October 15, 2021

The Dalrymple Report: Apple event, Macs, and AirPods Max

Apple announced another event this week, which will happen virtually next Monday. Dave and I discuss what we think we be announced at the event, including a new Mac. We also talk about AirPods Max and what price point would make them more attractive to more people—or is price even the issue? We finish off talking about some of the shows we are watching on Apple TV.

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October 14, 2021

Joe Rossignol, MacRumors:

Last month, FCC filings revealed that Apple Watch Series 7 models are equipped with a new module that enables 60.5GHz wireless data transfer. This module is not advertised on Apple’s website and is likely for Apple’s internal use only.

And:

It’s also worth noting that Series 7 models feature IP6X-rated dust resistance, so perhaps the diagnostic port’s removal helped with that to some degree.

Interesting. Surprised that Apple would get rid of that port. A sign that they might be willing to remove other ports?

John Gruber:

At a glance, all Apple Watches — from the original “Series 0” in 2015 to the new Series 7 models shipping this week — have more or less looked the same. Unlike any other product Apple has ever made, they really nailed the basic shape and look, the gestalt, on the first try. It was birthed as an iconic design.

This review is a joy to read, full of details that stem from someone who has lived with the Apple Watch since inception.

Worth the read, for the insight and for the prose. One highlight:

The knock on Series 7 is that there’s nothing new but a bigger display. But it’s a much bigger display. It’s the one new thing that everyone will notice, and it’s very noticeable. Nothing new but a bigger display is enough to establish Series 7 as a landmark new design.

Well said.

MKBHD on the Apple Watch Series 7

MKBHD starts the video by calling the Apple Watch Series 7 a Series 6S, meaning it’s a minor update.

But keep watching. He really dives deep into all the things that distinguish the Series 7 from its predecessor. This is my kind of review, highlighting the subtle details in a way that really makes it easy to see what I’m missing with my Series 6, easy to decide whether those details matter enough to upgrade.

Tim Hardwick, MacRumors:

In iOS 15, Apple added separation alerts to the Find My app, which let you know when you leave an AirTag or other Apple device behind. Thanks to an October 2021 firmware update, AirPods Pro now also support separation alerts. This article explains more about how they work and how you can set them up.

Nice writeup, easy to follow. Key bit is setting up a Trusted Location, a place you can leave your AirPods Pro behind without a notification.

Apple Support: How to multitask with Split View on iPad

Two audiences for this video:

If you are new to iPad multitasking, or if you’ve been confused by the interface, or support someone in one of these categories, the video below is a brilliant explainer.

If you are a regular user of the three dots Split View interface, the first half of the video will be old hat to you. But watch the video anyway, stick around for the second half. It dives a little deeper, into the subtlety of opening (in this case), multiple notes at once, organizing the notes you have open.

Another well done video from the Apple Support team.

October 13, 2021

Debby Wu, Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. is likely to slash its projected iPhone 13 production targets for 2021 by as many as 10 million units as prolonged chip shortages hit its flagship product, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The company had expected to produce 90 million new iPhone models in the last three months of the year, but it’s now telling manufacturing partners that the total will be lower because Broadcom Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc. are struggling to deliver enough components, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the situation is private.

This is big news. We’re already seeing this report impact the stock price of companies in the Apple iPhone supply chain.

Whether or not it’s related to this specific “chip crunch”, we’re also seeing shipping delays for orders of most new Apple product. For example, the iPad mini 6 is pushed out more than a month. The Apple Watch Series 7, which is still in pre-order, is pushed out more than a month in the best case, with many models out much further.

It remains to be seen how this will impact a new M1X MacBook Pro, assuming that’s what’s coming in Monday’s event. But if I wanted one, I’d definitely be ready to go as soon as that pre-order window opened.

MacRumors:

Apple largely avoided the need to combat online piracy until the launch of ‌Apple TV+‌ in November 2019. Since then, ‌Apple TV+‌ shows and movies have proliferated throughout piracy sites across the internet.

And:

From MacRumors’ findings, some of Apple’s most popular shows and movies have at least 2,000 active seeders on each major piracy site, going up to as many as approximately 125,000 seeders per title. Download trends broadly map to the popularity of Apple’s various shows and movies, with the likes of “Ted Lasso,” “The Morning Show,” and “SEE” garnering the most downloads.

A definite sign of traction for Apple TV+, a problem the Apple TV+ team is glad to be forced to deal with.

Enter the piracy enforcement partners:

Streaming production studios and distributors, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+, have attempted to curtail the illegal sharing of movies and TV shows using specific enforcement partners who flag stolen content on their behalf. Apple has followed suit, inking working deals with multiple firms specializing in digital copyright protection, including Corsearch Inc. and OpSec Security. They operate by issuing DMCA takedown orders for pirated online content.

And:

According to information accessed by MacRumors, Corsearch has issued more than 320,000 DMCA orders to Google, citing copyright infringement for ‌Apple TV+‌ content. These orders only stop Google from indexing flagged piracy sites and do little to curtail the actual hosting of pirated content. Delist requests on Apple’s behalf reached an all-time high on August 16 this year, with more than 8,500 requests to Google in a single day.

MacRumors tracked numerous domains and URLs used to pirate ‌Apple TV+‌ content and found that none were taken down by Apple or its partners over the course of a week. On the contrary, during this period, the website’s catalog of stolen ‌Apple TV+‌ content grew, sometimes within just hours of new episodes being released on ‌Apple TV+‌ itself.

Lots more detail in the article. A whack-a-mole problem with no real solution. But it shows there is a dedicated audience for Apple TV+ content.

The MKBHD version of Intel’s Apple-bashing ad

If you haven’t seen it already, start off by watching the original Intel ad, which we posted last week.

Warning: It was terrible.

With that aftertaste in mind, here’s The Studio’s MKBHD-centered take, pitch perfect.

From The Hollywood Reporter podcast interview with Ted Lasso creator Bill Lawrence:

“I’d love to the show to keep going but it’s going to only keep going as long as [Jason Sudeikis] feels like it’s a cool thing for him, not only to do creatively and professionally, but personally. People forget, it’s a dude with two kids and he is a great dad and to up your life over to London for half the year is tricky,” he says. “The cool thing about this show is when we started, we plotted out everybody’s beginning, middle and end of a three-season arc. I would say that this story is going to be over next year, regardless — even if the show finds another story to tell and goes on.”

That last bit seems a pretty big hint. The show was pitched as a three season arc, has always been seen as ending after that three season story ended. But now, sounds like we might see a new story arc emerge in a possible season four and beyond. Wishful thinking on my part?

Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Kathryn Hahn and Casey Wilson. Script by Georgia Pritchett (“Succession”). Directed by Michael Showalter (“The Big Sick”).

Watch the trailer. I’m in. First three episodes drop Friday, November 12.

October 12, 2021

Apple announces special event

Apple on Tuesday announced a special event on Monday, October 18, 2021. The virtual event will be broadcast from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, CA. at 10:00 am.

Dubbed “Unleashed,” the invite contains no further information on what could be announced. Although in the September event Apple held, the company released new iPhones and iPads, so this event could focus on Macs and possibly peripheral devices like AirPods.

We’ll keep you informed when the event happens next week.

Here’s the tweet:

You can buy a 16″ MacBook Pro (Intel inside) from Apple, have it in your hands in a week or two. But every Apple Store I’ve checked shows the 16″ Intel MacBook Pro unavailable for pickup.

It’s no secret that there’s rumored to be a new M1X MacBook Pro on the immediate horizon. Again, it’s a rumor, but a strongly held rumor. If that’s the case, this in-store unavailability might be the strongest sign yet.

And the shipping delay (a week or two to get it) is another clue. If I order an M1 MacBook Pro, I can have it in my hands in 2 hours, if I’m willing to pony up $9 for courier delivery.

Jony Ive and Marc Newson were the life blood of Apple’s design sensibility for a long time. They left Apple a few years ago to form a new design firm, called LoveFrom. Somewhat famously, they started work and did not put up a web site. Until now.

Follow the headline link, load the site. It’s simple, but with a signature minimalist design.

Take a look. Pay attention to the animation (typing “LoveFrom,”) when the page loads. Don’t miss that whimsical detail as the comma animates into place. Now reload the page. There are a number of different comma sequences. A tiny, but fun detail.

The page is signed, “love & fury”. Not sure what this signifies, but it is the title of a book about Mary Wollstonecraft (Frankenstein author Mary Shelley’s mother). Not sure there’s a connection, but an interesting choice.

A few weeks ago, we posted about this fake LoveFrom web site. Wonder if that site had anything to do with coaxing the real site into existence.

Apple sells the AirPods Max for $549. Amazon has them on sale (see the headline link) for $449. That’s a pretty steep discount.

Though it is interesting to wonder why this price discrepancy exists (Inventory clearance? New model in the offing? Neither of those seems likely to me), more interesting to me is the price point itself.

Is $449 low enough to bring you into the fold? If not, why not? Is the increase in functionality over your existing setup not worth the price? Are the AirPods Pro good enough? Is the issue that you just don’t have a real sense of how good the AirPods Max really are?

What is the highest price that would draw you in? Would you snap a pair up for $299? $399?

Selling the AirPods Max is like selling a high resolution TV. How do you advertise it? You can describe it, but showing video is limited to the potential buyer’s existing display. Like a new TV, the sale depends on a leap of faith on the buyer’s part.

Andrei Frumusanu, AnandTech:

This year’s new iPhone 13 series have been extremely promising in terms of battery life as Apple has improved this aspect of the devices through a slew of different improvements. All the new phones feature new generation displays, most notably the new Pro models which have new variable refresh displays, along with increases in battery capacities. After a few arduous days of battery life testing, we can come to some very positive conclusions.

There’s a detailed discussion of LTPO VRR. If that’s just alphabet soup to you, here’s a bit from this discussion of LTPO:

LTPO is the snappy acronym that stands for low-temperature Polycrystalline oxide. In short, it allows for a display to dynamically change its refresh rate without needing any additional hardware components to sit between a device’s graphics processing unit and the display controller.

And VRR is variable refresh rate, which is being branded as ProMotion. Apple’s rates vary from 10Hz to 120Hz.

If the screen discussion doesn’t grab you, scroll down the the section labeled “Bigger Batteries”. The first table compares battery capacity of all the iPhone 12 models to that of the iPhone 13s. Big jumps (ranging from 8% to 18% across the board) in every model.

Next up is a bar chart showing web browsing battery life (in hours) for a variety of phones. From. the description:

All the new phones showcase extremely large generational gains compared to their predecessors. For the iPhone 13, we’re getting results that are 34% better than the iPhone 12, which exceeds the +14.6% battery capacity increase. The new SoC efficiency as well as increased display power efficiency would explain the remainder of the difference.

The iPhone 13 battery life is a big leap forward.

October 11, 2021

Follow the headline link, maximize your window size (large display, if possible). Tap each of the controls on the upper right of the current sample image, just to get a sense of what each does. I’m a big fan of the loupe (click to turn it on, then drag the mini-window around the image).

I love this interface, wish there was a version that laid on top of a public, crowd-sourced gallery, with the favorite images rising to the top.

DPReview review of the iPhone 13 Pro, shot on the iPhone 13 Pro

Detailed video, filled with great looking shots of all the various lenses and modes, giving you a sense of what you might produce if you have an iPhone 13 Pro (or iPhone 13 Pro Max).

One of the many highlights in this video is at about 36 seconds in. Check out the sharpness on the jacket pocket seams, then look at the background. There’s a subtle sharpness adjustment as he moves, Cinematic Mode at work. It wasn’t so long ago that Portrait Mode and bokeh were brand new concepts. Apple’s iPhone camera team continues to push the ball forward.

The embedded video is 4K. If you have the ability to watch in higher resolution, here’s a link to an HDR version of the same video.

CNN op-ed:

Although the show’s superficial focus over the first two seasons has been on Ted as a “nice guy,” that’s not really what the show is about. It isn’t a happy-go-lucky dramatization of optimism, but about the work and necessity of building communities in which we draw strength from one another. The show’s tension and success stem not from its oft-touted emphasis on kindness, but from its ability to embody something that in the past would have been called caritas.

Pretty good read. Homes in on a subtle point (embodied by the latin term caritas), really captured the spirit of the show, at least for me.

CNN:

A dispute over wearing a face mask led to the stabbing of an Apple Store security guard Friday, a spokesperson with the New York City Police Department told CNN.

The suspect remains at large.

Words fail me.

Apple:

Apple TV+ today debuted the teaser trailer for the new highly anticipated murder-mystery comedy series, “The Afterparty” from Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe Award winners Chris Miller and Phil Lord (“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “The Lego Movie,” “21 Jump Street”). The eight-episode series will premiere globally in January 2022 on Apple TV+.

Watch the trailer below. If the sense of humor woven into Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Lego Movie worked for you, make a note to watch for the Afterparty Apple TV+ premiere in January.

October 8, 2021

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TextSniper can also copy URLs and text embedded in QR codes, as well as barcode numbers. It even can read the recognized text to you. And because the app supports Continuity Camera in macOS, you can use your iPhone or iPad camera to capture text right to your Mac.

Available on Intel and M1 Macs, running macOS Catalina and higher.

Get TextSniper now to speed up your workflow. Use the promo code LOOP at checkout to get 20% off this week.

The Dalrymple Report: Steve Jobs, iOS 15, and a song

This week Dave and I talk about Steve Jobs and what he meant to us, Apple and the world, on the anniversary of his death. We also talk about some iOS 15 tips and the introduction of Legacy Contacts in the operating system. Finally, we posted a song created by James Dempsey called “One More Thing,” written as a tribute to Jobs and played on by more than 30 musicians, including Dave and I.

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October 7, 2021

Compelling headline. I was skeptical. But it didn’t take long for me to be glad I dug in. This is a rich collection, efficiently presented, worth your time.

To name just a few, be sure to check out:

  • Customize your Safari Start Page
  • Custom Text Size per app
  • Drag apps from Spotlight search to Home Screen

Great work, Dan!

Ben Sandofsky, Halide blog:

The iPhone 13 Pro features a new camera capable of focusing closer than ever before—less than an inch away. This opens a whole new dimension for iPhone photographers, but it’s not without surprises. Let’s take a tour of what this lens unlocks, some clever details you might miss in its implementation, why its “automatic” nature can catch you off guard, and much more. At the end, we have a special surprise for you — especially those not using an iPhone 13 Pro.

This post is way more than just a collection of macro photos, though it does have plenty of those. It’s a well presented tour of how macro works, full of detail/examples and, as Ben implies above, there’s a nice little surprise towards the end (hint: it’s a product announcement, one that you’ll find compelling if you are interested in macro photography).

Apple’s “Celebrating Steve” video

If you missed the “Celebrating Steve” video Apple posted on their home page yesterday, here it is…

Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac:

One of the features Apple announced for iOS 15 is Legacy Contacts, a way to ensure that your digital life outlives you – if you would like it to.

The company hasn’t yet launched it, saying only that it is “coming in a software update to iOS 15,” but there are signs that Apple is preparing for its introduction.

From Apple’s iOS 15 features page, in the Apple ID section:

Digital Legacy program

The Digital Legacy program allows you to designate people as Legacy Contacts so they can access your account and personal information in the event of your death.

As Ben mentioned, this text is marked with the “Coming in a software update to iOS 15” footnote.

The ability to mark a contact (or set of contacts) as Legacy Contacts is long overdue. When my Mom died last year, we were unable to retrieve the data on her iPhone, including years of pictures she’d taken.

When she first bought the iPhone, someone at the Apple Store helped her set up a new Apple ID, which we didn’t realize until we tried to access her phone after she was gone. We pushed, but were told we had to get a court order to get Apple to give us access to her Apple ID, intimidating at normal times, beyond us during the pandemic.

The option to designate a Legacy Contact should be part of the normal startup for any devices that store important personal info, whether Apple, Android, or any other device.

Mark Gurman, Bloomberg:

Apple Inc., whose CarPlay interface is used by millions of motorists to control music, get directions and make phone calls, is looking to expand its reach within cars.

The company is working on technology that would access functions like the climate-control system, speedometer, radio and seats, according to people with knowledge of the effort. The initiative, known as “IronHeart” internally, is still in its early stages and would require the cooperation of automakers.

IronHeart. Love the name. Sounds like a Marvel superhero.

Sounds like a logical extension for CarPlay, especially if it extended to passengers in the car. Imagine being a passenger and being to adjust your A/C, seat position, change up the music, all from your iPhone.

Not sure this is at all in Apple’s CarPlay plans (the article itself is reporting rumor, after all), but it’d be interesting to be able to hand-off a bit of CarPlay control to another iPhone, perhaps in the passenger seat, perhaps in the back seat. If they had permission, CarPlay control of music in the back seat would be a nice extension, all without extra hardware (beyond the iPhone). And someone in the back seat could control the AC until they were comfortable.

Just a thought.

October 6, 2021

Apple at Work: Success Stories

Apple posted a slew of new stories on its Apple at Work web site on Wednesday highlighting how companies are using Apple technologies to help their businesses.

There are six different categories of businesses including Retail, Finance, Insurance, Construction, and Manufacturing. Each category features stories and videos from a variety of businesses and how Apple devices have helped them.

For example, from the story on grocery store chain H-E-B:

“Grocery stores might seem an unlikely place for cutting-edge technology, but H‑E‑B and Apple are transforming how fresh food is sold, and improving the Partner’s lives who keep it on the shelf. With thousands of iPhones and iPads deployed across hundreds of stores, custom Apple apps, and a team of inspired developers, H‑E‑B is improving the grocery business aisle by aisle.”

There are some fascinating stories in there, so be sure to have a look around the categories.

Apple is unveiling new resources for elementary school students and educators, including a new activity guide, Everyone Can Code Early Learners, that extends its coding curriculum resources from kindergarten to college. Educators can also try Apple’s new one-hour Inclusive App Design activity to introduce students to the world of coding and app development. In addition, updates to the popular Schoolwork app include support for exit tickets and enable educators to use the app on their personal devices.

We are in a world where the fundamental understanding of coding is more important than ever. These new resources will help children have access and comprehend a talent that will help them as they continue to grow and mature.

Apple also added an important part:

During Europe Code Week, October 9-24, and through Computer Science Education Week, December 6-12, Apple is encouraging educators and their students to participate in an introductory Inclusive App Design activity. This new lesson from Apple helps educators guide students through a one-hour session to turn their ideas into apps with inclusion and accessibility in mind. The app design process helps students identify problems they care about, and then plan, prototype, and code creative solutions. It helps students think critically about how to build apps that are inclusive for all and prepares them to be the innovators of tomorrow.

Leadership like this is exactly what we expect from Apple.