apple revises guidelines for template-based apps

This is a great compromise from Apple on template-based apps. I think there are situations where template based apps make sense and Apple is now allowing those on the App Store.

Apple updates App Store guidelines for “loot boxes”

Loot boxes made big headlines in 2017 when EA released Star Wars Battlefront II and received a huge amount of backlash for including a very robust loot box system that made player progression painfully slow for gamers who didn’t spend money. There was a big uproar in the gaming community, EA’s stocks took a hit, and an international conversation started about the morality and implications of loot boxes in games.

I think it’s good that Apple is trying to protect its customers, or at least make the companies disclose the odds.

Apple said to be developing EKG monitor for Apple Watch

Apple Inc. is developing an advanced heart-monitoring feature for future versions of its smartwatch, part of a broader push by the company to turn what was once a luxury fashion accessory into a serious medical device, according to people familiar with the plan.

This is one of those rumors that I would put in the “makes sense” category. Apple has redefined how we track health on our watches in the last few years. If they are able to add a reliable EKG to the watch, it would seem to fit into the company’s larger plan of enabling its users to track health and fitness.

Apple comments on why iPhones with older batteries run slower

Apple is once again in the midst of a ridiculous hubbub about iPhones with older batteries running slower than their newer counterparts. Some people even go so far as to say Apple is trying to force you to upgrade by slowing down your older iPhone on purpose. […]

Apple sued over App Store logo

Back in August this year, Apple replaced the App Store logo consisting of pencil, ruler, and paintbrush with the new logo featuring three plain sticks (kind of) on iOS and MacOS. According to KON, the new logo of the App Store on iOS and MacOS is a clear violation of the Chinese copyright law.

There is no doubt that they are the same. Apple has been using a similar looking logo for years, so it’ll be interesting to see if they argue that it was just changing what it was already using. We’ll see.

Apple’s podcast analytics service is now in beta

At WWDC this year, Apple announced it would soon offer its own podcast analytics service for show creators who publish on Apple Podcasts. Today, that service has launched into beta, offering podcasters the ability to track unique devices and playback metrics for their podcasts, including when listeners drop off in the middle of a show.

This is great news. It only tracks iOS 11 on mobile devices, but people move to the latest iOS pretty quick on Apple devices, so that shouldn’t be much of a drawback.

Final Cut Pro updated for iMac Pro

Apple today announced a major update to its professional video editing app, Final Cut Pro X, with new features including 360-degree VR video editing, advanced color grading tools and support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) video. Optimized to take full advantage of the incredible performance capabilities of the all-new iMac Pro, Final Cut Pro users can now edit full-resolution 8K video for the first time on a Mac. Apple is also extending 360-degree VR video support to Final Cut Pro companion apps, Motion and Compressor.

Wow!

People hear differently

What you say is not nearly as important as what we hear.

We would all do well to remember this.

Apple updates Logic Pro X for iMac Pro

Apple released an update for its professional music software Logic Pro on Thursday, which adds support for the iMac Pro including support for up to 36 cores. You can download the update by going to the App Store on your Mac and checking for updates.

Amazon will sell Apple TV again

Amazon.com Inc will start selling Google Chromecast and Apple TV, which compete against its Fire TV, on its online store, an Amazon spokeswoman told Reuters on Thursday.

This is great news for Apple. Amazon is a huge reseller of products and it has a very strong brand—I would think a lot of people will go to Amazon to purchase Apple TV. Amazon Prime Video is also now available on Apple TV, so the two companies are mending the fences.

Leather Bumper Case for iPhone X

As a family company here at Pad & Quill, we draw on very personal experiences to make our products and this Traveler Leather Bumper Case is a great example of that. It all started when I came across my Dad’s old leather coin pouch…

That sounds like a great reason to make a product. We all draw on our personally experiences for inspiration.

Apple and Chicago bring coding opportunities to city’s students

Apple today announced that it is working with the city of Chicago to bring coding opportunities to Chicago’s nearly 500,000 students through a citywide expansion of Apple’s Everyone Can Code program.

The initiative in Chicago was designed in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, City Colleges of Chicago, local businesses and non-profit organizations.

I absolutely love these types of initiatives from Apple.

Apple makes new hires from Hulu, Legendary

Apple has hired two business affairs execs — Philip Matthys from Hulu and Jennifer Wang Grazier from Legendary Entertainment — for key roles on its expanding original entertainment team, Variety has learned.

All of these video-related hires are great news for Apple and its customers. My only question is will Apple allow all of these talented people to make great shows or will they interfere to the point where the shows just suck. We’ll see.

Advocates ready legal showdown with FCC on net neutrality

Net neutrality advocates said they are gearing up for a legal fight after abandoning attempts to convince the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to keep 2015 rules aimed at maintaining an open internet.

I haven’t heard from anyone that thinks net neutrality rules should be abandoned. I hope they win this fight and keep the rules in place.

Using AppleWatch with GymKit

GymKit, a feature built into WatchOS 4.1, enables seamless tap-to-connect tech. It’s like CarPlay, but for fitness machines.

That’s a great way to put it. I can’t wait to try this out.

Google launches two experimental photography apps for iOS

Today, we’re launching the first installment of a series of photography appsperiments: usable and useful mobile photography experiences built on experimental technology. Our “appsperimental” approach was inspired in part by Motion Stills, an app developed by researchers at Google that converts short videos into cinemagraphs and time lapses using experimental stabilization and rendering technologies. Our appsperiments replicate this approach by building on other technologies in development at Google. They rely on object recognition, person segmentation, stylization algorithms, efficient image encoding and decoding technologies, and perhaps most importantly, fun!

I know many photographers love to try new things, so you may want to check these out.

Apple offers pre-orders for apps

New apps on all Apple platforms can be made available for pre-order when you submit your app and metadata for review in iTunes Connect. When you opt in, you’ll choose a download release date that’s two to 90 days in the future. Once your app is released for download, customers are notified and it will automatically download to their device within 24 hours.

This is a wonderful feature.

Apple removes app after MyEtherWallet complaint

“This is NOT US,” MyEtherWallet said on Sunday from its official Twitter account.

The statement was a response to a tweet by someone identified as @ChrisLundkvist, who posted an image of the $4.99 app, dubbed MyEtherWallet, showing it was the third-most popular finance app in Apple’s App Store.

Good for Apple for removing the app so quickly. Clearly the developer tried to sell an app based on the reputation of another company. It’s awful when people do that.