June 4, 2020


I work with adults, some of whom have significant challenges when interacting with technology due to severe physical disabilities (Spinal Cord Injury, CP, Brain Injury to name examples). My organization works with them to engage technology through Assistive or Adapted equipment/software/devices. I have ALWAYS been very happy with Apple’s ability to intertwine accessibility into their OS’s.


Being that the voice control feature (which is kick a$$) requires someone to basically learn a new language of specific terms and phrases in order to effectively use the feature, I went on a search for a “master list” of sorts in hopes to stumble upon something. I was wrong.

First things first, if you’ve never worked with Voice Control:

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control
  • Tap Voice Control, then tap Customize Commands
  • Explore

Voice Control is an amazingly powerful part of Apple’s assistive technology. And you can customize it to your particular needs (tap Create New Command…).

The issue raised in the Reddit post is a lack of documentation, a resource to help guide new users through the pretty massive tree of possibilities. As is, Voice Control is self-documenting, that is, you learn by tapping through the tree of commands to learn what’s there.

From the post:

Can you imagine having to following all of the steps without conventional keyboard shorts and unable to physically touch and navigate your device?

Not sure how this could be made better, but thought this was worth raising. At the very least, worth exploring this so you know what’s there, especially if you are the tech support for others in your life.

Just a slice of Tim Cook’s post:

This is a moment when many people may want nothing more than a return to normalcy, or to a status quo that is only comfortable if we avert our gaze from injustice. As difficult as it may be to admit, that desire is itself a sign of privilege. George Floyd’s death is shocking and tragic proof that we must aim far higher than a “normal” future, and build one that lives up to the highest ideals of equality and justice.

Will all that’s happening around us change us at a fundamental level? Or will we slide back to “normal”?

I believe that fundamental change is possible. I’ve seen it in my life, I’ve seen it in others. We just can’t accept “normal” anymore.

Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac:

Activism sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has spread across all 50 US states. Apple Stores have been swept up in the momentum, looted and vandalized as some protests turned to violence. Now, some peaceful protestors are reimagining the boarded up windows of Apple Stores as canvases for a positive message.

Follow the headline link, lots of images, embedded tweets. Have to say, I love that Apple draws this kind of response, especially after all those Apple Stores were the target for destruction and looting.

Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac:

The company has now hired executive James DeLorenzo, who has led Amazon Video’s sports division since 2016.


Another report from Sports Business Daily mentions that Apple is interested in negotiating with the Pac-12 Conference for media rights deals starting in 2024. Sporting events, something lacking on many streaming services due to cable rights, would be live streamed to Apple TV+ subscribers.

Sports is (obviously) going through a hard reset at the moment. Who knows what will emerge from this. Once we have accurate testing and successful treatment for COVID-19, will fans return to the stadiums? Will the nature of sports change? Will the arc of eSports continue to rise, eroding fans of the more traditional sports?

Sports broadcasting is at a crossroads. Whereas the ESPN brand used to dominate, it is now beset by competing brands and hurting for viewership, reduced to airing marble racing and cherry pit spitting contests.

Apple definitely has an opportunity, a moment to rethink sports coverage, and the chance to become one of the brands associated with whatever form of sports emerges from this chaos.


The largest movie theater chain in the world said Wednesday that it has “substantial doubt” that it can remain in business after shuttering all of its locations during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are generating effectively no revenue,” the company said in its filing.

However, as it seeks to reopen its theater locations this summer, it has had to ramp up its cash spend. While AMC believes that it has enough of a cash reserve to resume operations this summer, or perhaps a little later, its liquidity after that point remains in question.

With so many summer blockbusters put on hold or postponed until the fall or later, it’s not looking good for movie theaters in general. Even then, how many of us want to go into a theater even half full of strangers? I know my family and I are unlikely to go to a movie theater until next year at the earliest.

June 3, 2020


A 24-year-old Australian has been convicted by a local court of hacking Apple and reportedly posting both employee details, and firmware, to Twitter and GitHub.

In a second case of Apple being hacked in Australia around the same time, 24-year-old Abe Crannaford, has now been convicted and fined US by Eden Local Court after pleading guilty to two counts of unauthorized access to confidential data.

“It may well be that there was no sinister intentions [with the illegal access of data],” Magistrate Doug Dick told Crannaford in court, according to the local Bega District News. “But the bottom line is you knew it was wrong. What you did strikes at the heart of modern society – people rightly worry about their privacy.”

The defense tried to argue that Apple “encouraged” such actions through its bug bounty program but the judge wasn’t having it. As it is, the hacker got off fairly lightly with a fine and probation.

The Verge:

The group behind CES plans to hold the enormous tech convention in person in Las Vegas next January, despite concerns that the coronavirus pandemic may still be a threat. The Consumer Technology Association announced today that it intends to give exhibitors a way to showcase their products “both physically in Las Vegas and digitally.”

The CTA is promising new health policies for the show. The group intends to “regularly clean and sanitize spaces” and offer “sanitization stations.” It also plans to widen aisles and seats to increase distancing, limit “touch points” by using tech like mobile payments, and provide on-site health services. The CTA says it’ll look into doing temperature scans and that it plans to issue “best practices,” like wearing a mask — though it doesn’t say if they’ll be required.

CES is smart to make an announcement and plans for next year but the situation may still be fluid by then. Even if it’s not, at the best of times CES, with its 175,000 attendees, is a Petri dish that I hated going to. I bet a lot of folks will skip at least this one.

This is a beta, so no guarantee this will ever rollout in a public iOS release, take with a grain of salt.

That said, I find this fascinating, a doubling down on Apple News+. If Apple brings in actors to read stories, that’s certainly going to limit the scalability of audio (versus using Siri, or an automated text to speech process), but it will add a level of emotion and precision to the audio.

If I was a publisher, having Apple customize my content at no cost to me (assuming that’s the case) would make participating in Apple News+ more attractive.

Interesting experiment.

Melena Ryzik, New York Times:

Sitting in a studio in Culver City, Calif., opposite Zane Lowe, the grey-stubbled Beats 1 host and Apple Music honcho, musicians tend to unspool, even shed a tear. They talk about their albums, but also their divorces and regrets, their influences and coping mechanisms. It’s therapy, but for an audience of millions, and with a propulsive, ever-enthusiastic host who also helps shapes the narrative, and the placement, of the songs we hear.


Even before the coronavirus pandemic, revealing his own struggles helped others open up. Now that everyone wants to talk about their mental state, Lowe is primed to coax unusual realness out of locked-off megastars. Hip-hop has Charlamagne tha God; comedy has Marc Maron. And pop music has Lowe.

This is a solid appreciation piece, both in its exploration of Zane Lowe’s terrific new interview podcast and in its coverage of Zane Lowe himself.

Fan of interview podcasts and of the folks who make music? Here’s a link to the podcast.

Zac Hall, 9to5Mac:

Peloton already supported AirPlay for wirelessly sending content from a support Apple device to an AirPlay compatible screen. With the introduction of the Peloton Apple TV app, members won’t need a second device for beaming classes on the big screen.

The Peloton app offers a wide range of exercises, from biking to lifting to yoga to running to stretching, all with instructors motivating you, pushing you forward. If fitness is your thing, Peloton is an excellent resource.

At first blush, bringing Peloton to Apple TV is a genius idea. Before the app, you had to use your iPhone or iPad app and stream the session to your TV via AirPlay. The Apple TV app puts all those sessions directly on Apple TV, controlled by your Apple TV remote.

So what’s not to like?

The problem is what’s missing from the Apple TV version of the Peloton app. The iOS version of the app has a wealth of information about your workouts, information that gives you, for example, a history of your workouts, information about goals you’re working towards, all information you might want to use to make a decision about what workout to choose. And none of that info is available on the Apple TV app.

You could open up the iOS app, figure out what workout to do next, then fire up the Apple TV app to start the workout. But why launch the second app when you can just AirPlay straight from your iPhone or iPad? Where’s the advantage?

And if you care about all the personal progress data, you’ll need to use the iOS app anyway. So there’s no real advantage in using the Apple TV app, at least until they flesh out the app.

To be fair to the Peloton folks, it’s no simple thing adding Apple TV support to an app. The app itself is really well done. And for folks who just want to pick a workout and go, it’s a perfect solution.

June 2, 2020

Watch intro to CNN’s very first day on the air, 40 years ago

A bold experiment, bringing what was formerly a twice a day (typically) short form presentation of news to a 24/7 fire hose, CNN definitely changed journalism, tilted the world a bit.

Joseph Cox, Motherboard:

The number of users of an app which lets people listen in to police radio broadcasts across the country is nearly doubling everyday during the protests, according to its developer. As of Monday morning, ‘5-0 Radio’ had skyrocketed above apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to the most popular paid app, and the second most popular free app on the Apple App Store, according to Apple’s own rankings. Other similar apps have also jumped in popularity.

No surprise. Just found it notable.

Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac:

Apple Music is joining in a music industry wide ‘Black Out Tuesday’ campaign, to raise awareness for Black Lives Matter in the wake of Minneapolis resident George Floyd being killed whilst under police arrest. Apple CEO Tim Cook previously tweeted his support of the protests happening across the US and around the world.


You can access your music library, and search the Apple Music catalog, as normal.

You’ll no doubt see the #TheShowMustBePaused hashtag today. To learn more, start here.

Hollywood Reporter:

Kang-Lowe, who will bring Oscar winner Alfonso Cuaron with her as a client, has set up an exclusive deal with Apple TV+.

Cuaron is best known as the writer of Roma, Gravity, and Children of Men. Gal Gadot has already signed a deal with Apple TV+ to exec produce and star in “Hedy Lamarr”.

Her client roster reads like a who’s who of Hollywood, with producers, writers, directors and talent including Riz Ahmed, Simon Beaufoy, Damien Chazelle, Deborah Chow, Ryan Coogler, Guillermo del Toro, Gillian Flynn, Gal Gadot, Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan, Lena Waithe, and Steven Zaillian.

Big get for Apple.

Chance Miller, 9to5Mac:

Apple and Goldman Sachs have once again announced an extension of the Apple Card Customer Assistance Program, allowing users to skip their June payments without penalty.

To ask about this program:

  • launch the Wallet app
  • tap Apple Card
  • tap the “…” button in the upper-right corner
  • Tap the Message button and say you want to inquire about the Apple Card Customer Assistance Program

That’s it. They should take it from there.

June 1, 2020

Apple TV+’s Mythic Quest quarantine, behind the scenes video

Mythic Quest co-creator Rob McElhenney talks about creating the special, one-off, quarantine episode of Mythic Quest. I love the show, and especially loved this episode.

Justin Kahn, 9to5Mac:

If Apple were to make a drum synthesizer, it would probably be dead simple so anyone can use it, while still offering up just enough control over the sounds to do some serious damage right? Probably. And that’s exactly what it just did here. But don’t be fooled by how simple its sound design controls/synth engine appears, this is just one piece of the puzzle. I initially thought that it looked way too simple to be all that useful, especially with the new Quick Sampler now in everyone’s LPX arsenal. I was wrong.

If you are interested in creating electronic music with Logic Pro, this walkthrough is worth reading.

Follow the link to read the thoughtful memo, in its entirety.

Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac:

Apple has temporarily closed the majority of its US retail stores for the safety of employees and customers as protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis continue to spread across the nation. Numerous Apple Stores from coast to coast have been targeted by looters, damaged, or preemptively secured and emptied of sales floor merchandise to deter damage.

A jarring wave of images and video have made their way across twitter over the last few days, shots of Apple Store glass doors being broken, forced open, and stores being looted.


With the health and safety of our teams in mind, we’ve made the decision to keep a number of our stores in the US closed on Sunday.

Current plan seems to be to start reopening some stores on Tuesday, with limited, curfew-respecting hours.

Apple Music:

One thing that today’s biggest artists have in common: They all speak with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe about their lives and the stories behind their songs. Hear why he is the interviewer the biggest stars open up to in these candid, in-depth conversations, now available in full on Apple Podcasts.

Seven episodes dropped this weekend, including interviews with:

  • Billie Eilish
  • Selena Gomez
  • Kanye West (a two-parter)
  • Justin Bieber
  • Hayley Williams
  • Lady Gaga

[Via MacRumors]

May 30, 2020


Your phone’s camera is more powerful than ever, but it is far from foolproof. It’s always discouraging to think you’ve lined up the perfect shot, only to check your camera roll and discover you messed up something—your composition, your white balance, or who knows what—and you have captured a less-than-perfect rendering of a moment that is gone forever.

Thankfully, you can fix your situation by getting your hands on a photo-editing app that’s equally adept and easy to use, even when you’re making the most advanced edits. Google’s Snapseed (iOS, Android) app fits the bill, but its treasure trove of tools can be intimidating at first glance. Here’s a quick guide to how Snapseed can help make your photos shine.

Snapseed is my go-to editing app. Almost all of my “serious” iOS photos get edited through Snapseed.


Apple today unveiled a first look at “Ted Lasso,” a new original comedy series from Jason Sudeikis and Bill Lawrence, that will premiere globally on Apple TV+, alongside a slate of acclaimed and award-winning original series and films, on Friday, August 14.

Sudeikis plays Ted Lasso, a small-time college football coach from Kansas hired to coach a professional soccer team in England, despite having no experience coaching soccer.

I love Sudeikis and the premise of this is utterly ridiculous which guarantees I’ll watch it. The trailers and “behind the scenes” videos on YouTube are hilarious.

May 29, 2020

The Dalrymple Report: Apple TV rant, iPhone, and speech to text

I went on a little rant today about Apple TV, the networks, and what’s not working for me. Dave and I also talked about iPhone sales and using the iPhone for speech to text.

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Ars Technica:

Returning to TV comedy for the first time since The Office wrapped seven years ago, Steve Carell plays a general assigned the unenviable task of founding a new military branch in the new Netflix comedy series Space Force. And the Ars staff verdict is in: the series is a winner, eminently bingeable, and our favorite new show of 2020 so far.

Carell plays four-star general Mark Naird, a decorated pilot with dreams of running the Air Force. But his dreams for promotion are dashed when he is tapped instead to lead the newly formed sixth branch of the US Armed Forces: Space Force. Ever the good soldier, Mark uproots his family and moves to a remote base in Colorado where he and a colorful team of scientists and aspiring “Spacemen” struggle to meet the White House insistence on getting American boots on the Moon (again) by 2024, to achieve total space dominance.

I’m sure the tech and space inconsistencies (even with my limited knowledge of both) will drive me nuts but I’m still looking forward to watching this show this weekend.

Gruber, pulling no punches. Funny as hell.

I do appreciate this feature, lets me compose a tweet in the wee hours, have it hit in the morning. But I do wish it was rolled out in the official iOS app.

Not sure if the API that makes this feature possible will be opened up to 3rd party apps. I certainly hope so.

Russell Holly, iMore:

Shark Tank. The Weather Report. Tiger King. Disney Sing-Along. Community. These five things, and countless others, have one very clear thing in common while we’re all stuck in separate rooms. In each of these television events, the people staring into the camera and laughing, singing, or talking at you about something are all wearing Apple’s AirPods. It’s the best advertising Apple never asked for, but makes a crystal clear statement about the state of the headphone market.

This is Apple’s world now, and everything else is just taking up space on the shelf at the electronics shop.

First time I noticed this phenomenon was at airports. In the months following the release of the original AirPods, I started to see more and more people in airports with AirPods instead of wired headphones. I remember counting the people with each new trip, until the number of people with AirPods became too numerous for me to track.

With all the remote broadcasting made necessary by the pandemic, AirPods have become standard wear everywhere you look. Amazing.

Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac:

256 of 510 Apple Stores across the globe are now open, including Thursday morning’s reopening of three locations in North Carolina and two in Virginia.

Amazing. Feels like a whole different universe, the before COVID-19 and this new reopening. Can’t help but wonder what social distancing habits will be with us for the long haul, what long term changes will come to brick and mortar shops and restaurants.


Hailed as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” Hedy Lamarr was first exalted and iconized, then destroyed and eventually forgotten by American audiences, all the while keeping her brilliant mind active through a series of inventions, one of which became the basis for the spread spectrum technology we use today.

I am incredibly excited about this project. Hedy Lamarr was an inspiration for me, breaking through barriers in pursuit of a technical dream.

From Hedy’s Wikipedia page:

At the beginning of World War II, Lamarr and composer George Antheil developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes, intended to use frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology to defeat the threat of jamming by the Axis powers. She also helped improve aviation designs for Howard Hughes while they dated during the war.[9] Although the US Navy did not adopt Lamarr and Antheil’s invention until 1957, various spread-spectrum techniques are incorporated into Bluetooth technology and are similar to methods used in legacy versions of Wi-Fi. Recognition of the value of their work resulted in the pair being posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.

Lamarr was completely self-taught. She had an intuitive intellect, followed it constantly. The world was not kind to Hedy Lamarr, an unappreciated genius. Looking forward to this series.


Francesca Gregorini, the writer and director of “The Truth About Emanuel,” filed the suit in January, accusing Shyamalan of lifting her story and “bastardizing” it through a male gaze.

Both works are about a grieving mother who cares for a doll as if it were a real child, and her relationship with a female baby-sitter.

But Walter ruled that sharing a premise is not a violation of copyright law.

This one was thrown out on lack of merit, with the judge saying, “Beyond this unprotectable shared premise, the works’ storylines diverge drastically and quickly.”