May 14, 2021

The Dalrymple Report: Revisiting AirTags, Apple VP, and a snake

Dave and I revisit our discussion from last week about the AirTags, stalking and Android. We also talk about Apple’s new vice president of communications, and strangely enough, what do you do if you get bitten by a snake.

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May 13, 2021

Apple Support: How to hear image descriptions in the Camera app

If you’ve not played with this before, watch the video and try this for yourself. A pretty amazing (and, IMO underrated) feature.

Kirk McElhearn:

You take good care of your iPhone or iPad, but AirTags aren’t meant to be coddled. If you have one with a keyring, it’ll be in your pocket or purse, getting scratched and bounced around. If you put one in your gym bag, it’ll sit around in the trunk of your car in extreme temperatures in summer or winter. And if you forget one in a pocket, it might go through the washing machine and dryer.

I put a few AirTags through the most grueling stress tests I could find. Here’s what happened.

An entertaining read. The conclusion:

AirTags can stand up to a lot, and they are well designed for most of the extreme conditions they’ll encounter. Don’t worry too much about how you treat them, and, by all means, don’t buy AirTag screen protectors.

Wondering what would happen if you put one of these through the wash. To me, that’d be a fair test.

Zoe Schiffer, The Verge:

Antonio García Martínez is no longer working at Apple hours after employees circulated a petition calling for an investigation into his hiring. Martínez, a former Facebook product manager on the ad targeting team, authored a controversial book about Silicon Valley where he expressed misogynistic views on women.

And:

“We are deeply concerned about the recent hiring of Antonio García Martínez,” employees wrote in the petition. “His misogynistic statements in his autobiography — such as ‘Most women in the Bay Area are soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of shit’ (further quoted below this letter) — directly oppose Apple’s commitment to Inclusion & Diversity.”

More than 2,000 employees signed the petition before it was published by The Verge.

All kinds of takes here. For starters, this is the power of the people, and the power of the press.

Props to Apple for acting quickly in response to this petition and Zoe Schiffer’s original Verge article.

From that original article:

García Martínez, who has also written for Wired, was the product manager for Facebook’s ad targeting team from 2011 to 2013. Most of the things the Apple employees have expressed concern about come from Chaos Monkeys itself. (The book is dedicated to “all my enemies.”) The autobiography traces García Martínez going from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. García Martínez has described the book as “total Hunter S. Thompson/Gonzo mode.” The employees, in the petition, view it differently: they say it’s racist and sexist.

But how did this happen in the first place? This mix of Facebook, the ad business, and Chaos Monkeys is toxic. This is clearly a vetting fail. The hope is that Apple homes in on the point of weakness that made this move possible, takes steps to prevent such a cultural mismatch from happening again.

Steven Aquino, Forbes:

Until a few weeks ago, the Apple TV 4K had not seen an update since the device was introduced in September 2017. The software it runs, tvOS, obviously has been updated in the time since, but the additions have more iterative than transformative.

And:

As tvOS is build atop an iOS foundation, Apple has adroitly ported a plethora of familiar accessibility features from its mobile software to the living room. For a disabled person who is willing (and able) to pay the Apple TV’s premium price, the investment pays off in spades if one of the reasons for choosing the high-end streamer is gaining access to its best-of-breed assistive technologies.

As far as price is concerned, Google TV wins hands down, with Chromecast priced at $50 and the new Apple TV 4K starting at $179.

Back to Steven:

While it is true tvOS is highly accessible—particularly for reducing cognitive load thanks to its strong family resemblance to iOS—the icon-driven interface still can be problematic. The issue is finding what to watch. For the most part, users have to jump from app to app to app to find content; this can be troublesome if you have a cognitive delay of some sort and can’t easily remember that The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is on Prime Video or that Dickinson is an Apple TV+ property. Apple’s TV app tries to consolidate everything into one place—there’s a reason the TV app is positioned on the “top shelf” by default—but it’s nonetheless still an app. Netflix, for example, infamously refuses to support the TV app; to watch it, you must find the bespoke app.

There’s the rub. If the goal of all the players (Netflix, Amazon, Apple, HBO Max, Paramount+, Peacock, etc.) was to maximize the user experience, every app would operate the same way and would share all info with Apple so there could be one app to rule them all.

Apple has done the best they can here, but if Netflix doesn’t support the TV app, not much Apple can do.

Google TV takes the inverse approach. There are still apps that you can launch, but they’re secondary. Again, Google’s premise is it is better to suggest content to you as opposed to forcing you to seek it out. Granted, the Google TV UI is busier and not as polished as tvOS, but a legitimate argument can be made that it is more accessible. To wit, instead of trying to remember where a show is, Google does it for you. To continue watching something on Netflix is just a few clicks away on the For You screen.

Read on. Great piece from Steven (IMO, he’s the bright shining light at Forbes), exploring accessibility on both platforms, but usability as well, pros and cons on both sides.

José Adorno, 9to5Mac:

In April, Apple officially opened the Find My network to third-party products with Chipolo ONE Spot, Belkin’s SOUNDFORM Freedom, and VanMoof’s latest S3 and X3 e-bikes. Now, the AirTag competitor Chipolo ONE Spot is available to pre-order.

Price is $28 for one, $90 for four. Here’s a link to the preorder page.

Chipolo ONE Spot has a keyring hole that attaches directly to the keyring

Puzzled why the AirTag does not have a keyring hole. Simply so Apple can sell keyring cases?

Although it’s water-resistant, it has an iPX5 rate, which means it can resist a sustained, low-pressure water jet spray, while AirTag has IP67, which can be submerged up to one meter in water for 30 minutes.

Interesting. That might matter if you lose your keys in, say, a lake. Waiting for a story like that to pop up.

Chipolo says this item tracker is “easy to hear” with a speaker that gets up to 120dB.

Not clear how this compares to AirTag (the AirTag tech specs for Speaker simply says, “Built-in speaker”).

As far as I can tell, the ONE Spot does not support NFC, so add that to the list of AirTag differences.

May 12, 2021

Kirk McElhearn followed up on a video we posted last week, did his own experiment.

A lot of detail here, a fascinating read. One thing that jumped out at me was from a comment posted on Hacker News in response to Kirk’s article:

I just left my dog (her leash has an AirTag on it) with my parents on 5/8, and presumably the leash was sitting in their home somewhere.

They took her to the dog park on 5/9, and got the notification that an AirTag was following them. So I was gone for a little over 24 hours, but they only got the notification after they took the leash with them for a couple hours and then went home.

And:

I believe the 3 days is for the audible beeping when it’s moved, but they haven’t seen that yet and they marked it as “pause safety alerts” so I’m not sure if it’ll still beep.

Here’s a link to the image, showing the notification.

Apple, from this press release:

Threats have been present since the first day the App Store launched on iPhone, and they’ve increased in both scale and sophistication in the years since. Apple has likewise scaled its efforts to meet those threats, taking relentless steps forward to combat these risks to users and developers alike.

And:

While it’s impossible to catch every act of fraud or ill intent before it happens, thanks to Apple’s industry-leading antifraud efforts, security experts agree the App Store is the safest place to find and download apps.

And:

Unfortunately, sometimes developer accounts are created entirely for fraudulent purposes. If a developer violation is egregious or repeated, the offender is expelled from the Apple Developer Program and their account terminated. Apple terminated 470,000 developer accounts in 2020 and rejected an additional 205,000 developer enrollments over fraud concerns, preventing these bad actors from ever submitting an app to the store.

It’s an interesting read, but it’s a press release, so read with that in mind.

Now follow the headline link to John Gruber’s take:

There’s nothing curious about the timing of this post — it’s in response to some embarrassing stories about fraud apps in the App Store, revealed through discovery in the Epic v. Apple trial, and through the news in recent weeks. The fact that Apple would post this now is pretty telling — to me at least — about how they see the trial going. I think Apple clearly sees itself on solid ground legally, and their biggest concern is this relatively minor public relations issue around scam apps continuing to slip through the App Store reviewing process.

And:

Apple is the richest company in the world. If they want to run the App Store with whatever-they-say-goes authority, why should we, as customers, demand anything less than perfection on the fraud and scam front? True perfection they’re never going to achieve, but it sure seems like Apple could be doing better than they are. And they know it.

Hard to argue with Gruber’s logic here. It does feel like Apple could be doing more, especially when they are being handed (from a number of developers) clear evidence of fraudulent apps that they did not catch.

I get that this is a complex problem, both in terms of sheer numbers, and in terms of determining the difference between greedy pricing and outright fraud. Hard, if not impossible, to automate this process.

I’ve said before, feels like Apple could build a team of trusted outsiders (members of the developer program, who’ve been vouchsafed already) who have already shown they can pick out App Store fraudsters that Apple’s review team did not catch. Build a bounty program, or pay them as consultants.

Apple TV+ posts trailer for “1971”

Apple:

In a tumultuous era, 1971 would be a year of musical innovation and rebirth. Fueled by the political and cultural upheaval of the time, fresh talent exploded onto the scene, stars reached new heights, and boundaries expanded like never before. Watch 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything, coming to Apple TV+ on May 21.

This eight-part docuseries will take you back to the birth of the most original artists and songs that we still listen to 50 years later, including never-before-seen footage of The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed, and more.

Week from Friday. Definitely on my calendar.

Interestingly, two of the artists highlighted in the series, Carole King and Tina Turner, were just named as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees this morning.

Here’s the trailer.

Joe Rossignol, MacRumors:

Based on five legitimate Geekbench 5 results (here’s the fifth) for the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the M1 chip, the device has average single-core and multi-core scores of 1,718 and 7,284, respectively. By comparison, the fourth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the A12Z chip has average single-core and multi-core scores of 1,121 and 4,656, respectively, meaning that the M1 iPad Pro is around 56% faster.

That is crushingly fast. That is a bigger leap than the benchmarks comparing the Intel vs M1 MacBook Pro.

Stephen Shankland, CNET:

An industry alliance sponsored by Apple, Google, Amazon and other tech companies will begin certifying smart home devices later this year, a potentially important step toward making the technology easier to develop and use and therefore more widely accepted.

Matter, the name of the alliance, will let smart devices, such as lightbulbs you turn on with Amazon Alexa or a video doorbell you monitor with Google Home, use its logo on their packaging.

And:

Getting all of these devices to get along — especially with Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant competing to be your preferred interface — can be difficult. Matter is designed to unify the network domain, ensuring devices will work with any of those three main voice control systems. It should work even if you use more than one control system.

This has potential to unify the various standards, or at least raise the likelihood that a smart home device you buy will work with multiple standards from multiple manufacturers.

Here’s a link to Matter’s home page.

Apple:

Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King, and adapted by the author himself, “Lisey’s Story” is a deeply personal thriller that follows Lisey Landon (Academy Award winner Julianne Moore) two years after the death of her husband, famous novelist Scott Landon (Academy Award nominee Clive Owen). A series of unsettling events causes Lisey to face memories of her marriage to Scott that she has deliberately blocked out of her mind.

Stephen King has an incredible catalog of books turned to TV shows and movies. Just to name a few, there’s Carrie, The Shining, The Stand, Stand By Me, It, The Mist, The Green Mile, Misery, and The Shawshank Redemption. Some all-time great work there, and there’s so much more.

Stephen King has a pretty great track record. I’m definitely looking forward to this one. Lisey’s Story drops on June 4th, three week’s from Friday.

Here’s the trailer.

May 11, 2021

Apple Support: How to use Sound Recognition on your iPhone or iPad

If you’re not aware of this part of iOS/iPadOS Accessibility settings, take a minute to watch the video. In a nutshell, turn on Sound Recognition to get a notification when, say, the doorbell rings and you’ve got headphones on.

Note that Sound Recognition disables Hey Siri.

Joanna Stern is on a roll. This was both interesting and fun.

Reddit:

I had a trip coming up so i was excited to try them. so i attached an airtag to my big checked luggage using the belkin loop accessory. everything went smooth on the way out, i was able to see it on my flight etc. but on my return flight which had a stop in houston a thief decided to just take the airtag off my suitcase? my luggage came out of baggage claim, so they just removed the airtag.

So the thief wanted an AirTag, saw this as a quick way to snag one? Not a sophisticated theft.

i have it in lost mode and activation lock and i can see someone took it to a suburban neighborhood from the airport.

The story doesn’t fill in the ending, but let the police deal with this. Otherwise you might run into a live tiger, roaming the Houston neighborhood.

Joe Rossignol, MacRumors:

Apple recently released a redesigned Siri Remote with a physical clickpad, but if you have an original Siri Remote laying around that you still plan on using, you may be interested in getting an AirTag case for the remote.

Follow the headline link, check out the images. This looks like a great solution that helps you find your remote (if that’s an issue for you), but also adds a feel to the bottom of the remote so you can easily tell, by touch, the front from the back and top from bottom.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, due to the orientation of the AirTag in the case, the loudness of the built-in speaker may be reduced.

Noted. And, of course, this is for the old remote. Still not certain if there’s a way to track one of the new Apple TV remotes.

Christopher Mims, WSJ:

On Friday, Amazon announced it’s expanding its Sidewalk network, which already includes certain Ring Floodlight Cam and Spotlight models, to include Echo devices released in 2018 and after.

Wrote about Tile joining Sidewalk here.

More from Christopher:

Apple and Amazon are transforming the devices we own into the equivalent of little cell towers or portable Wi-Fi hot spots that can connect other gadgets and sensors to the internet. They have already switched on hundreds of millions—with many more on the way. Instead of serving as wireless hubs solely for your own smartwatches, lights and sensors, your iPhones and Echo speakers can help other people’s gadgets stay connected as well—whether you know it or not.

And:

This announcement comes on the heels of Apple’s AirTag introduction. These coin-size trackers can help locate lost items almost anywhere, because they use the company’s Find My network. Each AirTag sends out a low-powered wireless signal, which can be received by the iPhones, iPads and Macs in a given area.

The kicker:

Yes, perfect strangers are using slivers of our bandwidth, as our devices send out and listen to little chirrups of radio chatter that don’t pertain to us. And you’re now able to leverage the radios and internet connection of countless devices owned by other people, too.

Clearly, Mims is painting an ominous picture here. Not saying he is wrong, the Orwellian potential is certainly there. Question is about privacy. Do you trust Amazon in this scenario? Do you trust Apple?

And where do Google/Facebook/Microsoft fit in to this vast mesh network? Are they simply late to the game? Staying out of it?

May 10, 2021

Derek Hawkins, Washington Post:

He’d been at the Millenia Mall in Orlando for less than an hour when he allegedly zeroed in on the shopper with the bags from Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Now Derrick Maurice Herlong followed closely behind as the man he was planning to rob loaded his purchases into the trunk of a silver Lexus and drove toward downtown, police said.

At some point, the man stopped at a 7-Eleven. That’s when, according to a chain of events described in an arrest affidavit, Herlong and an accomplice took an extraordinary step to ensure they didn’t lose him: They attached a homemade tracking device — an iPhone rigged with magnets — to the bottom of the man’s car.

Then:

Minutes later, the pair cornered the man as he entered a gathering at a nearby apartment, robbing him at gunpoint, stealing his car and fatally shooting another man, 32-year-old Jacaris Rozier, according to police.

Damn. This is kind of an amazing story. Shocking that they risked their iPhone to make this happen. But it wasn’t really their iPhone:

According to the arrest warrant, Herlong laid the groundwork for his alleged crimes weeks earlier at a Panda Express restaurant in another part of town. Investigators said he stole a purse and wallet from a worker there in late January, then used her identification to buy the iPhone at a Metro PCS store.

And:

On Feb. 18, Herlong or someone associated with him activated the phone using an iCloud account in the restaurant worker’s name, according to the affidavit. Investigators said they confirmed the timeline using surveillance footage, receipts and interviews. They also said they found Herlong’s number in the device.

Shocking and terrible.

MKBHD: What is Right to Repair?

This is a thoughtful exploration of Right to Repair, with a bit of a focus on Apple that widens to look at other companies as well.

Some worth-watching appearances by Louis Rossman and Simone Giertz. Riveting, all the way through.

Amazon:

Tile, a leading finding service that locates millions of misplaced items every single day, will join Amazon Sidewalk beginning June 14, further strengthening your Tile finding experience. Tile uses Bluetooth technology to locate lost items, and with Sidewalk, your compatible Echo devices will be able to extend Tile’s network coverage even further to help you securely locate your misplaced keys, wallets, and other items.

Wondering if this impacts Tile’s antitrust complaints against Apple.

One point that leaps out at me: Apple introduced Find My in 2010. Tile was founded at the end of 2012, more than two years later.

My two cents: A lot of time has passed since Tile was introduced. AirTag seems a pretty natural evolution, not something Apple cooked up in response to Tile.

Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac:

VanMoof was one of the very first companies to do this. Their bikes don’t have the U1 chip for precision finding, but that would probably be rather over-the-top for something the size of a bicycle! The feature is really only useful for homing in on the last 15 feet or so, at which distance you can hardly miss your bike.

If you are interested in this bike, follow the headline link and read on. Scroll all the way to the bottom for the discussion of Find My.

There’s been lots of discussion in the twitterverse about AirTag and how to best attach one to a bike. If it’s too obvious, any bike thief would likely remove it quickly. My thinking is, put it under the saddle or, if possible, embed it inside the saddle.

But having the tech built-n and compatible with Apple Find My is the perfect solution. And it’s an electric bike, so no battery to replace.

One final note from Ben:

Oh, and by the way, Apple: Find My is a horribly awkward name even before I diarised it. Please rename it to Apple Find. Thank you.

Noted.

Shot on iPhone 12, Everyday Experiments

I’m a fan of Apple’s Everyday Experiments series, and this one does not disappoint. Some solid inspiration, with some slow-mo, stop-motion, and time lapse experiments that you can most likely repeat, even if you don’t own an iPhone 12.

May 7, 2021

A tech industry veteran, Low has done stints at Unisys and Dell, where she served as senior vice president of communications. She’ll report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple confirmed the hire, offering the following statement: “Stella brings her remarkable experience and leadership to Apple’s world-class communications teams. Apple has an important story to tell — from the transformative products and services we make, to the positive impacts we have on our communities and the world — and Stella is a great leader to help us write the next chapter.”

The big question for someone at this level at Apple is not qualifications, but whether or not they fit the Apple culture. That will be her biggest hurdle—It starts and stops there.

The Dalrymple Report: AirTags with Android, the sophomore curse

Dave and I spent some time talking about the AirTags and whether or not Apple should make some of the safety features work with Android (they shouldn’t). We also talked about the sophomore curse as it relates to the second season of Apple TV+ shows being released.

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May 6, 2021

Hawaii Pacific Health:

Newborn baby Raymond Mounga has some new aunties and an uncle for life, according to mom Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga, who unexpectedly delivered Raymond on a Delta Airlines flight from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Honolulu on Wednesday, April 28. Luckily for mom and baby, Hawaii Pacific Health Family Medicine Physician Dr. Dale Glenn and North Kansas City Hospital NICU Nurses Lani Bamfield, Amanda Beeding and Mimi Ho were also on board the flight to help with the delivery and provide care for mom and baby until the flight landed in Honolulu.

And the Apple Watch?

Given that airplanes also aren’t equipped to provide care for a premature baby, Dr. Glenn had to rely on previous wilderness medicine training. He and the nurses used a couple of shoelaces to tie and cut through the umbilical cord, made baby warmers out of bottles that were microwaved, and used an Apple Watch to measure the baby’s heart rate.

Apple should find that baby, give its parents some new baby gifties.

This story is a great example of how valuable Apple Watch has become. It’s a Swiss Army Knife of tech we carry with us wherever we go. And in this case, it pitched in when real hospital equipment wasn’t available.

Though the video below is old, it shows how an Apple Watch can track a newborn’s heart rate.

Josh Centers, TidBITS:

I subscribe to a few podcasts in the Podcasts app but generally leave downloads off to save space—streaming works fine for me. However, a few weeks ago, I specifically tracked down and downloaded an episode of the Ham Radio Crash Course podcast so I could listen to it while driving out of cellular range. I didn’t subscribe to the podcast, as I don’t usually listen to it, but I was interested in that particular episode.

When I opened the new Podcasts app on my iPhone, I found that it had me “following” Ham Radio Crash Course—you no longer “subscribe” to podcasts in the Podcasts app, but instead “follow” them like “friends” on social media—and it had downloaded episodes before and after the only one I intended to download.

I went to Settings > General > iPhone Storage and was aghast to discover that the Podcasts app was now taking up 14.2 GB of space. Luckily, I have 256 GB of storage and plenty of free space on my iPhone, but if I’d had less available storage, it could have gotten awkward quickly.

Read the post for Josh’s take on Apple’s re-rolled Podcast app and details on how to turn off downloads.

But even if you don’t do that, do jump into Settings > General > iPhone Storage and see if Podcasts is using a significant amount of space. If so, do read the article and adjust as necessary.

I am a long-time Overcast user and I’ve made the switch to the new version of Podcast. I am determined to give it a chance. Having used Overcast for such a long time, the Podcast interface took some getting used to. But I’ve now got a sense of how to get my podcasts set up and followed.

One thing I love about the new Podcast app: The Browse tab is great for discovery. There’s the top charts/episodes if you want to see what’s popular. And down below that, a great set of categories to explore. Not sure if this has always been there, but this Browse tab setup is new to me. Remember, I’ve lived in Overcast for a long time.

As a side note, the integration with Apple Watch/Siri feels rock solid. This is important to me.

If you are new to Podcast, or considering making the switch from Overcast, be sure to read Users Despair at Apple Podcasts App After iOS 14.5 Update.

I started from scratch and have experienced none of these issue, but clearly the problems exist and are worth knowing about.

Let me start this off with a caveat. Just as an iOS or macOS beta should only be used on a testing device, not on your daily carry, this AirTag dev mode may have unpredictable results and render your AirTag unusable (though I’m guessing a reset will fix that).

With that in mind, as far as I can tell, you fire up dev mode by tapping the name (upper-left) 5 times.

Here’s a video showing off this debug mode. Can’t help but think Apple will change this over time, but not sure there’s any way for them to update the AirTag firmware, so I’d guess this quintuple-tap will work for the first gen AirTag for life.

Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone:

McElhenney and company came back together last spring for easily the best Zoom-based episode anyone made in the early months of the pandemic. The tech-world setting fit easily into a format where the characters could — with one notable, poignant exception — only interact virtually, while the tension we were all feeling at that precarious moment wound up enhancing the jokes rather than undercutting them.

That’s no hyperbole. Last fall’s pandemic episode was beautifully written, edited, and poignant. No easy thing to do when every actor was remote.

That quarantine story was a tremendous achievement, and Mythic Quest continues to level up in Season Two, even with the characters all back in the office together.

There’s a thing called the sophomore jinx. Think a hugely popular artist’s second album, or a director’s second movie, an author’s second book.

The sophomore jinx is a real thing, and I worried about sophomore seasons from both Mythic Quest and Ted Lasso. Fortunately, from everything I’ve seen and read, both shows look to have found their path to keeping things fresh, funny, and charming.

Dr. Ian Cutress, AnandTech:

Every decade is the decade that tests the limits of Moore’s Law, and this decade is no different. With the arrival of Extreme Ultra Violet (EUV) technology, the intricacies of multipatterning techniques developed on previous technology nodes can now be applied with the finer resolution that EUV provides. That, along with other more technical improvements, can lead to a decrease in transistor size, enabling the future of semiconductors. To that end, Today IBM is announcing it has created the world’s first 2 nanometer node chip.

Used to be, nanometer size had a very specific meaning related to transistor dimensions. That meaning is in the rear view mirror:

While the process node is being called ‘2 nanometer’, nothing about transistor dimensions resembles a traditional expectation of what 2nm might be. In the past, the dimension used to be an equivalent metric for 2D feature size on the chip, such as 90nm, 65nm, and 40nm. However with the advent of 3D transistor design with FinFETs and others, the process node name is now an interpretation of an ‘equivalent 2D transistor’ design.

Some of the features on this chip are likely to be low single digits in actual nanometers, such as transistor fin leakage protection layers, but it’s important to note the disconnect in how process nodes are currently named.

As long as one manufacturer’s 2nm is equivalent to another manufacturer’s 2nm in terms of performance, this seems fair.

Today’s announcement states that IBM’s 2nm development will improve performance by 45% at the same power, or 75% energy at the same performance, compared to modern 7nm processors.

Good to know. For comparison, Apple’s A14 Bionic and M1 are both 5nm.

May 5, 2021

A few days ago, we posted about MKBHD: Apple vs The Paradox of Choice!. If you’ve not watched the video, dig in, then press on.

With that as background, enter Gruber:

The problem for a company like Tile — to name one high-profile company that is not pleased by Apple’s entry into its market — is that location tags are inherently simple, and Apple’s Find My network is bigger and better than Tile’s device network. Everything about AirTags is better than Tile, if you’re an iOS user. So it goes. If the answer to the question “Would this add-on be better, and be useful to many users, if it were built into the system?” is yes, you should expect it to be built into the system sooner or later.

Perfect take. Tile’s complaint would have more teeth if they had built a product that was better than AirTag. You could argue that Apple has an unfair advantage, but Apple built that themselves, over the course of many years, with much effort and sunk cost. It’d be one thing if they made some corrupt side deal, bribing government officials or the like. But they did the work. AirTag is an ingenious product that takes advantage of a massive, R&D fueled, years in the making build-out.

Apple does, indeed have a built-in advantage. But they built it themselves.